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Spellmaker
Spellbreaker #2
by Charlie N Holmberg
47North, $14.95, 301pp
Published: March 9, 2021

Dead wizards, stolen enchantments, and broken promises force a young spellbreaker out of the shadows in the next thrilling installment of the Spellbreaker series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

England, 1895. An unsolved series of magician murders and opus thefts isn’t a puzzle to Elsie Camden. But to reveal a master spellcaster as the culprit means incriminating herself as an unregistered spellbreaker. When Elsie refuses to join forces with the charming assassin, her secret is exposed, she’s thrown in jail, and the murderer disappears. But Elsie’s hope hasn’t vanished.

Through a twist of luck, the elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey helps Elsie join the lawful, but with a caveat: they must marry to prove their cover story. Forced beneath a magical tutor while her bond with Bacchus grows, Elsie seeks to thwart the plans of England’s most devious criminal—if she can find them.

With hundreds of stolen spells at their disposal, the villain has a plan—and it involves seducing Elsie to the dark side. But even now that her secret is out, Elsie must be careful how she uses the new abilities she’s discovering, or she may play right into the criminal’s hands.

After the events of Spellbreaker, Elsie is exposed by her adversary and arrested as an unregistered spellbreaker. Bacchus manages to get her released from prison with a story of their engagement and that Elsie had only recently discovered her talent. Elsie and Bacchus  must secretly hunt down the murderer while keeping up appearances of both their engagement and Elsie’s novice status as a spellbreaker. Acquiring new allies they are getting closer and closer to finding the murderer and bringing them to justice.

Listed as a duology this book brings an end to Elsie’s adventure while, truthfully, leaving a bit of a door open for yet another entry. We learn some things about Elsie’s past while others are tantalizingly touched upon but not resolved.  Even though we want to know how all of the characters fare when they do not have a murderer breathing down their necks this duology is an entertaining and satisfying entry in the fantasy field.   Highly recommended ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For more titles by Charlie N Holmberg click here

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