Nicodemus is a young, gifted wizard with a problem. Magic in his world requires the caster to create spells by writing out the text . . . but he has always been dyslexic, and thus has trouble casting even the simplest of spells. And his misspells could prove dangerous, even deadly, should he make a mistake in an important incantation. Yet he has always felt that he is destined to be something more than a failed wizard. When a powerful, ancient evil begins a campaign of murder and disruption, Nicodemus starts to have disturbing dreams that lead him to believe that his misspelling could be the result of a curse. But before he can discover the truth about himself, he is attacked by an evil which has already claimed the lives of fellow wizards and has cast suspicion on his mentor. He must flee for his own life if he’s to find the true villain. But more is at stake than his abilities. For the evil that has awakened is a power so dread and vast that if unleashed it will destroy Nicodemus... and the world.
‘Spellwright’ by Blake Charlton has been on my radar ever since Aidan from A Dribble of Ink revealed the US cover. As far as memory serves he took great liking to it and had quite a few posts about it. But I became obsessed in the needy semi-depressing way to acquire it in my possession after reading the interview Aidan conducted with Charlton. I got acquainted with the premise, which is unlike anything I have ever seen. Not to brag, but I have a knack for secondary worlds and as a concept ‘Spellwright’ is complex and innovative.
100 pages in and I am not disappointed. ‘Spellwright’ exceeded whatever expectations I had about it. The writing is a balanced blend between scholarly and lyrical, which is all the while enthralling and kept me scrolling pages on the screen. I imagine that this is further enhanced by the world building, which surpasses the novels in this genre I have read prior. The magic languages, the anatomical methods of casting and the text constructs are alien to me in the good way and I want to gobble down as much as information as possible. Plus Blake has brought back the academic back in the Academy with sophisticated ideas, regarding the magic system.
I imagine that the young man that must have a prophecy fulfilled is a tad derivative in this genre, but this all a matter of priorities. I place world, prose and characters first and well plots, dues ex machine devices, themes and messages fall behind. I am content with what I have read so far and for a debut it is fantastic.