Thank you so much to Skye Book Tours for the opportunity to be on this blog tour! I’ve been reading Charlie’s books for years, and I was super excited to read her newest novel!
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Release Date: November 1, 2020
Genres: Historical Fantasy Romance
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A world of enchanted injustice needs a disenchanting woman in the newest fantasy series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.
The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.
Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in. Working together, Elsie’s trust in—and fondness for—the handsome stranger grows. So does her trepidation about the rise in the murders of wizards and the theft of the spellbooks their bodies leave behind.
For a rogue spellbreaker like Elsie, there’s so much to learn about her powers, her family, the intriguing Bacchus, and the untold dangers shadowing every step of a journey she’s destined to complete. But will she uncover the mystery before it’s too late to save everything she loves?
One of the most engaging things about Charlie Holmberg’s writing is her characters. She creates such fun characters with compelling stories that make you sympathize with them in so many ways. Elsie is so likable in her sense of justice, but also so sympathetic in her loneliness. Bacchus was a wonderful romantic interest, but he was also a wonderful character on his own. I enjoyed reading his POV as well as Elsie’s. Their romance is quite the slow burn, and I really loved seeing them grow fonder and fonder of each other.
Holmberg returns to England in this fantasy, just as in The Paper Magician. Even so, I liked that I got to explore different areas of England. The authors world building is subtle and not over done, allowing me to enjoy more time with the characters and the interesting magic system. I really liked the unique magic that the author has created—it’s very different from what I’ve read before, but not difficult to understand. I also liked that, because Elsie is a spellbreaker and not a spellmaker, we got to explore spellmaking more through her eyes.
This book is filled with mystery and twist and turns, and I loved being able to unravel it all with Elsie. Not only that, but there are some exciting loose threads that make me really excited for the sequel. There’s a promise of more romance, more magic, and answers to all of my questions. I can’t wait!
This is a fantastic series opener, and a new favorite by this author! If you enjoyed The Paper Magician series, you’ll definitely like Spellbreaker!
Charlie N. Holmberg is the author of the Numina series and the Wall Street Journal bestselling Paper Magician series, which has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. She is also the author of five stand-alone novels, including Followed by Frost, a 2016 RITA award finalist for Best Young Adult Romance, and The Fifth Doll, winner of the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, and owns too many pairs of glasses. She currently lives with her family in Utah.