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 Spellwright by Blake Charlton

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Posts : 1067
Join date : 2009-06-03
Age : 30
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PostSubject: Spellwright by Blake Charlton   Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:21 pm

This is the first book in a new series by author Blake Chartlon. I ususally break down a fantasy novel in terms of a few important areas: the plot and its development, characters and their development within the story, the world, and the magical system.


The magic: I'll start here because by the time I finished talking about the plot, the world, or the characters I'd have explained the magic. Charlton's system of magic works through various runic languages. The caster inscribes runes using various muscles on their body, and once the magic is correctly spelled (read: grammar) it can be cast. If it is spelled incorrectly, it can simply not work or it can cause dangerous, unintended effects. There are various languages that work differently. One is Magnus, which effects only physical things like creating an explosion. There is another that effects spiritual/mental things, others which are more basic and others that are more advanced.

The world: Thousands of years ago, humanity lived on a different continent far across the ocean. They all existed in a single, united and peaceful empire. All the magical languages were known then, including the language of Creation. Gods and demigods existed alongside humans, until one of them went rogue and turned into a demon. He garnered worshippers and followers among the other gods and demigods, who also turned into demons. They warred against the human empire and their gods. They were on the verge of winning the war, and so the humans took ship and fled across the sea. A select few magicians managed to turn the rogue god into stone and confine the demons to that continent, while the rest took sail. A huge storm scattered the fleet, seperating sections from each other including the royal family, and it took all the power of the gods to keep it from being destroyed. Afterwards they had to rest for a long time, and in the process of the whole sea voyage most of the magical languages were forgotten. The scattered fleet found a new continent and landed in different places, and the different royal family members began new kingdoms. They discovered that it was already inhabited by other humanoid races: kobolds, chthonics, goblins and so on, who have their own magical languages. The kingdoms and gods began to re-learn the magical languages, and at some point various prophecies about the renewal of the war against the demons were made, all centred on one figure that would lead humanity in their fight for survival. Which brings us to...

The characters: Nicomodeus Weal. It's a weird name, I know, but it actually has linguistic relevance to his character and the plot that is explained relatively early in the book. I thought it was a nice touch. Anyways, Nicomodeus as a young child when he came into his powers was thought to be the figure of prophecy... until he wound up being a cacographer, which basically means he is magically dyslexic. He can't spell properly, and any spell he tries to write or any spell written from someone else that he touches will be corrupted by his incorrect spelling. In some parts of the world, cacographers are killed since they could corrupt spells and cause devastation. In others they are shunned from society. In the school of magical learning that Nicomodeus lives in, they are allowed to learn and find ways to be useful. He starts the book having made peace with his disability and the scorn he gets from failing to live up to the prophecy, to finding out the reasons why he is a cacographer and if he has other abilities instead.

Then there are the supporting cast, his mentor who is the only true magician that supports him. He is blind for mysterious reasons that are revealed, but it allowed him to see magical text even if he can't see the real world. He was originally from a distant kingdom and involved in the political intrigue there, until he was banished in disgrace. He has since taken up the cause of finding ways for cacographers to be useful, so they are no longer considered as essentially retards by the rest of society. Nicomodeus has a couple of fellow cacographers as his friends, but otherwise he is alone in the world. He had a former love interest that was mentioned, but was gone by the time the story started. He also encounters a couple of Druids that still believe he is the figure of THEIR prophecy. And of course there's a couple of demons bent on his destruction.

The plot: The story revolves around Nicomodeus, his place in the prophecy, and the reasons for his dyslexia. Because of the prophecy, the fact that he wound up being a cacographer makes his life dangerous as some would have him killed. But there's more to the prophecies than most know, and though much of it is hinted at by the end of the first book a lot is left unexplained.

Summary: In all, I think this was a very good beginning for the series. The magic system is unique, the characters are interesting and have room to grow, and there's a lot of back story and mysteries that have yet to be explained. This is definitely a book I would recommend.

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