Thursday, March 5, 2015

BRT: The Seventh Spell by Danielle E. Shipley

Title: The Seventh Spell
Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Number of Pages: e-book
Rating: 4.5/5
Released: January 28, 2014

A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos. Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba, and the rest of the magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchantment before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been. 


It's no secret that I love Danielle Shipley's work at this point - or, I hope it isn't. The Seventh Spell is no exception to that flow - I'm still in love with the work and the characters .

And characters come forth in abundance in the third installment of the Wilderharks. Each has their own predicament, tale to tell, and skill that assists all of our beloved protagonists out of the situation they've found themselves in.

*Cough* Sula.

From the first page, the reader is unfailingly hooked - again. Shipley's skill to carry a story from project to project and keep the precise characterization, tone, and pacing consistent is still extraordinary. 

A few of my favorite things from this book include the fact she has still continued to offer nods of acknowledgement to fairytales of old, that each and every new character gets just enough time in the spotlight to become someone we care about immensely, and the idea utilized for the plot of this project in general. 

I really have no idea how she keeps making these riddles and songs. I'm starting to think she's striking deals with anarchwitches to have this kind of talent. I couldn't make a song or riddle like the ones in The Seventh Spell to save my life.

The settings and characters, again, are just fantastic. The plot is beautiful and well-executed.

And now, for the cons. This might be one of the first times I've ever had small complaints about her books, but they're minor indeed:

1. Pace. I stated earlier her pace is still consistent - and where it concerns how it spans across the books, it is. Yet I encountered a few issues when, especially near the end, it seems that there are still events waiting to occur, yet they're skipped in favor of going straight to the end. Since it's a novella, I understand there were constraints, but it still felt rushed
2. Lack of resolution in some aspects. At the very end it seems a few plotlines that had been utilized throughout the work were sort of abandoned (for example, Sula having a minor conflict with [spoiler - highlight to read] Sigmund and Edgwyn). Some of the characters also vanish - which is addressed in the next book, but was so open-ended in The Seventh Spell.
3. Lack of conflict. This kind of ties into the lack of resolution. Don't get me wrong. Conflict was abundant and wonderful in this book! Yet there are a few times when it seemed some characters should have argued/hashed things out, and they never did. Example: Sigmund and Sula didn't have enough conflict/resolution, nor did Aurabella or Cellodran.

Again, all of these points can be traced back to the constraints Shipley faced since this is a novella. The fact there were a few flaws doesn't detract from the work enough to come even close to saying, "Don't read it!" On the contrary, this book set so much into motion that I'm going to beg for people to read it.

Small flaws or not, it's fantastic. This book weaves together the plots of the previous books - something a lot of authors fail to do - and incorporate a half dozen new plot points in such a way that readers won't get lost or wonder who or what they're dealing with. Her writing flows as always. In the end, very great book, and worthy as the third installment of the Wilderharks. 

Formatting issues wouldn't permit italicization of "The Seventh Spell/Wilderharks" throughout the review. 

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