Francesca DeVega is a healer in the city of Avel, composing magical sentences that close wounds and disspell curses, but her life is thrown into chaos when a newly dead patient sits up and tells her that she must flee the infirmary or face a fate worse than death. Now Francesca is in the middle of a game she doesn’t understand—one that ties her to the notorious rogue wizard Nicodemus Weal and brings her face-to-face with demons, demigods, and a man she hoped never to see again.
It has been ten years since Nicodemus Weal escaped the Starhaven Academy, where he was considered disabled and useless, where he battled the demon who stole his birthright and murdered his friends. Unable to use the magical languages of his own people, Nico has honed his skills in the dark Chthonic languages, readying himself for his next encounter with the demon. But there are complications: his mentor suffers from an incurable curse, his half-sister’s agents are hunting him, and he’s still not sure what part Francesca DeVega will play. He certainly doesn’t know what to make of Francesca herself….
Introducing new twists to the unique magical system of Spellwright and uncovering more sinister dangers, Spellbound is sure to please Blake Charlton’s fans and earn him new ones.
STARRED REVIEW: Middle volumes are always tricky, but Charlton succeeds brilliantly here; this is no mere setup for the final installment. By shifting locales from the first book, he widens the reader’s view of the author’s richly detailed world, characters, and magical systems, all of which are informed by his experiences as a medical student and a severe dyslexic. Absolutely not to be missed.
STARRED REVIEW: A well-written and cleverly presented fantasy with strong characters and surprising plot twists, this saga should appeal to those who enjoyed its predecessor as well as fans of Terry Brooks and L.E. Modesitt Jr.
4/4.5 STARS: This is a well-written and densely plotted story that features characters with disabilities in a positive and prominent manner. Nico and Francesca are both multidimensional and fascinating protagonists and their burgeoning partnership is a joy to see develop.
–Romantic Times Book Reviews
The cast of characters in this book is varied and complex. For those readers who enjoyed the first book in this series, this tale will add to the already complex story line, finishing off certain threads while illuminating new ones.
This is a series that keeps getting better, developing while retaining its classic feel, and continues to be a rewarding read. Charlton is a rare talent, and Spellbound is a wonderful, engaging and well-crafted novel. Highly recommended for fans of magical fantasy, looking for something original and unique.
Blake Charlton is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the fantasy world. These two amazing books are just proof that Charlton deserves to be listed as one of the top fantasy writers for 2011. With all its fast paced action, mystery and such a unique magical system, Spellbound earns a place as one of my top 2011 books.
–Fantasy Book Critic, Cindy Hannikman
Spellbound starts with a bang, meaning that events seem to be at a crescendo from the very start, and the pace of things keeps going throughout. While there are quieter moments, the plot never seems to slow past breakneck speed. Wrapped in this quickly moving plot are plenty of interesting mysteries and questions that will leave the reader hanging on to find out (or figure out, as the case may be) the answers. Spellbound is an adventure fantasy filled with mystery, interesting characters and a unique world that mixes the fantasy cliché’s so many of us know and love, with a brand new feel that is purely Charlton. Spellbound is an improvement over Spellwright. It’s got the same fun feel, and the same loveable characters, but there’s a level of maturity, depth and growth in Spellbound that really makes it fly high. Charlton has made his mark. I am excited to see where he can take us next.
Spellbound is a fun, exciting read, one that deserves the attention and more of its predecessor. Rather than retread over old ground, Charlton has paved his way forward based on the lessons learned (presumably from his own experiences) in the prior book, building and expanding them aggressively in the second. The story is loaded with interesting characters, a story that works well and that comes unexpectedly at points, and a world that is worth returning to often. The result is a rich, textured read, one that shows what fantasy should be when it encounters a creative and curious mind, a second novel that doesn’t disappoint. I’m already waiting for Disjunction, the final book in the trilogy.
Simultaneously epic and intimate, high-flying and grounded, funny and dark, suspenseful and emotional, Spellbound is a daring new work of fantasy that pushes the Spellwright trilogy closer to its conclusion while remaining just as emotionally and intellectually challenging as the first installment, and just as compelling as a standalone work due to its expert character study.