Posts Tagged 'spell'

Gilded by Marissa Meyer

Genre: Fantasy

This exciting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin centers around Serilda, who lives alone with her father at their mill, as she intervenes one night to save two forest creatures from the dreaded Erlking. The Erlking can only hunt during full moons, but everyone is on high alert during these times as he has been known to kidnap children for his own amusement. Serilda can’t bear for him to get his hands on these forest creatures so she hides them and pretends she is gathering straw in the middle of the night to spin into gold, a gift she tells him she was given by a god. In reality, she was blessed by a god, but its the god of stories. Ever since she can remember she has always been able to tell fantastical stories to anyone who would listen. Unfortunately, many see her as a nuisance who brings bad luck in her wake. The Erlking believes her story at first, but returns in a month to force her to come to his castle to prove her ability to spin straw into gold. She knows if she cannot perform this feat by morning that he will know she lied and will torture and kill her. A teenage boy appears to help her, but only for a price. As she survives her first night she knows he will continue to summon her forever unless she can break the terrible spell that gives the Erlking his powers. How can she save those who have been tortured by him for centuries? What other secrets does this castle hold? Why can no one remember who lived in this castle before the Erlking?

Fans of Marissa Meyer’s books will not be disappointed with this new series. The characters in this story are multi-layered and often surprising as more of their background is slowly revealed. Serilda and most of the other characters are no stranger to loss and must persevere during difficult times, but as bad as things get they never lose hope completely and always hope for a better tomorrow. Serilda feels like she is the key to breaking the terrible spell that the Erlking holds over this castle and all the people around it, but doesn’t know how. The ending is particularly compelling and many will be eager to get to the next installment.

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

Genre: Fantasy

Seven families in Ilvernath fight every generation for access to the high magick. Each family puts forth a competitor and they fight until the death and the winner/survivor’s family gets to control the high magick until the next Blood Moon determines it’s time for a new battle. Up until now this has been a secret arrangement, but an anonymous author recently wrote a tell-all book telling the world all about the bloody battle and suddenly the small town of Ilvernath has been flooded with reporters and tourists trying to see who will be chosen to represent the seven families. Each candidate has their reasons for wanting to represent their family and many have plans for how to outmaneuver the other contestants, but at what cost? What are they willing to sacrifice in order to secure that power for their families? Is there any way to bring this terrible curse to an end?

Each chapter focuses on a different candidate so that you can really see each of their perspectives. Alastair is a Lowe and they have historically won the most times and therefore he feels like he is expected to bring home that win even though he does not feel like his family is particularly supportive of him. Isobel was thrust into the spotlight first and as such seems to have a target on her back from everyone else. Gavin is from the Grieve family who not only rarely wins, but is believed to be the family behind the infamous book. Each character can agree that he or she does not want to die, but in the end they know that some must in order for them to survive. This is a dark tale with a new spin on magical abilities. Fans of Three Dark Crowns and other darker fantasy stories will be eager to see the second installment of this tale.

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

Genre: Fantasy

Number of Pages: 376 p.

Anouk was created by a witch who uses her as a maid and refuses to let her outside the house they live in. She calls her a “beastie” because Anouk was originally an animal. She is not the only “beastie”, however, as the witch has also created several others who perform other functions around the house. Anouk has always been relatively happy, even though she is severely punished whenever she makes the witch mad, but she knows her fellow beasties are not so happy. When Anouk discovers the witch murdered in her bedroom she knows she and the others will be blamed so they go on a quest to try and find another spell to keep them human, but they only have three days before the original spell fades and they become animals once again. Can they find a way to stay human? Can they find out who killed their master?

This fantasy story is full of suspense and adventure as Anouk and her siblings strive to clear their names and stay human. Along the way they meet several interesting creatures, but not all of their intentions are pure and it’s difficult for them to know who they can trust. The author does a nice job of introducing the reader to this fantasy world and it’s easy to see this is only the beginning. The first in a series, this is recommended for fans of the Cassandra Clare novels.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  563

RAC:  Yes

Ethan lives in a small town in the south that still holds very rigid beliefs about who should belong in the community and who should be shunned.  Lena is the new girl in school and the niece of the most notorious shut in in town.  Therefore, she is an outcast before she even begins school.  Ethan is immediately intrigued with Lena, and finds himself crossing paths with her often.  They begin to strike up a romance and learn they can communicate with each other simply using their minds.  Lena comes from a family of Casters and on her upcoming birthday she will either go Light or Dark.  She is terrified she will go Dark like her cousin, Ridley.  Ethan does not fully understand Lena and her family, partly because they keep a lot of secrets, but he knows he will do whatever it takes to keep Lena safe.

Fans of fantasy romance will enjoy this title because it has many interesting characters and plot revelations.  It is also very slow moving at times.  The book is over 500 pages and not all of it feels strictly necessary.  The length may scare away some reluctant readers who struggle to get through some of those slower moments.  The ending feels a bit rushed considering the overall length of the story and some readers may be confused by the outcome.  Fantasy lovers will enjoy, but others may struggle to care about these characters.