Spellmaker: Spellbreaker, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A Wall Street Journal bestseller.
Dead wizards, stolen enchantments, and broken promises force a young spellbreaker out of the shadows in the next thrilling installment of the Spellbreaker series by the bestselling author of The Paper Magician.
England, 1895. An unsolved series of magician murders and opus thefts isn’t a puzzle to Elsie Camden. But to reveal a master spellcaster as the culprit means incriminating herself as an unregistered spellbreaker. When Elsie refuses to join forces with the charming assassin, her secret is exposed, she’s thrown in jail, and the murderer disappears. But Elsie’s hope hasn’t vanished.
Through a twist of luck, the elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey helps Elsie join the lawful, but with a caveat: they must marry to prove their cover story. Forced beneath a magical tutor while her bond with Bacchus grows, Elsie seeks to thwart the plans of England’s most devious criminal - if she can find them.
With hundreds of stolen spells at their disposal, the villain has a plan - and it involves seducing Elsie to the dark side. But even now that her secret is out, Elsie must be careful how she uses the new abilities she’s discovering, or she may play right into the criminal’s hands.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 34 minutes|
|Author||Charlie N. Holmberg|
|Narrator||Elizabeth Knowelden, Noel Arthur|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 09, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #10,712 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#9 in Gaslamp Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#62 in Gaslamp Fantasy (Books)
#139 in Historical Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2021
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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I enjoyed the ending of this story, but felt it was rather rushed. The climax and resolution both seemed flat and stilted, although it’s possible if this has been a stand-alone novel with both parts included, I would not have found anything lacking. It was nice to see Ogden’s character fleshed out as he is freed of his magical compulsion, and we meet some other great characters in this installment. But again, their presence is hemmed in by the constraints on the plot development.
The first novel was a real treat, but I definitely feel this series would have benefited from either having the two parts merged, or by extending it to a third book.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the copy of this ebook. These are my free and honest opinions.
I’m so disappointed.
Like another reviewer has mentioned, the pacing and character development felt all wrong this go-around, and wasn’t nearly as complete as the first book. I’m left wishing this had been a trilogy rather than a duality because for as much time as we’ve invested in getting these characters to the final battle, it was all over in a mere few pages and the finality lacked the “fairy tale” ending that Elsie refers to so much in this book. Not to mention, the addition of new characters who were asked to help move the plot along and who were deemed trustworthy to the reader in a paragraph. However, in a book full of magic and everyone-isn’t-who-they-seem, you expect me to trust this person just like that? Eh, it just wasn’t believable.
Final thoughts: it’s not as good as the first and the ending doesn’t feel nearly as rewarding as I would expect after reading two books but it wasn’t bad. 3 stars
For those who hadn't read book one yet, I encourage you to check it out. In short summation, the story takes place in an alternate Victorian England where magic abounds, and there are spellmakers (those who can cast spells) and spellbreakers (those who can unravel them). The series follows Elsie Camden, an unregistered spellbreaker.
Book two is a continuation of book one, and it's difficult to talk about it without any spoilers, but I will try. The events of the previous book lead to Elsie being revealed as a spellbreaker, and follow her as she has to navigate the legalities and trouble relating to that, all the while trying to solve the mystery of a murderous spellmaker at large: what that person wants, why, and how to stop them from committing more murders and crimes. We find out more about her past and how she came to be an orphan, which was a fascinating development. We also see her relationship with Bacchus Kelsey grow, and we see some of the minor characters from book one come more to centerstage, making for a much more interesting, richly developed cast of characters. Holmberg does an excellent job at keeping the reader up to speed with what happened in book one, so that the reader never feels lost, all the while keeping the story of book two moving along seamlessly.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and was incredibly sad when I came to the end. I had sincerely hoped the duopoly would turn into more than that, but it was a great way to end things. The character development was outstanding, the world building rich and colorful, and the action was well-paced. I loved how the characters grew, and loved learning more about each of them. It was exciting, enthralling, and just plain FUN to read. Definitely a satisfying fantasy story.
I highly recommend this book, and give it five out of five stars without reservation.
Top reviews from other countries
The writing is pretty terrible and would have earned a poor review on its own, but the content is atrocious too.
I gave this a one star for two reasons
1)the author's fixation and fetishization of one character's skin colour. Near every scene he is in mentions his race,skin colour and how everyone else is white. The Author even tries to create an "inside joke" where his ethnicity is misidentified by a townsperson as Turkish and then his love interest intentionally tells others that he is Turkish.
2)The protagonist's mentor discussed how he used his mind control powers to coerce people into unwanted homosexual relationships. The author handles this revelation by having the protagonist say SHE forgives him because she's been lonely and understands how it feels. Nothing about the rape victims, and a whole lot of wierd homophobic mentality on display in needing to make a storyline about a gay man coercing straight men.
If you’re British/European, you’ll find the American language really annoying - even more weirdly, one of the plot points dealt with American and British English used as a clue! Bizarre. Why do American writers spend lots of time researching Victorian England (to the point of describing fashions, old fashioned language etc) and then use “gotten”? Or “go sleep”? Or color? It’s so unnecessary and distracting, just get a couple of UK proofreaders! I find it deeply frustrating that American audiences must just never realise that other cultures are different to theirs. Please do better, authors and publishers.
As I said in my review for book 1, this is a book to consider for a cold dark evening when your brain is tired and it just holds on to a 3 star rating.
The world and characters are still as charming as ever, and the magical dilemma and its resourceful solutions are also still fantastic! A lot of questions are answered, and the series comes to a close with a well-deserved happy ending for our imperfect but loveable cast of characters. Two of the revelations in the series were rather easy to guess, so the author may have made the hints a bit too on the nose, but their resolutions still had enough surprises in store.
The only notable complaint, really, is the hollow feeling this final novel leaves behind. It would have been better if the series was either a longer single novel without the extra complications that necessitated a second installment, or if it was a trilogy in which important character and plot developments are given enough time to unfold in order to feel more earned. Holmberg's fabulous and original take on a magic system seemed under-utilised in two short novels, and it would have been great to explore the world and grow alongside the characters in a series with a longer timeline and a tighter plot.