A fantastic start to this duology... Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg (Review & #Giveaway) #yalit #fantasybooks #cleanreads #mustread @jeanbooknerd @CNHolmberg @AmazonPub

Welcome to my tour stop! I have yet to be disappointed by one of this author's
books. Read my thoughts on her newest and enter the tour giveaway below...

(Spellbreaker #1)
By Charlie N. Holmberg
YA Historical Fantasy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 300 Pages
November 1, 2020 by 47North


A world of enchanted injustice needs a disenchanting woman in the newest fantasy series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.

Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in. Working together, Elsie’s trust in—and fondness for—the handsome stranger grows. So does her trepidation about the rise in the murders of wizards and the theft of the spellbooks their bodies leave behind.

For a rogue spellbreaker like Elsie, there’s so much to learn about her powers, her family, the intriguing Bacchus, and the untold dangers shadowing every step of a journey she’s destined to complete. But will she uncover the mystery before it’s too late to save everything she loves? 


“…romantic and electrifying…the fast-paced plot and fully realized world will have readers eager for the next installment. Fans of Victorian-influenced fantasy won’t want to put this down.” —Publishers Weekly

“Those who enjoy gentle romance, cozy mysteries, or Victorian fantasy will love this first half of a duology. The cliffhanger ending will keep readers breathless waiting for the second half.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Powerful magic, indulgent Victoriana, and a slow-burn romance make this genre-bending romp utterly delightful.” —Kirkus Reviews

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

SPELLBREAKER is one of those historical fantasies that immediately draws you in to its creative world with a mix of grit and elegance, magical and nonmagical, fabulous characters, a steadily-building plot, and a touch of romance. This is one book not to be missed!

This book! It was so good!! I did not want it to end, or if it had to, I already wanted book two, SPELLMAKER, in my hands in order to continue the story. It's killing me that I have to wait three months! Thank goodness it's not a year. I loved this story so much that I could easily go re-read it again. Right now. Let's get down to the whys. . .

First, this book has a heroine who is easy to connect with and root for. Elsie is a complex, multi-layered character, as all the characters in this book are. She lives a simple life as an artist's assistant, but also secretly goes on missions for a group of vigilantes. She wants to find love and her happily-ever-after and yearns to be reunited with her family, but life has only ever given her disappointment and heartbreak. She goes on a bit of journey of self discovery, stretching herself and finding who she is and who her real friends are. She's also her own hero, which I loved.

Second, there's a dashing hero who is equally complex and multi-layered that is the perfect half to Elsie. Bacchus has been dealt a hard lot in life in many ways. He's not accepted very well in either of his homelands as his father was English and his mother was a native whom his father never married. Regardless, he has trained and fought for what he has and continued to fight for what was important to him in this story. He's big and imposing, as well as talented, loyal, and devilishly handsome. I loved the banter between Elsie and him and how their relationship grew to friendship and then attraction to something deeper.

Then there's this magical world and the ingenious plot! I figured some things out before the characters did, but I enjoyed going along with Elsie and Bacchus and experiencing this world with them. The author did such a fantastic job of not once info-dumping. I felt completely immersed in this world during the Victorian period in England, but as a bit different than we know it to be. I thought it was fascinating how there were four different magical branches for spellmakers and then the spellbreakers who were completely different. I loved the whole idea and how the author carried it out. I also really loved the romance. It had tension, wasn't instantaneous, didn't override the story, and was sweet. It was frankly a fun aspect of this story. I can see there's so much more coming and a more intricate plot than readers get from this first book. I'm so looking forward to watching it all unfold.

In the end, was it what I wished for? A resounding yes! I loved this story and would recommend it to fantasy fans, both YA and adult, for a dashingly enjoyable ride!

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through JeanBookNerd Tours, which did not require a positive review, but also own my own copy. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Spellbreaker #2)
By Charlie N. Holmberg
YA Historical Fantasy
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 302 Pages
March 9, 2021 by 47North


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 Wall Street Journal 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.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Charlie N. Holmberg is the award-winning author of the Numina series, The Fifth Doll, and many others. Her Wall Street Journal bestselling Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Charlie’s stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance. Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters, who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. She currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at www.charlienholmberg.com.


Tour Schedule

Tour-Wide Giveaway

- 2 Winners will receive a Copy of SPELLBREAKER by Charlie N. Holmberg
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends December 7, 2020

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