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At Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a whole pile of books as presents, though due to my Children getting ill over the festive season, just stuck said books in my bookcase and thought no more about them.
I managed to get around to these books in the new year, with this book practically throwing itself at me, though I think this was more due to the colour of the colour than anything else!
The book in question is - "Spells, a new kind of faerie tale by Aprilynne Pike".
The story starts with a young girl called Laurel, standing in front of her old house, a cabin in front of a large forest.
She is panicking about seeing a boy again that she has been avoiding for months, this in part due to the fact she maybe in love with the boy, but is also in love with her boyfriend David, sounds straight forward.....nope, because as the book title suggests this is far from being easy!
Laurel discovered last year that she is in fact a faerie, one that for some reason was placed with a human couple when she was seven years old, but as she had her memory altered at that time, she has no recollection of her years before that age.
She has now reached the age of education (faerie years anyway) and has been summoned to attend the academy in Avalon ( a mystical faerie world accessible through a heavily guarded tree), for her education, she is far behind the faeries her own age due to her living in the human realm, but as she is a "fall" faerie (she blooms in the fall!), she is a quite rare faerie, and they are needed to help produce medicines for all the other faerie population, a task that the lesser "spring" faeries cannot achieve.
On top of this she is still having flash backs to a run in with a particularly vicious troll named Barnes, and though she has once drove him away, she is sure he will return to finish the task at hand.
Will she be able to defend herself against more powerful beings?
This book was pretty much as I had expected before reading it, and even though this really isn't what I would consider my sort of book, I still quite enjoyed it!
The story pretty much revolves around the stop start romance between Laurel and faerie guard Tamani, with it feeling very much like a teenage angst type story, interspersed with faeries, though it does give it another depth when comparing the so-called perfection of Avalon with Laurels normal human world and all that goes with it.
There is very little violence, no bad language or sexual content, so have decided that I have no problems with my daughter borrowing this after this review is finished! (She has read the Twilight series and found that enjoyable, and this book is a slightly more insipid version of that!).
The story is told from the third person perspective, so much of how Laurel feels about her current situation is lost in translation, which I feel would have added a little something extra to the story, also the fact this is actually the second book in this series (the first being wings), meant that I needed all the characters being re-explained, though with how the story is told this was sufficiently done without to much interruption to the flow of the book.
This to me is a children's book wrapped up for an adults enjoyment, the same way many of the newer vampire books have been, never the less this was an enjoyable, if somewhat light read.
Price wise this can be purchased for around the £4.00 mark on www.amazon.co.uk, or if you have a "books workshop" nearby you, can be purchased as part of a "3 for £5.00" deal.
Thanks for reading x
In the sequel to Wings, a year has passed for Laurel who found out that she was a faerie. Although she completely accepts who and what she is, she refuses to turn her back on the life that she has always known, her life with human parents and friends. This is causing a few problems in Avalon as Laurel really needs to learn what it means to be a real faerie and Tamani begins to show his true feelings.
After spending the whole summer relearning her magic in Avalon, Laurel knows she cannot hide her feelings for Tamani but actually choosing between him and David could mean losing one of them for good. Laurel also knew that the troll problem wasn't completely gone but she thought that she and David were being protected. Her magic hasn't been going very well so far but it could save both the human and faerie world if she can finally get something right.
As I said in my review of Wings, I couldn't wait to start on this book and I ended up reading it in one sitting. The story was both interesting and exciting at different times which was helped by the mix of settings throughout. I really liked the fact that the book is pretty much split in two. The first half seems to be more about knowledge and explanations while the second half is all about adventure and excitement. I know this could seem like there is just a slow build up but there was enough going on for me to stay interested.
With Laurel heading off to Avalon for the summer, we get to find out a lot more about her relationship with Tamani and what happened between them before they erased Laurel's memory. I loved hearing about their past, meeting Tamani's family which gave me a bigger insight into his character and also what the other faeries thought about the relationship. I was hoping for some of this in Wings but I'm glad it was saved for this book as it was possible for certain things to be explored more thoroughly. The time in Avalon was lovely to read about as Pike's descriptions were magical in themselves. I truly felt like I was walking through the different areas and could understand the faerie hierarchy better because of this.
It is stated in Wings that Laurel was sent to live with humans for a reason but it is never specified and the same goes for this book. It's obvious that she is a whole lot more important than anyone is letting on which is easily seen by how others act around her or look at her when she is in Avalon. I'm hoping that this part of the story is cleared up in book 3 instead of making readers wait until the very last instalment to find out what is really going on.
In both Wings and Spells, I felt that the chemistry between Laurel and David was lacking but this wasn't the case with her and Tamani. While Laurel is unsure about who she should be with, it is clear to me that she is extremely drawn to Tamani and nothing seems to get rid of the feelings she has for him. The small amount of time that they actually spend together proves that there is so much chemistry and could be passion between the two. I'm personally routing for Tamani to get the girl.
The very last chapter sees Laurel finally making a choice between David and Tamani and for me, the most exciting in the whole book. The way the story was left made me want more immediately because I am dying to know what happens next. Just when I though things were finalised, the very last paragraph changed everything. Luckily, there are going to be a total of 4 books in this series and I know I will be buying #3 as soon as it is released.
All of the main characters really come into their own in Spells. I hate to see characters left with hardly any development but everyone changed enough to convince me that they were real, with the events of both books taking a toll on their lives. It seems as though every little thing was taken into account when writing these characters, not leaving any stone unturned when it came to what they were feeling about everything.
Not only does this book explore the relationships between Laurel, David and Tamani but also her relationship with her parents. I felt like these parts of the book were written so well that I could believe in what was going on. Laurel's mother and father have different views on their daughter being a faerie and I can see both of their reasons being realistic. It would be only natural to act differently, in both good and bad ways, towards someone you have known for years when they suddenly change.
I loved Wings but I loved Spells even more. There was enough of different aspects in the story to keep it entertaining with a mixture of paces and it made me feel for the characters so much more than the first book. I'm dying to know when book 3 is going to be released. It will be one of my most highly anticipated releases.