April 19, 2021

#BookReview: Spellbreaker (Spellbreaker Duology #1) by @CNHolmberg

Synopsis: 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?


Rating: 💫💫💫💫
My Review: This is one where I quickly fell in love with the main character Elsie. Her personality and sarcasm had me laughing frequently.  Elsie is a young woman who learned that she was a spell breaker by mistake as an orphan and is drawn into a secret society she knicknames the Cowels. She thinks she's helping them do good and thinks of it like Robin Hood, they're helping defend the poor against the rich. Unfortunately she learns that it's been a lie and she helped harm innocent people.  Bacchus is a bit of an outcast which makes me automatically like him and I love how he interacts with Elsie. Their banter is hilarious at times and heartwarming at others. While it starts out a little bit slow the action in the book does pick up quite a bit a little ways in and kept me hooked. I can't wait to see what happens next for Elsie and Bacchus as well as the rest of the people close to them. 


An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Science Fiction & Fantasy

“…romantic and electrifying…the fast-paced plot and fully realized world will have readers eager for the next installment. Fans of Victorian-influenced fantasy won’t want to put this down.” Publishers Weekly

“Those who enjoy gentle romance, cozy mysteries, or Victorian fantasy will love this first half of a duology. The cliffhanger ending will keep readers breathless waiting for the second half.” Library Journal (starred review)

“Powerful magic, indulgent Victoriana, and a slow-burn romance make this genre-bending romp utterly delightful.” Kirkus Reviews

“Rich and whimsical…prepare to fall in love with Charlie N. Holmberg’s dazzling Spellbreaker.” POPSUGAR

“Part historical fantasy, part cozy mystery, this one sounds delightful.” —SyFy Wire

“One of the most anticipated books of the season.” —Cultured Vultures

“The twists are breathtaking. Holmberg is an experienced writer, and the clues she drops like bread crumbs throughout the story are cleverly scattered and concealed.” Bookreporter

“A charming mix of alternate history, fantasy, and romance that’s sure to appeal to readers of all three genres.” Starry Mag

“Artfully constructed…as a suspenseful comedy/romance/magical mystery, Spellbreaker hits all the right notes.” Locus Magazine

Spellbreaker is an enchanting new fantasy novel that will delight readers with its endearing protagonists, fun magical escapades, and tantalizing hints of romance. A thoroughly enjoyable read that balances the fine line of satisfying its audience while leaving them wanting more.” —The Nerd Daily

Spellbreaker is refreshingly original and Elsie is an engaging character, sympathetic but prickly.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author

About the Author

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 2017 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. Visit her at www.charlienholmberg.com.

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FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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