Friday 18 February 2011

Review: Spellwright - Blake Charlton

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 352
Published: 2010, book 1

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.

My Thoughts:
What was great about this book was that Nicodemus was "dyslectic". When he tried to write his magic he misspelled and the spells often become something else. This is called cacography and those who are afflicted are thought as broken and also dangerous since their magic can be out of control. The author used own experiences as he is dyslectic and created a wonderful tale about a wizard who can't write spells. It certainly brings that something extra to this book, the hero has flaws, and it's something we do know about. It is great to see a hero with a disability, and a hero who tries to work through it.

The other great thing is the magic in this world. They use spells and write them on their arms and let them take form. Magic in this world is made up from words, prose, sentences, and in the end it's words that can harm you. There are linguist and grammarians, and all in all, a believable magical system that leaves in impression on you.

The characters are well rounded. There is Nicodemus who most of all wants to spell, and not cause chaos. Then there is his master Shannon who is the old clever magician of the story. Another character that is memorable is Simple John, a cacographer who can say only 3 words. His handicap is a lot bigger, but Nicodemus still feel they are the same. That is always a good quality in a hero.

The story becomes something more too. Evil demons wants to cross the sea and a final battle is to come. There is talk about a saviour who will wield powerful magic to save humans. There are fights between countries and different magical schools do not trust each other. And there is the enigma of the ones that walked the continent before them. The ones that Nicodemus people killed. The theme of the conqueror that gets rid of those that already live there. An interesting world, and a story that promises more.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
New and refreshing systems of magic are always fun to come across and Charlton manages with this. He also creates a hero that is different from other ones out there. I enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to book 2 and finding out what will happen.

Reason for reading:
Sounded good


 This review has also been posted here. Go visit and vote for best fantasy book of the year and more


  1. Sounds interesting...a very unique idea for fantasy.

  2. Nice review! I just retweeted it.

  3. YOu keep finding series that I have never heard of. You must have a fantasy radar.

  4. I love the idea that magic is based in words.

  5. I haven't heard of this either! Thx for the review!

  6. Words and magic kind of fit together - every book reader knows it. Thanks for reviewing this one!

  7. This book sounds adorable and very relateable for young children too!

  8. Oh this sounds like something I need to read. Dyslexics of the world untie! Heh... I'd be that kind of magician too. lol He needs spellcheck for spells. ;D

  9. Demitria
    Thanks for stopping by :) And yes I do like unique fantasy

    Thanks :D You're the best!

    I have a gift..ok it's more like I stumble upon them and then can't forget about them

    I sure liked it too. it made it elegant

  10. @Ana
    It sure does, I think I even read a review that pointed out how every booklover will love this system :)

    I do like good fantasy that brings that little extra

    That's why I am here :D

    The play with words was the best, and things made sense. Nice book

  11. I like fantasy, and I love that you say it's well-rounded. I'm getting picky these days. Fabulous review!

  12. Oh interesting! Percy Jackson was dyslexic but it didn't really affect him too much. Love new ways magic is used in books.

  13. This sounds interesting! I like the idea that magic is made up from words.

  14. This book caught my fantasy buff eyes last year, but when it came out it was a thick hardback which costs heaven and earth at Waterstones, I so could not afford. All I could do is drool over it :)

  15. This does sound interesting! It looks like you're on a role with books that are very enjoyable!

  16. Chris
    *waves back*

    I get picky too. There is just so much out there, and it's so hard to know if it's the fantasy for me

    Oh, did not know that, well I have only seen the movie and can't remember if they brought it up there

  17. Elysium
    It is sure something us booklovers can relate too :)

    Tell me about it. I never buy hardback, well except for Robert Jordan cos I heart him. They are so expensive, and hard to hold too.

    It's amazing :D Or I am really picky these days..cos trust me, it takes months for me to make my mind up whether to buy or not

  18. I never read a book with a character that is dyslectic. Not a huge fan of the fantasy genre, but this sounds really nice.

  19. I'll have to tell my sister about this - she loves fantasy!

  20. Sounds good! How interesting that the author is dyslectic, and brought that to his storyline.

  21. I love magic in my books!!

  22. This sounds so awesome! I miss HP so much so I'm always on the lookout for some good fantasy. This may just fit! Thanks for the great review.

  23. Naida
    Fantasy is the best genre ever :D Will always love it

    I am sure she would enjoy it!

    I do like when they bring something they know about for real

    And that is why I like fantasy :D

    And this fantasy was a bit lighter too so it would work

  24. A dyslectic hero sounds interesting.

  25. You do love the fantasy books and they do sound good. I haven't been into them very much, but once in awhile I'll find one that intrigues me. Great review!

  26. This one sounds great, sounds like a different type of hero!

  27. DC
    It was sure a nice concept, and how he could not make spells cos of that

    I do love them! It was a genre that took a hold of my imagination and will always like it

    Very nice not to see the usual hero, even if I do love those too

  28. I've not heard of this book, but a dyslexic wizard is definitely a new take. I'll have to look this one up!

  29. Jennifer
    At least it's always fun to look up books :) I like finding new ones

  30. I haven't read too many magic books and this one sounds quite good. Thanks for the review B!

  31. I've heard so many good things about this book! I am glad you enjoyed it. The author is Gail Carriger's husband, did you know? (Er, at least I think he is.) Just thought I'd mention that since I know you like Carriger!

  32. I also enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to the sequel.
    And in response to Aarti's comment, Blake and Gail Carriger are definitely not married. Though they do seem to be friends.

  33. This too is on my tbr. I'm definitely glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  34. Jenny
    Well, I am always trying to make more people like fantasy ;)

    Seems they aren't, but hey I liked the gossip ;) You should give it a go

    You and me both :) I wonder what is gonna happen..considering certain events to come

    I would recommend it :)

  35. I've been wanting this book since it came out! I've thought it sounded great with the main character. :) Thanks for the review.

  36. Melissa
    It sure managed to stand out with that detail :)



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