Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Spellbound by Blake Charlton

Spellbound by Blake Charlton
Publishing Information: Kindle
Publisher: Tor; 13 September 2011
ISBN 10: 0765317281
ISBN 13: 978-0765317285
Series: Spellwright series book #2
Copy: Out of Pocket
Reviewer: Tyson

Synopsis: "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…."

When Blake Charlton's first book in the series Spellwright came out, I was really interested in the magic system and the concept behind the series itself. In fact, I really enjoyed the first book as you can see from the review. So, when the second book, Spellbound, was released I picked up a copy and quickly it worked its way up to the top of the reading pile.

Spellbound is the direct sequel to the first book, and it feels like night and day. Everything I enjoyed about book one seems to be missing from this book. The characters feel different and the mood is somehow different as well. I really cannot put my finger on why I did not like the second book in the series except to tell you that it was a very difficult read as I could not get into it and it had a hard time keeping my attention. Perhaps it is because it started out feeling disjointed and was hard to fet back into the world and its characters, or maybe it was because the pacing felt completely different from the first installment. Whatever the case may be, the book was not my cup of tea.

That said there was one character that was very fun to read about and that was Deirdre. She is possessed by the demon Typhon and during some points throughout the book she is able to remove his influence and act independently. Whenever she was in a scene in Spellbound I perked up, but aside from that I had a hard time getting through this one. Which is unfortunate because I really enjoyed the first book and this was a pale comparison to the original. Truth be told, I do not even know if I will bother to pick up the third installment when it is released. I just felt the writing was somehow diminished in the second book in the series. I know that Charlton is a excellent writer and really enjoyed the first book, but this was not his best work.

Plot 6/10
Characters 6/10
Style 6/10

Overall 6/10