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Spellwright - Blake Charlton I wrote a nice pithy review of this... in my head last night, right before I went to sleep. I might have had a dose (or two!) of Dayquil in me, and we all know how a little of the good stuff enhances creativity! Sadly, the entire review stayed in Dreamland, so you're stuck with the usual not-entirely-relevant kind. This book was good. I liked it. Just kidding. That's not my real review. GOTCHA! {--- might still be the Dayquil. Apologies.Spellwright got off to a bit of a slow start for me. The first several chapters were a bit immature and just a little bit too Young Adult Fantasy. (It's the classic "Am I Special? or Not Special?" protagonist.) I might have put the book down at that point, had it not been for an enthusiastic recommendation from a friend who actually reads, and having the opportunity to go see Charlton at his author event at Powell's bookstore. He talked about the construction of his magical system at some length, and I found it both interesting and entertaining. The magic in Spellwright is indeed unique - the most succinct description I've seen is (moderately spoilery) that he takes the science of living organisms and constructs a fantastical magic system out of it. It kind of taps my geeky buttons. Win one for fantasy fiction. Not to say there aren't weak spots, such as the immature tone of the opening (which improves as the story continues,) as mentioned. Also, to borrow a bit of shop-talk from my writer friends, there's a LOT of info-dumping. It's done mostly in a storyteller's voice, kind of "Once upon a time" style (which I like, being a fan of fairy tales,) and lots of it is in that "I'm going to explain it to you" type of dialogue, so even that flowed fairly well. I did notice it though, and usually I don't because I don't consider myself to be that critical a reader as long as I can stay in the story. That seems to be a basic problem with creating a new fantasy world, if it's significantly new or different, the author has to do a lot of, well... contructing... which can either be done by describing things quickly, (almost) directly to the reader, or by taking the long route and dribbling the world out over 1500 pages. I have to admit, I occasionally get tired of having to read a thousand pages of world-building just to get a hundred pages of story. Spellwright delivers mostly story amidst the explaining.I'm not even sure why I'm writing down these complaints, because the bottom line is that I really liked the story, read it in every spare minute, ignored my poor husband and made the dogs wait for their walks, which is the best measure (for me) of great storytelling. And the sequel, Spellbound is definitely in the reading queue for very soon.