Review of Spellwright by Blake Charleton
Book Reviews , eBook reviews / September 3, 2011

Spellwright is the debut novel from Blake Charleton and is set in a world where words are magic in a literal as well as metaphorical sense.  It deals with the protagonist’s cacography (think dyslexia for the magical language) and his struggles to overcome it and take his place in prophecy.  Nico must learn whether he is the Storm Petrel, destined to change and corrupt language and lead to the demon invasion or the Halcyon, the protector of order in language. This is my second readthrough of the novel and I’d forgotten just how much fun it is.  The characters are likeable and engaging, the world is believable and there are some amusing scenes such as the Jejunus cursing match. What I liked: The magic system: The magic system in this book is well thought out and absolutely fascinating.  The author himself describes it thus: “Imagine a world in which you could peel written words off a page and make them physically real. You might pick your teeth with a sentence fragment, protect yourself with defensive paragraphs, or thrust a sharply-worded sentence at an enemy’s throat.” In our world, words can create, destroy, heal or wound but only in the most…

Review of Spellwright by Blake Charleton
Book Reviews , eBook reviews / September 3, 2011

Spellwright is the debut novel from Blake Charleton and is set in a world where words are magic in a literal as well as metaphorical sense.  It deals with the protagonist's cacography (think dyslexia for the magical language) and his struggles to overcome it and take his place in prophecy.  Nico must learn whether he is the Storm Petrel, destined to change and corrupt language and lead to the demon invasion or the Halcyon, the protector of order in language. This is my second readthrough of the novel and I'd forgotten just how much fun it is.  The characters are likeable and engaging, the world is believable and there are some amusing scenes such as the Jejunus cursing match. What I liked: The magic system: The magic system in this book is well thought out and absolutely fascinating.  The author himself describes it thus: "Imagine a world in which you could peel written words off a page and make them physically real. You might pick your teeth with a sentence fragment, protect yourself with defensive paragraphs, or thrust a sharply-worded sentence at an enemy’s throat." In our world, words can create, destroy, heal or wound but only in the most…

Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott
Book Reviews , eBook reviews / August 20, 2011

Spirit Gate is the first in Kate Elliott’s Crossroads trilogy.  I have to admit I struggled to finish reading this one.  To give the book its due, I read it just after George R R Martin’s A Dance With Dragons and any book would have suffered in comparison.  (That reminds me; I probably should do a review of ADwD, too) As the first book in a trilogy, I had expected a lot of introductory backstory.  However, I felt this book suffered from too much setup not enough payoff.  For the first 80%* the main protagonists seem to be wandering around aimlessly.  The last 20% of the book where all the storylines converge was fun, exciting and could have been kicked off earlier in the book. All in all, though, I will likely read the next book in the trilogy to find out what happens to the characters. What I liked: The worldbuilding: The world created by Ms Elliott is extremely rich and detailed.  We are introduced to multiple cultures with varied religions, customs and mores and they all feel unique, real and believable.  Some interesting premises, the Guardians for example, are introduced, and I look forward to reading more about them in…

Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott
Book Reviews , eBook reviews / August 20, 2011

Spirit Gate is the first in Kate Elliott's Crossroads trilogy.  I have to admit I struggled to finish reading this one.  To give the book its due, I read it just after George R R Martin's A Dance With Dragons and any book would have suffered in comparison.  (That reminds me; I probably should do a review of ADwD, too) As the first book in a trilogy, I had expected a lot of introductory backstory.  However, I felt this book suffered from too much setup not enough payoff.  For the first 80%* the main protagonists seem to be wandering around aimlessly.  The last 20% of the book where all the storylines converge was fun, exciting and could have been kicked off earlier in the book.  All in all, though, I will likely read the next book in the trilogy to find out what happens to the characters. What I liked: The worldbuilding: The world created by Ms Elliott is extremely rich and detailed.  We are introduced to multiple cultures with varied religions, customs and mores and they all feel unique, real and believable.  Some interesting premises, the Guardians for example, are introduced, and I look forward to reading more about them in…