Susannah Morgan
The Sorcerer’s Confession
The Sorcerer, Book #1

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Verushka

The Sorcerer’s Confession is a novel that delves into the life of Charles Sutton, a ghost who decides to tell his life story to Katherine, a writer. Sutton can inhabit bodies and control people and take form because in death, as in life, he is a sorcerer.

Once Sutton chooses Kate to tell his story, Morgan takes the reader, and the writer on a trip through history from Paris in 1792, to World War II and observing Hitler, and there is even Hollywood in 1953. Each era is evocatively written with rich descriptions that bring those scenes to life which make it a highlight in the book. However, the action that occurs in the present day consists of, sometimes by necessity, long conversations between Sutton, Kate, Josh, and Michael as the ghost tells his story, which are not as engaging as Sutton’s tale.

In terms of characters, the author pulls no punches when it comes to Sutton and what he has done. This is a character that has been good and bad, as well as evil, I should say, and the author lays all of those parts of him bare. He does seek to redeem himself, and that is commendable in that he has done so much that is well, pretty much terrible. He weaves a tale of his days, his crimes and his lives as different people in the bodies he has inhabited over the centuries and the women he has loved. His story is nothing that you would expect, and where the book ends is not where I thought it would when it began.

Kate, unfortunately, is by far the weakest character in the book. Cast in the role of Sutton’s chronicler, she proves to be an empathic ear for him, refreshing in her disbelief until Sutton convinces her of his true nature. But she remains nothing more than a friendly ear through the book, despite her importance to Sutton, which the author establishes early on and reiterates in the final chapters in the book in a unique way. There is very little depth to her present life, with only brief mentions of her husband and children. It was just not enough for me to engage with the character, and her role in the story. Later on in the book, without giving too much away, that depth would have strengthed a twist regarding her character much more, and thrown her relationship with Sutton as his author into a whole new light.

The two characters in the present that do gain much care and depth are Josh and Michael. Both are psychics, and practioners in the occult who, once they recognized a true ability in each other, had become friends five years before the story in this book. They are brought into the story via Michael, who Sutton chooses to possess in order to tell Kate his story and they discover that an old enemy is after Sutton, someone just like him in fact that he met early in his life and who is part of the tale he is telling Kate. As much as I enjoyed both these characters, I couldn’t help wishing Kate had as active a role as they do in Sutton’s current “life” and helping him deal with an old enemy.

Overall, this is an interesting premise with an uneven execution.