*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author and Amazon’s Vine Programme. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A stunning fantasy debut, enter the unique world of the Spell Breathers.
Spell Breathing does not come naturally to Rayne – she loathes the hours of practice, the stacks of scrolls, and the snapping mud devils that cover her mothers precious spell book.
But it is spell breathing that keeps her village safe from the dreaded monster curse that plagues their world. It is ancient powerful magic, but as Rayne learns to her horror . . . it is also fragile.
In one clumsy move, the magic that keeps them safe is broken, her village is plunged into danger, and an incredible adventure begins . . .
Just like all of the great fairytales, The Last Spell Breather is both magical and terrifying.
The whimsy of breathing magic into words is balanced by the horror of spell books that bite, boneless guides and watching ones friends and neighbours turn into grotesque caricatures of the very things you tried to help them with.
Rayne is a very sympathetic character. Her feeling of being trapped by the weight of responsibilities and expectations, and her fears that she will be unable to meet those expectations and will be humiliated as a result of her failings, are very recognisable and familiar to anyone who was ever once a teenager!
I loved the worldbuilding in the story, and the interesting new take on using magic, with its own set of rules and consequences. Similarly the characters have so much potential and develop in exciting ways as the story progresses.
Along with the lessons about who to trust, responsibility, growing up and loyalty, there is plenty of intrigue, action and adventure to keep you turning the pages and anxious to know what will happen next.
This is a great book for adults, but will also appeal to magic fans from middle-grade upwards and I cannot wait to introduce it to Minishine, as I am sure she will enjoy it as much as I did!
Rayne swallowed. She reached forward.
Grotesque horns surged together forming a large spiky mound. It raced towards her shaking fingers. White teeth gleamed as Grotesque mouths gaped open, ready to bite.
‘No!’ Rayne shoved the book away. ‘They won’t bite me again.’ It slid across the table and shot over the edge. Mam lunged forward and grabbed it. The Grotesques ripped into her hands with teeth and horns, desperate to stop falling. She clutched the book to her chest and gasped. ‘Foolish girl! You must never drop the book. If it breaks… if the Spells break, it’s the end of us!’
– Julie Pike, The Last Spell Breather
The Last Spell Breather is available on Amazon right now!