Fantasy Review and Contest–SPELLBOUND by Blake Charlton

Every once in a while I find a fantasy world so different it blows me away, and Blake Charlton’s world of magic where spells are woven with words and (be still my beating geek heart) grammatical devices is one of them. Don’t let the old-fashioned dungeons-and-dragonslike cover fool you. This one’s sharp and hip and not to be missed.
THE OFFICIAL BLURB: 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.


I learned a couple of lessons with this book. First, I kind of shied away from reading Spellboundat first because the cover had kind of an old-fashioned classic fantasy look to it, and I’m not a big dungeons-and-dragons classic fantasy fan. (Lesson: Don’t judge a book by its cover.) Then, I kind of avoided it for a while because it’s the second in a series (behind Spellwright), and I hadn’t read the first one.

            So, here’s the deal. Spellbound manages to capture the things I like about classic fantasy—the magic, the worldbuilding, the epic stakes, the people caught in circumstances so much larger than themselves—and avoid the things I dislike about classic fantasy—the tendency to launch into encyclopedic stretches of backstory, the scores of unpronounceable names, the plots so convoluted I need a chart to keep up with them.

            And while I have no doubt reading Spellwrightwould have made the reading richer, Spellboundworks as a standalone since the main characters are different.

            So much for my preconceptions. What we have here is a very smart, laugh-aloud funny, and utterly different fantasy. Yeah, the first hundred pages are a little on the geeky side, but that’s okay. It starts out wild, and gets better, and Charlton manages to make his characters strong and likeable enough (or hate-able enough) that they don’t get buried beneath the world he’s created for them.

            If you’re looking for a creative, fun fantasy read with a really different magical system, look no further.

Want to win a copy of Spellbound? You know the routine: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet or a share on Facebook!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

20 thoughts on “Fantasy Review and Contest–SPELLBOUND by Blake Charlton

  1. Love fantasy. Love the book even more after your review. 🙂

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    lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

  2. See, that cover wouldn’t have put me off at all 🙂

    Although I do agree that it doesn’t match up very well.

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  3. I rarely read fantasy either, but this one caught my eye when it first came out and it’s still on my wishlist. After all, what reader doesn’t love words? The idea of a magical system based on that sounds fascinating.

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  4. I love Fantasy and Sci-Fi and I haven’t read this author as yet so please enter me.


    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

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