The Spell

Deletrea. Jun. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780997290486. pap. $19.99. FANTASY
King Maurice and Queen Lilac have a tempestuous relationship and minimal contact with their subjects of Fleurham. Their young daughter Isabella’s care is left to Johndor, the keeper of the castle, and his wife Minna. Seeing her father off in the courtyard, Isabella is struck by an arrow from a mysterious source. Despite all telling him not to, King Maurice goes off in search of the archer who hurt his daughter. The further he ventures into the woods around his castle, the more King Maurice is lost. He thinks his luck has turned when he spots a cabin in the woods. Instead of good fortune, Maurice becomes ensnared for several years. Yearning for her husband’s return, Queen Lilac seeks out wise, and not so wise, women to break the curse she thinks she and her family are under. As the years go by and the King does not return, Lilac grows more bitter and argumentative, leaving poor Isabella desperate to escape.
VERDICT Readers will also be desperate to escape this poorly written, shoddily imagined fantasy novel. While set in 16th-century England, anachronisms abound. Moreover, the story lacks any world building, an essential piece for any fantasy story. Not recommended.

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