Genre- historical fiction/fantasy
POV- I like that there’s two alternating POV of Elsie & Bacchus. (Third person feels distant though) Sometimes POV switched mid chapter which I don’t like head hopping.
Similar Books/Comps– It had a Mary Poppins vibe without the children, lol
My emotions- little bored in the beginning, but intrigued in second half
Elsie- unregistered spellbreaker orphan who longs for a family
Bacchus Kelsey- hottie spellmaker from Barbados who wants to level up to a Master
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?
I really enjoyed the second half of this novel. It has a very intriguing concept and unique take on magic. The start was slow but the mystery all came together and I felt more invested despite the dry writing style. I loved the descriptions of undoing a spell described as knots unraveling. I love the types of spells: temporal spells, physical spells, rational runes and spiritual ones. Omg I just realized Elsie and Kelsey. How cute are the rhyming names? Felt a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a traditional romance but just bits and pieces thrown in there. It ends on a cliffhanger but I’m only 50/50 on order the sequel, “Spellmaker.”
Page 39- It took too long for the first objective to be shown. I don’t understand the full meaning and necessity of the ambulation spell but am excited to learn.
Page 62- I’m enjoying the world building with drops as the currency and opus after death.
Eager to learn who the Cowl people are. Are they related to the Duke? To Ogden? To the squire?
Page 85 matchmaker matchmaker make me a match
Page 102- I love the secret messages!!!
Page 109- who depends on him? What’s the diaphragm spell for?
I’m glad the person she was wrong about her assumptions at the end for the blame
What I’d change-
More emotion. The writing was a bit dry
More romance- just one kiss, please
Pacing- slow beginning, faster second half half