About the Book(s)
Nicodemus is a young, gifted wizard with a problem. Magic in his world requires the caster to create spells by writing out the text… but he has always been dyslexic, and thus has trouble casting even the simplest of spells. And his misspells could prove dangerous, even deadly, should he make a mistake in an important incantation.
Yet he has always felt that he is destined to be something more than a failed wizard. When a powerful, ancient evil begins a campaign of murder and disruption, Nicodemus starts to have disturbing dreams that lead him to believe that his misspelling could be the result of a curse. But before he can discover the truth about himself, he is attacked by an evil which has already claimed the lives of fellow wizards and has cast suspicion on his mentor. He must flee for his own life if he’s to find the true villain.
But more is at stake than his abilities. For the evil that has awakened is a power so dread and vast that if unleashed it will destroy Nicodemus… and the world.
Francesca DeVega is a healer in the city of Avel, composing magical sentences that close wounds and disspell curses. But when a newly dead patient sits up and tells her that she must flee the infirmary or face a fate worse than death, Francesca finds herself 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.
Ten years ago, Nico escaped Starhaven Academy, leaving behind his failed life, in which he was considered disabled and felt useless. Now, in Spellbound, he’s starting fresh, using his newfound gifts in the dark Chthonic languages to pursue the emerald that holds his birthright. Unfortunately, he can’t escape the chaos of his old life. His mentor suffers from an incurable curse, agents of the fabled Halcyon hunt him day and night, pieces of Francesca’s story don’t add up, and the prophesized War of Disjunction looms on the horizon.
Nico and Francesca don’t know it yet, but they are going to have to fit together the pieces of an age-old puzzle and discover the demon’s darkest secret
These audiobooks were given by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This isn’t going to be as much a review as a revisit.
I’ve been on a kick recently where I’m rereading (erm… listening) to books I’ve read before. For some reason, listening to a book rather than reading it is a whole new experience for me. When Blake Charlton was looking for reviewers for the audio versions of his two books, I jumped on it. I really enjoyed reading these books the first time through. I was absolutely thrilled to listen to them and experience the magic all over again. Plus, the third book is going to drop this year, and I think it’s pretty essential that I reread his previous books before I jump on that one.
Kevin T. Collins did a wonderful job narrating the book. He seemed like a natural pick for Nicodemus’s character. He had a knack with infusing Nicodemus with a sense of wonder and determination that really pulled me into the book. He tended to struggle a bit with accents that sort of pulled me out of the book a little bit. Other than that bit of awkwardness occasionally, he did a wonderful job at nailing the tone and voice of this book and really managed to bring it alive for me all over again.
Therefore, the audiobooks are totally worth your time.
Even though I read these books when they first came out a few years ago, listening to the audiobooks really revived everything I loved about them the first time through them. Nicodemus is a completely loveable, passionate character who is struggling through school despite his dyslexia, which could easily hold him back. Nicodemus is one of those ardent characters, full of heart that you just can’t ignore. His struggles are real and full of emotion, and his successes and frustrations are just as real.
These books are full of adventure, and a magic system that can seem overly complex at times. The audiobooks make the few infodumps easier to absorb, which in turn makes the nuances of this complex magic system easier to digest. It’s a lot of fun to see how Charlton takes something that could be so limiting, and turned it into such an interesting plot point, and a fantastic strength of Nicodemus’s.
That seems to be a huge positive point that keeps me coming back to these books, and makes me want to read them (and listen to them) over and over again. Charlton has a history with dyslexia, which he isn’t quiet about and I fully suggest you go to his website and read up on him and his dyslexia a bit. It’s quite inspirational. Charlton has managed to do something incredible with his disability, and that inspires someone like me, who is struggling with a degenerative disease and a body that is slowly breaking down and falling apart. It’s wonderful to see an author take something that is frustrating, and scary, and absolutely limiting, and turn it into this empowering strength. I wish more authors did that.
These books are easy to read (and very easy to listen to). The plot is addicting, and the characters are fantastic. There really isn’t much about these books that aren’t to love. Charlton has been going through medical school, and while I’m very pleased for him, I’ve almost resented his education because it’s kept him from releasing more books in this series (ha ha). Charlton is releasing his third book Spellbreaker on August 23 of this year, through Tor books. I fully recommend you read (or reread) these two books before then. From what I understand, Spellbreaker stands alone, but I think revisiting these previous two books is a good idea not just because they are wonderful, but also because it will probably help you appreciate what is sure to be a fantastic climax to this trilogy.