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.” Library Journal, starred review
“Charlton succeeds brilliantly here; this is no mere setup for the final installment. Absolutely not to be missed.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Spellbound is an adventure fantasy filled with mystery, interesting characters and a unique world that mixes the fantasy clichés so many of us know and love, with a brand new feel that is purely Charlton.” Bookworm Blues
“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.” Rob Will Review
“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.” Worlds in a Grain of Sand
Debut novelist Charlton creates a complex world in which magical abilities depend on the ability to handle words. Apprentice wizard Nicodemus Weal was once thought to be the prophesied Halcyon, but his inability to control spells sends him to the bottom of the pecking order. When murders and strange activities coincide with the Convocation at Starhaven, visiting wizards and druids begin to wonder whether Nicodemus might in fact be the anti-Halcyon. While the magic system is intriguing and carefully described, the setting is never fully realized, and Nicodemus's interactions with other teachers and students seem to take place in a world bereft of supporting characters. Charlton's baroque prose perfectly mirrors the central role of language and the byzantine politics surrounding the Convocation and the potential prophecy, and the innovative spell craft will please fantasy readers weary of more traditional magics. (Feb.)
Nicodemus Weal, a young spellcaster and student at the magic school in Starhaven, is a cacographer—a mage whose misspellings send his spells in unpredictable and sometimes disastrous directions. His mentor believes he may be the prophesied Halcyon, destined to save the world; others believe him to be the Storm Petrel, a mage fated to destroy all magic. VERDICT Charlton's debut presents a refreshingly new look at magic and the power of words. Nicodemus is a strong protagonist, but the supporting cast is equally as memorable, two qualities that will make this series opener resonate in the reader's mind. Highly recommended.
In this well-done first novel by a medical student who grew up with a serious learning disability, young Nicodemus Weal is an apprentice wizard who suffers from a kind of magical dyslexia. In Nicodemus's world, all magic is created through spells that are, quite literally, spelled outwritten letter-by-letter and paragraph-by-paragraph in a variety of magical languages. It, of course, puts him at an enormous disadvantage as he and other apprentices with similar problems find it impossible to do all but the simplest forms of magic and are treated with open disdain by those not so afflicted. To make matters worse, Nicodemus was born with a large and very peculiar keloid on his back, a scar that could indicate that he is the Halcyon, a long-awaited savior-magician destined to save humanity from an apocalyptic magical event called the Disjunction. Nicodemus's world is a complex one, filled with a variety of political factions, some of which anticipate the Halcyon, while others deny the very possibility of such a savior. Still others would pervert the Halcyon's mission and would just as soon see Nicodemus dead as alive. Charlton's hero is an attractive young man, although filled with self-doubt and imperfections. The author creates a very interesting if, at times, somewhat cumbersome magical system that should fascinate readers familiar with the work of Robert Jordan and David Eddings. Reviewer: Michael Levy
Two magicians seeking escape from a demonic plot fall in love in the second volume of an epic fantasy trilogy.
Ten years after the events of Spellwright (2010), the physician Francesca DeVega discovers that her city of Avel is now secretly controlled by the demon Typhon, in preparation for the Disjunction, a prophesied demonic invasion. She is apparently key to Typhon's plot to recruit Nicodemus Weal, the outlaw spellwright destined to play a (as yet undefined) role in the Disjunction and whose cacography causes him to misspell most magical texts and prevents him from touching other living beings. Tensions rise as the city becomes overrun by various political, religious and magical factions who have their own beliefs about the looming Disjunction. To make matters worse, the Savanna Walker, Typhon's half-draconic creation, roams the streets, causing blindness and aphasia; a second threatened dragon remains hidden. As Francesca (at first reluctantly) joins Nicodemus in his quest to thwart Typhon, find the second dragon and recover the emerald that will cure his cacography, she learns one more devastating truth—about herself. 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.