Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Spellmaker by Charlie N. Holmberg
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden, Noel Arthur
Series: Spellbreaker Duology #2
Published by Brilliance Audio on March 9, 2021
Length: 9 hours, 34 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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 Wall Street Journal 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.
Spellmaker is the follow up to Spellbreaker and together they form a duology. I loved Spellbreaker and was thrilled to read more in this world. I would read these in order. Luckily, the author does a very small bit of reviewing details, and in a natural way, so it is easy to get into the story even with time between reading them.
Elsie and Bacchus have come through a difficult siege and it is not finished. The master who manipulated Ogden and also Elsie is still out there, scheming and gathering more power. They must stop this threat or many more will die. But they are still in danger, and the consequences are life-threatening.
Bacchus has finished his master test, but when Elsie is thrown in jail, he jumps in to save her. Elsie is both happy to marry him but horrified she is ruining his life, as he could return to Barbados and marry anyone he wants. Well he wants her, but they almost never have time to talk alone. When they do, they are both so caught up in problems, they don’t communicate about their personal situation. Sigh. While they worked as a united team, I wanted them not to feel insecurities about the other person loving them.
We get the point of view of both Elsie and Bacchus, but it seems like more time with Elsie. She is busy with training as a spellbreaker. Bacchus is busy with setting up work as an aspector (spellmaker). He discovers who placed the spell on him which drained him and who received his power for those years. Both of them have very few they can trust. I love these characters and at least they have a couple good friends, and make more as they work through their problems.
The big murder mystery storyline with its investigations and battles are wrapped up well. Elsie and Bacchus also fully develop their relationship in this book. There is information about their families and that is where I wanted more. I’ve enjoyed this duology very much, and would be happy to read more in this world.
Elizabeth Knowelden is familiar to me. She is Elsie for me in both books, narrating the chapters from her point of view. I enjoyed her performance. Joel Froomkin was Bacchus in the first book, but in Spellmaker he is voiced by Noel Arthur. This was an adjustment and my mind always expected the other narrator. I always enjoy the English accents, and other regional ones. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
This sounds like a series I might enjoy. It is a bit jarring to have the narrator switched mid series. Glad to hear you enjoyed the book anyhow. Fab review, Anne!
Thanks Rachel! I really have enjoyed the series, the first one a little bit more.
great review. sounds like a series i would enjoy too
I’m really glad I read these. I’m want to go read more of the author’s backlist now.
I have these on my audio wishlist. Great review!
Thank you! I really had fun with these. Because they are KU, the audio can be purchased inexpensively too I think.
Now that both are out, I’ll need to pick these up. I’ve wanted to listen/read since the first one. Thanks!!
I really enjoyed them quite a lot. I would call then more new adult than young adult but they are labeled YA in some places.