Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: Spellweaver by Claire Bridgeman

Spellweaver (The Spellweaver Chronicles)
By Claire Bridgeman
Publisher: CJ Bridgeman
Published: October 20, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

Felicity Lucas never really knew her mother. Even though they had lived together for all the fourteen years that Felicity had been alive, they had barely even had a meaningful conversation. It was a relationship that was far from perfect. 

So when her mother dies in a car crash and Felicity is sent to live with her estranged father in a deprived London borough, she is determined to move on. It isn't easy - content with her solitude, she's never had 
friends before, but the most popular girl in her new school won't leave her alone and she's forced to attend counselling. To make things worse, it's obvious that her father doesn't want her around. 

It is only after she discovers a book of spells and is attacked by a strange boy who can conjure flames in his hands that she starts to realise that her mother was far more than what she seemed. She had a great many secrets, secrets that promise to thrust Felicity into a terrifying world of magic and straight into the path of beings who are determined to destroy her... 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Felicity Lucas’ mother has just died and Felicity goes to live with her father whom she barely knows. Sent to a boarding school while living with her mother, she tended to keep very much to herself. On the first day at her new school however, she meets Hollie, one of the most popular students who sticks to “Fliss” like glue. Suddenly Felicity comes to realize what it feels like to have a friend for the first time.

This is a lovely fantasy story with more than one theme. One of the themes is the importance of friends and family. I like that Ms. Bridgeman brings this important theme into her novel in such a natural way.

Hollie helps Felicity to settle in at the new school, and since they share all the same classes that makes it easy. Since Hollie is a non-stop chatterbox, even though Felicity would rather be alone, at least she doesn’t have to talk much. Gradually Hollie starts calling Felicity her BFF and Felicity begins to share things with her that she’s never shared with anyone before, and finding that it feels good.

When things start to get weird and Felicity sees one of the students hold flames in his hands, and then disappear from school, and then the school counselor has her deceased mother’s journal and threaten her in the hallway at school, Felicity is glad she has Hollie and her twin brother as her friends.

I liked the element of mystery with regards to the school counselor. He really didn’t act like a school counselor and you had to wonder what was going on with him. He seemed rather sinister.

There are a number of plot twists in Spellweaver and Felicity learns quite a few things about her parents and herself that she never could have imagined in her wildest dreams. I thought this first book was a good beginning for the series which is to follow. It does a good job of giving the backstory to the characters and developing their personalities. I did find the ending to the story a little abrupt though.

I enjoyed Spellweaver and I will definitely be on the lookout for Book 2 of the Spellweaver Chronicles.  I gave this novel 3 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author who provided a copy of the novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Claire Bridgeman is a secondary school English teacher living in Norwich, England, with her husband, their 1 year old daughter Pearl, their black fluffy cat and the fly infestation currently inhabiting the conservatory. She has written many books but it was only in 2013, at the age of 28, that she felt her work was good enough to be thrust upon the general public. She thinks it’s an awful shame that there isn’t more creative writing in the current education system of the UK and believes that every child should be encouraged to explore the wondrous depths of his or her imagination through an artistic medium.

Bridgeman loves all things fantasy.  Bridgeman hopes to tell human stories as much as fantasy ones, stories that deal with common, everyday themes and feelings like love, loss, grief, friendship and bullying. She wants to explore human emotion and experience using the fantasy genre, and with urban fantasy in particular, she feels that she has found the place to plant her stories and watch them grow.

In the Works:

Look for the sequel to Spellweaver to to available in June 2014.

Author Links
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