The world of Spellwright is one of literal magics where spells are actually, well, spelled out to work. Here’s my take on one of the most ingenious sword-and-sorcery novels to come out in recent years.

A Different Kind of Magic

The meat of the novel lies on the mechanism behind its magics; Spellwright’s take on spells is actually a literal undertaking. Instead of casting magic through wand flicks or visualizations, runewords are spelled and composed by magisters to affect their world. For example, an invisibility spell is casted by composing subtext, a phrase could be written thinly and be used as a sword, and sentences can be crumpled into a ball to home in and hit an enemy. Spell types also vary depending on the type of language used to create that spell – there’s a language used to affect the mind and another one to interact physically. Charlton’s interpretation of linguistic magic is enough to draw in the voracious fantasy reader.

Not for the Newbie Fantasy Reader

The novel’s pacing is enough to keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning. However, there are certain parts of the book that could have benefited from a little more polish, especially the sequence of events. The author’s liberal use of jargon might also confuse someone who is new to fantasy fiction, so I recommending the book mostly to those who are used to the genre.

My favorite part of the book was Nicodemus’ lecture scene because it’s at this point that it feels the most authentic – you could almost hear the author pouring his heart out to you. Sadly, other sections of the novel did not show the same emotional weaving, making you feel, at times, that it’s as if Charlton was hurrying you off to the finish.You could live with these rough edges though, and one could complete the story with only a few hiccups along the way.

Who This Book is For

If you’re a tireless reader of fantasy novels whose not afraid to slosh around new jargon, or a Percy Jackson fan who is looking for another treat, this book might be something to your liking.

More About Spellwright…

Blake Charlton, the author, was actually diagnosed with dyslexia as a kid. This didn’t prevent him from gaining top honors until university, entering med school, and writing a novel. More about him at his website.

If you’re a Kindle fan like me, you could buy Spellwright in it’s ebook format. Of course, you can still buy it in good old classic hardcover.