Sunday, June 12, 2011

Book Review: Nightspell

Media Type: Book
Title: Nightspell
Author: Leah Cypess
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: Hardcover; 336
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Source: Publisher/TBS
Intended Reading Group:
Young Adult

Content Screening:
Mild violence

HDB Rating:
4 Keys to My Heart

Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.

Darri's sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister . . . if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?

What do I say about Nightspell? First of all, reading this further affirms that Leah Cypess reigns among the masters of fantasy world-building. When I first read Mistwood I was enthralled by the dark beauty that was the Ghostland. The thin line that separated the living from the dead was fascinating. So when I dove into Nightspell I was excited, as I should have been. Cypess takes the reader back to her fantastic world, but this time there are new characters to meet and fall in love with. For those you who have read the first story, you'll find that there are some characters present who you will recognize. However if you haven't had a chance to dive into the Mistwood, you don't need to be worried. Nightspell is a very solid stand alone novel.

I was really impressed by Darri, the main character, and how much I really fell in love with her. I'm always smitten when I meet a strong, fiery and independent character, and Darri fits the bill perfectly. Her willingness to break rules, her fierce love for her siblings, it all adds up into a character that I can really get behind. I'll admit that I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to know Callie better as well. She kind of hid out in the spotlight of Darri. In fact a lot of the characters were slightly shadowed by her. It wasn't enough to take me away from my love of this book, but I'm hoping perhaps we'll see more of them so I can get to know their personalities as well! 

I loved the action sequences in this book. It is fast paced enough to be completely engrossing, without loosing you along the way. The undertones of romance are enough to sate the needs of the reader, without overtaking the entire story, which I also really appreciated. On top of all of this, there is a beautiful web of deceit woven throughout the story. I was never quite sure who was on what side, or who would jump teams next. The thin line I mentioned between the living and the dead pops in Nightspell, as Cypess shows us why these two factions are so tense.

Overall, I think was a fantastic story! The twists and turns, the characters, the beautiful world building, all of it created a gorgeous book that I devoured in one sitting. Lovers of fantasy will find a lot to love here, and if you're diving into this realm for the first time hold on tight! You're in for a ride, Leah Cypess style.


FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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