Spellmaker by Charlie N. Holmberg is a Fantasy novel set in the late 1800s with a prominent evil-doer chase and a central romance. The book is a very fast read with action keeping you on your toes and a pace driven by lots of writing experience.
This is a Second volume to a duology, but the previous plot is explained very well all throughout so I never needed to have read the previous volume to know what was going on. In fact I even felt some of it was a bit repetitive in some of the middle chapters and I fear this must be a bit heavy for people who read the first book.
This is a very light read, fast paced, cute, a clean romance for people who are into that and generally a good entertainment. The magic world is perfectly oiled and makes total sense, everything in it has a place. The characters are nice, the evil schemer has a good enough motivation, but none of the characters really pop out. No one had much of a personality, and the abandonment issues of the main character felt a bit heavy.
There wasn’t much mystery in this novel sadly enough, and I feel like the first volume would have been more centred on a mystery with a splattering of twists. In this second volume everything was already in the open so we are just left with the “but where is the bad guy and how do we catch her?”.
That’s not to say the book is bad, like I said the plot and pace is perfectly oiled. The author knows her craft beautifully and many people will love those 2 books. They are very sweet and do throw a nice touch of magic in the world. I just feel that I like more personal and unconventional characters. I recommend this book to people who obviously like the author, it reads as smoothly as the Paper Magician series, and to people who are stepping out of Young Adult fantasy into adult literature but are not ready for something too gritty, dark and controversial yet.
Spellmaker is coming out in March 2021