The Portuguese Inquisition in 16th Century India—hypocrisy, cruelty and greed.

The Witch Hunter’s Amulet

by Marco Lobo

Marco Lobo’s exciting historical fantasy adventure novel about the Portuguese Inquisition. Portugal’s violent occupation of India in the sixteenth century was much more than a plunder of the country’s great material wealth. The Portuguese also sought to stamp out the ancient traditions of Hinduism and Islam throughout their Asian territories— everyone living in Portuguese India, centered in Goa, was forced to convert to Catholicism. The Witch Hunter gets wealthy by arresting women accused of being the consorts of Satan. As an official, but very much the showman, Andrade is sent to Goa to work for the Office of the Inquisition. There his life is thrown into turmoil when he is convinced that he needs to possess a navaratna, a jewelled amulet. In this historical novel, we follow the Witch Hunter on a Quixotic journey through colonial India. Oblivious of the true conditions of the world which he has entered, he clings to his old ways as he tries to create his own reality. He is poisoned—sick and half-crazed, he goes in search of the jewels that he believes will restore his health. He blunders through a tiger hunt, goes to war, does his work in the torture chambers of the Grand Inquisitor and presides over a farcical witch-trial gone wrong. Eventually, he, too, is thrown into the inquisitors’ dungeons to face trial for heresy.

ISBN 978-0-9837225-8-8 • 6×9 paperback • 348 pgs• $15.95

About the author

CMPheadsofstate_MLMarco Lobo, 
a Portuguese national, was born in Hong Kong. Educated in Asia, the UK and the US, he has traveled in six of the world’s continents. Exposed to intercultural issues from an early age, Marco utilizes his insights to explore historical connections between people and culture—assimilations as well as collisions. He holds university degrees in business and economics and currently makes his home in Tokyo, Japan. His first book, The Witch Hunter’s Amulet  was the first in his series of historical novels and won high praise from reviewers.

Books by Marco Lobo

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“Marco Lobo’s utterly fascinating novel is set during the 1560s when the Inquisition raged across Europe, but Europe is far, far away from the action of Lobo’s book…Lobo’s novel—leanly and energetically written, and expertly produced by Christopher Matthews Publishing—delves deeply into the mechanics of such cultural fears, turning a key element of the plot around the very appealing character of converso Abraham Garcia and the very personal elements of institutional religious persecution. The novel is also filled with the local sights, sounds, and customs of 16th-century India, from crowded bazaars to tiger hunts…A very entertaining debut novel.”
— Historical Novel Society

“Based on actual people and historical events, a the tale is fast-paced and interesting. The chapters are short, and enable the reader to easily experience the climate and exotic atmosphere of India, while learning about its religious and political history along the way. The story is creative, carefully researched, and well-written. It is an amazing adventure, and I recommend it highly. I hope that there will be a sequel. Bravo, Marco Lobo!”
— Bunji

“A provocative, mind-opening story and a flat out great read. In his debut novel, Marco Lobo immerses the reader in a 16th century world, laced through with irony and cynicism, in which for some, religion functions as little, if anything, more than a tool for the attainment and increase of earthly power.”

—John Brooks

“Absorbing, full of atmosphere, unsettling. The imagery in the book was so vivid that I could feel myself back in that period, the oppressive heat, the exotic land, smells, filling your senses, the ever present fear of the people who in the course of living a totally ordinary life might find themselves accused of the most evil and vile associations with Satan, for decidedly unsaintly motivations. Marco’s book delves into the minds of the characters, each one driven by their own sense of greed, fear, lust or just survival in a time where everyone was exposed to injustice and viciousness, even the accuser. Food for thought, perhaps not much has really changed.”
— Moondoggie

“In a class with Tai-Pan and Shogun…Set in the enclave of Goa in the 16th century, The Witch Hunter’s Amulet features swashbuckling characters who pioneered the early contacts between East and West, against a backdrop of India’s Hindu-Muslim wars and the Catholic Inquisition. With a narrative reminiscent of an old Tyrone Power adventure film, readers get well-developed, sympathetic characters, a history lesson and exposure to exotic Asian culture.”
— Mystery Fan

“The title describes this period of history accurately. The Inquisition was a very black period and the Church was determined to rid their holdings of anyone they suspected as not a true Christian. Inquisition was the ultimate way to show Church’s wrath and in very few cases, its magnanimity…This is an excellent debut, the characters are well developed and you are transported back in time by the author’s descriptions of events and places. If you like historical fiction this is a novel you should read. I look forward to reading more from this promising author.”
— A. Monteith

“Descriptive prose transports you to another time. Marco Lobo’s narrative paints a vivid picture of a world of yesterday that is too close for comfort to persecution still alive in the world today.”

— Sue

Author Interview
Navaratnas, Gemstones and the Cosmos—an essay

Navaratnas, Gemstones and the Cosmos

Our Planets

In The Witch Hunter’s Amulet , Manuel Andrade collects gems to make a navaratna, a nine-jeweled amulet that he believes will cure him. As some readers may not be familiar with the belief held by various cultures, that gemstones have healing powers, read Marco Lobo’s essay providing some basic information.

Navaratnas, Gemstones and the Cosmos

Author Links