Review by Shellie for Spellwright ~ by Blake Charlton
An epic young adult fantasy with a modern and creative twist. A humorous and mildly scary hero’s journey, this book is perfect for smart youngsters from tween-age into ancient adulthood.
About: In a fantastical world where spells are created from magical languages, the main character Nicodermis is a trainee in the skills needed to create these spells. He believes himself to be an insignificant part of a bigger picture. There is a big problem with his spelling (he can’t), so his teachers place him with a variety of other “marginal” acolytes with various disabilities. Here he becomes a leader (of sorts) in a world which does other than appreciate them.
In this mountainous and almost medieval world, Nicodermis’ connection to his greater purpose is not quite clear and all is not well. Evil powers are bent on keeping everything as it is or worse - imbalanced and dark. They will do anything to stop the fates in motions of which Nicodermis is key.
My Thoughts: Fresh and inclusive of a wide variety of diverse types of characters, this is a fun read. Nary a bad word, or sexual reference, it’s a perfect read for young adults and those looking for a “clean” fantasy setting. The author has some interesting swaps for cursing which are in fact quite hilarious. Here are examples:
“Splattering spud”; “Ooo, you dirty son of a rat-eating butt dog!” And an example of a curse as bad as it gets - “Drink goat piss, you slimy pigeon penis”.
Kids of all ages will have to laugh at this. I did.
The characters are wonderful and loveable and Nicodermis is a very relate-able main character. A humble hero who is on his journey and refuses to admit that he may just be the one to save his world. There are also several flawed and interesting supporting characters - a blind old wise man with dreadlocks and magic gargoyles that are created from the written spells, a wonderful talking bird named Azure that loves to be scratched on its head (gosh darn cute and I want one), a dream dragon, and elemental ghosts. But don’t worry there are exciting and dark bits too involving a scary and ancient evil; also a clay Golem housing an amazing monster which is frightening and imaginative. This is definitely the beginning of an epic series.
An impressive first novel - the book has an easy to read style that is imbued with a subtle humor, a characteristic which is apparent on Blake Charlton’s blog and in his interviews. I cannot say one negative thing about this debut novel and am expecting some amazing fiction from this new and talented author. I can’t wait to read the next in this series, Spellbound, which I understand is even better than this first novel. 4 stars for this fun, creative and giggly debut novel.
Cover Love! ~ Shown above are the three UK covers for Spellwright and Spellbound; its US format to the right below. Fun stuff.
For more information on Spellwright please see our incoming post for it. Also check out its sequel Spellbound’s release day. For more information on Blake Charlton check out my fun interview with him that is especially for “the girls”. For a more recent snippet about him link to a video interview at Suvudu.com with Blake Charlton.
Please note that this is my second written review of Spellwright as the first was lost in – “The Gremlin Attack” – where everything was pilfered by the little monster via the computer hard drive crash.
Thanks for reading.