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The Witch Collector (Witch Walker #1)
Author:Charissa Weaks

The Witch Collector (Witch Walker #1)

Charissa Weaks

One woman chosen by the God of the Sea. A king hellbent on saving his mysterious island home. And a forbidden romance that could destroy them all.

Forced to marry the wealthy Count Casbian by her power-hungry father, Margrete turns to the gods, praying for a life free from the men who wish to rule her. Across the sea, a ruthless immortal answers…

Planning to use Margrete to reclaim a powerful relic stolen from his people, Bash, a devilishly handsome king, kidnaps Margrete on the day of her nuptials. Bringing her to his home, the mystical island of Azantian, it isn't long before a devastating secret is revealed—one that ties Margrete to the gods themselves.

Drawn to the spirited woman he's sworn to hate, Bash cannot stay away from Margrete and the passion she ignites within him. When the lines begin to blur, Margrete must make a choice between a fiery love, and saving the realm from the dangerous magic awakening inside of her soul.

The first book of this exciting fantasy trilogy is perfect for readers who love high-seas adventures, swashbuckling heroes, and forbidden, steamy romance. Fans of Danielle L. Jensen's The Bridge Kingdom, and Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses will be enthralled.


To my family.

You are my light in the darkness.

I love you all to the moon.

* * *

And to all the writers who worry

that they aren’t good enough,

that they can’t keep going,

that they won’t succeed.

You are. You can. You will.

Author’s Note

Signed languages are languages that use a visual-manual approach to communication. There is no universal signed language. For instance, BSL (British Sign Language) is a different language from ASL (American Sign Language). Sign languages have their own grammar and use hand movements, sign order, and body and facial cues to create that grammar, as well as gaze direction, blinks, and rests. For ease of reading, the fictional sign language in this novel reads as if it were SEE (Signing Exact English).

Collecting Day

It’s been eight long years since the Witch Collector took my sister.

Every harvest moon, he rides into our valley, black cloak whipping in the wind, and leads one of us to Winterhold, home of the immortal Frost King, to remain forever. It’s been this way for a century, and today is that day—Collecting Day. But the Witch Collector will not come for me. Of this, I’m certain. I, Raina Bloodgood, have lived in this village for twenty-four years, and for twenty-four years he has passed me by.

His mistake.

Some women long for a husband. A home. Children. Others desire feverish kisses in the shadows, whispers of seduction against their skin. Me? I want my family. Together and free. I also want the Frost King and his Witch Collector.


And today I make my wish come true.


The Fire



Under the bruised light of early dawn, I sneak through the rear door of the baker’s hut, swipe two loaves of fresh bread off a cooling rack, and slip into the silvery fog creeping through our sleeping village. No one sees me. No one hears me. I’ve been quiet and stealthy all my life, used to being the overlooked witch without a voice. But I’ve never been a thief, and I’ve never been a murderer.

People change, I suppose.

With the bread bundled inside my apron, I rush into the empty cottage that I share with my mother and drag my pack from beneath the bed. That sweet yeast-and-honey aroma makes my empty stomach grumble, but I must stay focused. The stolen bread might save us in the coming days.

The last few weeks have given me reason to believe that those I love can have a different future than the one that has stretched before us for so many years—one of fear, dread, and loss. Finally, we can leave Silver Hollow and this valley, find a new life far away, someplace safe from the heavy hands of immortal rulers. I just need to kidnap the Frost King’s right-hand man first, force him to guide me through the forbidden Frostwater Wood, ambush the kingdom’s guarded castle at Winterhold, kill my enemies, and take back my sister.


Once I’ve added the loaves to the other items I’ve prepared for our flight, I shove the pack back to its hiding place. Most young witches in the village are probably huddled with their families, worried about being taken, while I’m plotting a one-woman uprising.

But unlike the other witches in the vale, I’ve never feared being chosen. Witch Walkers sing their magick, in Elikesh, the language of the Ancient Ones. Born without the ability to speak, I learned to weave magickal constructions by translating Elikesh using the language Mother taught me—a language of signs spoken with hands.

Creating magick in this way is a difficult skill. Sometimes, I get it wrong. A word here, a refrain there. That struggle, and the fact that not a single witch’s mark lives on my skin, has made me invisible for the choosing. The chosen Witch Walkers help protect the northernmost borders and Winterhold itself. What would Colden Moeshka, the Frost King, want with an unskilled witch like me?

A grin tempts my lips.

If only he knew all that I can do.

A hard thud smacks the door, and the sound reverberates through my bones. At first, I think it might be Mother, her arms overloaded with apples as she toes the door for me to let her inside. But the unmistakable scent of death wafts beneath the threshold. The smell is weak, but it’s there.

When I drag open the door, a dove lies on the ground, its wings splayed and unmoving. With a gentle touch, I cradle the bird in the bend of my arm, trail my fingers over her head and breast, and carry her inside. Her neck looks damaged, but she’s still alive, though barely. I have a few minutes to save her, but that’s all.

More often than not, the chance to help passes me by. It’s safer if no one knows that I’m a Healer. I’ve never dared tell my parents or anyone else. Not even my friend Finn. Only my sister, Nephele, knows that I have this skill. She always said to be thankful that I have no witch’s marks, because the power living inside me makes me valuable.

And valuable things get locked away.

As the scent of death grows sharper, I sit in Mother’s chair near the hearth and nestle the dove in my lap. Her death smells like pine needles and damp moss mixed with a hint of chilly rain. On a deep inhale, I close my eyes, absorbing that scent, and watch as the shimmering, coiled strands of the dove’s life unravel like a spool of thread.