Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Spellcast by Barbara Ashford

Barbara Ashford's Spellcast Cover

MY RATING:  5 of 5 Stars

I finished this lovely book at 12:45am last night, and I am embarrassed to tell you how emotional I was by the end of the story.  It actually kept me awake a long time, as I pondered what might lie ahead for these very engaging and, in the case of Rowan MacKenzie, charismatic, characters.  Yes.  I admit it.  I fretted.  Over fictional beings.  But isn’t the whole purpose of writing to make the reader care?  I think it is.  And I think Barbara Ashford did just that, so the book rates very high with me.  I don’t give out 5 stars very often.  The plot line & characters have to be quite strong, and even more importantly, the writing must be very, very good, if not downright lyrical.

I will confess that I wasn’t sure when I first started reading.  I like musical theater probably more than most, but since I’ve never acted, I’m not particularly drawn to the behind the scenes things like stage direction, set building, and so forth.  It was interesting, but for awhile, I was wanting to get away from it and move on with the main focus, namely Maggie & Rowan.  However, Ashford was not to be rushed.  And it turns out she was right to build her foundation slowly and surely.  Gradually, as the theater’s productions became a metaphor for what was really going on in this tale, I began to enjoy even that part more and more.  And when the action finally began to pick up, I was very glad I hadn’t let anything, even the plethora of characters whose names I was barely keeping straight, stop me from continuing. 

I will confess, I love reading about a tortured, tormented, and angst-ridden man, and I don’t think they come any more so than the enigmatic Rowan.  Who and what he is puzzled Maggie to the point of near obsession, and I felt the same way.  I’ve read plenty of urban fantasy, so I had drawn my conclusions as to what he was early on, but I wanted confirmation.  And I wanted to know the whole back story.  It unfolds bit by bit, sometimes excruciatingly slowly, but unfold it does.  And it brings with it some of the most emotional and drama-packed love scenes I’ve ever read.  I was elated one moment, heartbroken the next, and desperate for resolution the entire time.  All I can say is, I was crying through the last 30 or so pages  of the book, and as I said above, sleep didn’t come easy last night.

If I had one negative thing to add, it might be that Maggie’s “daddy issues” were a bit overdone for my taste.  But they certainly factor into describing who she was and what kind of baggage she was carrying on her shoulders, so I don’t know whether it would have helped to tone that down a bit or not.  It certainly wasn’t a big enough problem to spoil my enjoyment of the book in any way.

If you like your love stories a bit less sugar-coated than some, and with plenty of interesting side stories to round out the cast, “Spellcast” is probably just what the doctor ordered.  I found I couldn’t even wait to get to the store today to pick up a copy of the sequel, “Spellcrossed,” so  I downloaded it onto my Kindle and started reading right away.  I even put my long-awaited copy of “Odd Apocalypse,” received yesterday,  on hold until I finish this second book, and for me, that’s something.  I had been counting the days to get that one and catch up on what’s happening with Oddie.  That’s how wrapped up in this story I am, and how eager I am to read more.

One more note.  After having read several very poorly written books in a row, it was such a treat to open the covers of “Spellcast” and find solid story telling and good writing,  with no noticeable errors in grammar or spelling.  What a relief.  But that’s a post for another day.  Suffice it to say, this book was good on every level, and I hope to enjoy many more stories from Barbara Ashford.

So what do YOU think?

Spellcast

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit.  If you are enjoying  my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know!  Thanks!

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “Spellcast by Barbara Ashford

  1. Susana on said:

    As always, Marcia i love reading your reviews 🙂 i’m so glad you enjoyed “spellcast”. And i couldn’t agree more with what you said. Rowan character, at the moment is way up on my number one, favorite all time character. I just adore his strenght of character.
    I’m looking forward to read your review on “Spellcrossed”. Happy readings!

    Like

  2. Hi, Susana! Thanks so much for stopping by. I love to hear from you.
    Yeah, Rowan struck me as pretty special right from the start, and became more so as the book progressed. I actually thought Maggie was a bit hard on him now and then, though I understood why. But he was just so heartbreaking in his loneliness and exile. *sigh* I can’t wait to get far enough into Spellcrossed to find out more, and of course, you know where MY wishes would lie, regarding what Fate might have in store for him.

    Tonight, I will be keeping one eye on my Kindle and one on the tv for the Olympics…and I will be looking pretty silly, while I’m doing that, too! *grin*

    And Happy Reading back to you, as well!

    Like

Let Us Hear From You!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

KathySteinemann.com

Resources for Writers, Short Fiction, and More

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

INDIE AUTHORS, RESOURCES, BOOK PROMOS, SERVICES, PLUS MORE

bookwraiths.wordpress.com/

Books! Where are the great books?

ALWAYS WRITE

at home and abroad, new bloggers, writers, photographers experiment with me - enthusiastic - persistent - encouraging

Mostly Blogging

Practical solutions and established strategies to improve your blog. Suggestions that will make a difference.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Dream-protecting author

Story Empire

Exploring the World of Fiction

D.G. Kaye Writer

Thoughts on writing, life, writing tips, live laugh love

Lemon Shark

Navigating the Uncharted Waters of Life

DAKOTA DONOVAN

Hollywood Ghostwriter

Nicholas C. Rossis

Award-winning, dream-protecting author

Judith Barrow

Writer & Author

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

carsonrenomysteryseries.com

'Life is cheap - make sure you buy enough'

Shelley Wilson

I Write. I Read. I Review

booklovercircumspect4

A lovers review of everything books. Come for the reviews, stay for the pictures!

Archer's Aim

The speculative fiction of P. H. Solomon

Rosie Amber

Book Reviewer, Avid Reader and Bookworm. Campaigning to link more readers to writers. People do not forget books that touch them or excite them—they recommend them.

To Breathe is to Write

My World of Words

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Mama Bear Musings

Thoughts and Writings that have been Hibernating in my Mind

Skye Hegyes

Mother, Author, Blogger, Creative Enthusiast

Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Callum McLaughlin

"The stories we love best do live in us forever."

The Write Stuff

"Writers Helping Writers" with Marcia Meara & Friends

Joanne Clancy

Writer of Killer Thrillers

elements of emaginette

Anna Simpson's blog for new writers

Crime Writer Sue Coletta

Inside the mind of a crime writer

deborahjay

Mystery, magic and mayhem

A Random Harvest

What we are making, thinking and doing . . .

%d bloggers like this: