Review of Spellmaker by Charlie N. Holmberg

Dead wizards, stolen enchantments, and broken promises force a young spellbreaker out of the shadows in the next thrilling installment of the Spellbreaker series by the bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

England, 1895. An unsolved series of magician murders and opus thefts isn’t a puzzle to Elsie Camden. But to reveal a master spellcaster as the culprit means incriminating herself as an unregistered spellbreaker. When Elsie refuses to join forces with the charming assassin, her secret is exposed, she’s thrown in jail, and the murderer disappears. But Elsie’s hope hasn’t vanished.

Through a twist of luck, the elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey helps Elsie join the lawful, but with a caveat: they must marry to prove their cover story. Forced beneath a magical tutor while her bond with Bacchus grows, Elsie seeks to thwart the plans of England’s most devious criminal—if she can find them.

With hundreds of stolen spells at their disposal, the villain has a plan—and it involves seducing Elsie to the dark side. But even now that her secret is out, Elsie must be careful how she uses the new abilities she’s discovering, or she may play right into the criminal’s hands.

This book was absolutely perfect. While Elsie finds herself quickly lost in a dark place, the reader is gripping for dear life waiting to see what happens next. The relationship between Bacchus and Elsie is brilliant and it’s wonderful to see it develop, but it’s also just as awesome to see the ties Elsie already had strengthen and solidify. This book did a great job of showing that there is more to people than meets the eye, and that the world is rarely as black and white as we believe it to be; even things that might appear outwardly bad could be the first step towards trying to do something good.

What I absolutely love about Spellbreaker and Spellmaker, similar to Holmberg’s The Paper Magician series, is how the entire system and use of magic is made up and explained. Though similar to The Paper Magician series in having magic, and having to pick a discipline, it was quite different in how the magic classes were set up and what they represent/can do. It’s a completely unique way of looking at magic and I really quite loved it, and wished there was more to read.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

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