Friday, 19 June 2009

Spell Fall, by Katherine Roberts

2007 Chicken House
236 pages
Children's, Fantasy

Cushions: 3/5
Tissues: 2/5
Overall rating: 5/5

The more I read, the more preconceptions are shattered. (Potential small spoilers here).

Unicorns: peaceful, horse type creatures, with a horn on their forehead. Usually white or a pale silver. I didn't put them as near-bloody thirsty creatures who (possibly) enjoy spearing the enemy in battle.

Thankfully the unicorns are on the same side as Natalie, the heroine of this tale. Following her mother's death, her father, despite remarrying, draws within himself. Natalie's step-brother does little to create a relationship. Thankfully Natalie has Jo, the daring friend who's ready for anything. It's on one of Jo's early morning escapades that sees Natalie forcibly kidnapped by the lunatic she'd met earlier at the recycling bins. He'd muttered about spellclaves, and about her familiar. Itsy is her pet spider, but it doesn't do anything. Yet the man thinks it can be used against her, especially when he brings his pet hawk into the equation.

Unfortunately for Natalie, the man, called the Hawk isn't a lunatic. He's an evil minded so-and-so who wants to destroy Earthaven, a magical place which Natalie's mother came from. His son, Merlin (unfortunately not possessing phenomenal magical power like his namesake), roped into helping catch Natalie, hates what his father does. With Natalie's help Merlin gains courage to escape from the house in the woods where they are imprisoned. However, they aren't safe in Earthaven, for his father has a plan: with the mysterious project Raven he'll destroy the soultree which is the source of magic in Earthaven.

This is a wonderful tale of good versus evil. No character in Spell Fall gets through to the end without changing (except perhaps the Hawk) for the better. What made this more enthralling for me were the unusual names of all within the magic world, the form (and hilarious character) of Natalie's true familiar, the way Natalie's broken family pull together to search for her. I was in fits of laughter when Merlin's familiar talks. A good HEA fantasy, with scope for a sequel (if there isn't already one).

Check out Katherine's other books here

Like this? Try Chosen Sister


Danyelle L. said...

This looks awesome!

Nayuleska said...

It is. Plus I've been eyeing up her other books without realising!