Spellbound (Spellwright Trilogy book 2) by Blake Charlton (book review).

April 23, 2018 | By | Reply More

‘Spellbound’ is the second novel in ‘Spellwright Trilogy’. The story starts ten years after the end of the first book, ‘Spellwright’. Nicodemus has left the Heaven Tree Valley with a few kobold warriors and Magister Shannon, to wage war on the demon Typhon. Nicodemus has been trying to retrieve the Emerald of Aarahest, the jewel that contains his ability to spell wizard languages correctly. He needs the jewel, not only to stop Typhon from creating a dragon which would release the demon Los and start the War of Disjunction, but also to save Magister Shannon of his canker curse, which is slowly killing him.

Deidre, now Typhon’s unwilling avatar, is being forced to help him take over the city of Avel by isolating and overpowering the city’s canonist demigod Cala, to use as a smokescreen. She has been helping Nicodemus from being captured and feeding him any information she can, in the limited amount of time she can break away from Typhon’s control. Once Deidre realises that Typhon, who having already created a nightmarish failed half-dragon called the Savannah Walker, has also created a second one. She sends Nicodemus this information through Francesca deVega and the new hierophant warden Cyrus Alarcon. Francesca is a wizard cleric (wizard doctor) who Typhon has unknowingly shackled, with plans to use her skills against Nicodemus when he is captured. Deidre frees her and sends her to Nicodemus to help him destroy the unknown second dragon.

Francesca, an ambitious workaholic cleric, is thrown in the deep end when Deidre releases her. At first, she struggles to comprehend the fact that a demon is in control of the city and is set to start the War of Disjunction. She doesn’t know what to believe or who to trust in a city full of hidden demon worshippers. Francesca has to navigate the dangerous political climate of Avel with its demon worshippers and unknowing Cala devotees. Knowing this Nicodemus’ sister, the ‘Halycon’ and her political faction in Astrophell have convinced the Celestial Court and the High Goddess Celeste to form an alliance to subdue the growing power of Avel, which could start another civil war.

‘Spellbound’ is a great sequel to ‘Spellwright’, it retains the fast action filled pace of the first book and gives us a more in depth look into this world. Charlton expands on the different types of spellwrights in this book by giving showing us how hierophants use their magical language to manipulate cloth to use in flying. He also gives us sneak peek into metalsmith spellwrights and even loosely follows real medical procedures while combining it with spellwright language, when writing of Francesca’s treatment of patients.

‘Spellbound’ is a complicated novel, although I understand most of what is happening there are a few things I can’t quite figure out, such as the real difference between logical and intuitive wizard languages and quaternary thoughts. I feel like a glossary would have been very helpful to have in a book like this which so many new terms and concepts. I’m pretty good at remembering things but I had to backtrack once in a while in this book and the previous one, to understand a certain point. The spellwright ghosts also confuse me, I don’t really understand why a wizard would create them if they can only live in a necropolis with other ghosts and never leave or have living visitors until their texts need recharging, every few hundred years.

I was glad we finally got to meet and understand lycanthropes better, as well other spellwrights. The Savannah Walker inducing aphasia in people was a brilliant and terrifying idea, he is definitely excellent villain material, more so than the demon Typhon. I hope Blake Charlton goes into further detail on deities, avatars and canonists in the next book. Having discovered how they came to be in this book, I can’t wait to know more.

Supreethi Salvam

April 2018

(pub: TOR/Forge, 2011. 409 page hardback. Price: $24.99 (US), $28.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-1728-5)

check out websites: www.tor-forge.com and www.blakecharlton.com

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Category: Books, Fantasy

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