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Spellwright (Spellwright, #1)
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Spellwright (Spellwright #1)

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  2,688 ratings  ·  329 reviews
Nicodemus is a young, gifted wizard with a problem. Magic in his world requires the caster to create spells by writing out the text... but he has always been dyslexic, and thus has trouble casting even the simplest of spells. And his misspells could prove dangerous, even deadly, should he make a mistake in an important incantation.

Yet he has always felt that he is destined...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Tor Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Robin Hobb
What if magic demands absolute accuracy in how your spell out the spells? What if the wizard is dyslexic? An absolutely brilliant debut novel!
Jason
5 Stars

I just finished this amazing book and need a bit of time to digest all that I took in. This was one of those rare gems that slowed me down to take my time and read each and every word.

Sure this book plays out a coming of age story that has been done so many times before, but it found a way to be fresh, to be literate. It is really funny that a book that is called Spellwright, is about a young man that misspells, yet it is written in a way that makes everything about the books' words seem...more
Stacey
I wrote a nice pithy review of this... in my head last night, right before I went to sleep. I might have had a dose (or two!) of Dayquil in me, and we all know how a little of the good stuff enhances creativity!

Sadly, the entire review stayed in Dreamland, so you're stuck with the usual not-entirely-relevant kind.

This book was good. I liked it.

Just kidding. That's not my real review. GOTCHA! {--- might still be the Dayquil. Apologies.

Spellwright got off to a bit of a slow start for me. The fi...more
Jonathan
Oct 03, 2011 Jonathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
It's very rarely now that an original fantasy novel arrives and this is what Spellwright is. It's an incredibly original story focusing on a world where all magery is controlled by the casting of runes and language. Throughout the story the magical power of language is explored and the idea that various forms of magical languages exist proved fascinating. I hope the sequel proves as interesting as the debut in this series because if it does it will prove a worthwhile read. And while I lack the t...more
Terri
Sometimes when I’m having a more daydreamy day than normal, I imagine that I can fling my magic at someone who frustrates me like water out of a squirt gun. In Charlton’s debut novel, you really can fling magic at your enemies.

In the fantasy-appropriately named academy of Starhaven, great wizards conduct magical research, and apprentice wizards train in the magical languages. Wizards trained in magical languages can forge spells in their arm muscles and propel them out into the world to serve th...more
Ashley Schroeder
I really liked this book. Lame, Fourth-Grade-Book-Report opening, I know, but I really DID like it. I think I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did because a lot of it was derivative (as most fantasy tends to be in some way, like I have said in the past). This whole Magical Institution of Higher Learning thing is getting kind of old to me. And Nicodemus? Really? COME ON, that is an old rat from NIMH and sounds like a name the guy from Gentlemen Broncos would've made up. Plus, the plot s...more
Tracey
I was very disappointed with this book. The premise had great potential - I always look forward to books that branch out to new ways of handling magic. However, it seemed to me like the author did not fully consider how his magic system would work. It alternated between being just another version of old role-playing style spell casting and being almost an analog to coding (ala Wizard's Bane).

The plot line was interesting, and the world intriguing, but the characters were never fully fleshed out...more
Sandra (I don't read, I devour.)
You remember those books you read as a kid that truly excited you, made your imagination fly and made you believe that anything, no matter how unlikely was possible? This book is like that. I got this on a loan from a friend... AKA my library lol. Not only is this an astoundingly good first novel, it's the first one in a long time that makes me feel better about the human race in general. The imagery of this book is absolutely beautiful. Imagine taking words OFF the page as glowing glyphs and us...more
Cris Pender
Finally a book written a dyslexic person for dyslexic people with a dyslexic hero.

Spellwright is an amazing book about overcoming the hero's disability and struggling to accept and fight against a world that thinks he is destined for only one thing.

Yet Nicodemus Weal stands above the rest and fights convention just like the author of Spellwright...
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

An epic young adult fantasy with a modern and creative twist. A humorous and mildly scary hero’s journey, this book is perfect for smart youngsters from tween-age into ancient adulthood.

About: In a fantastical world where spells are created from magical languages, the main character Nicodermis is a trainee in the skills needed to create these spells. He believes himself to be an insignificant part of a bigger picture. There is a big problem with his sp...more
Jo Anne B
I couldn't believe that this was the author's first novel when I read the afterword. His biography is a phenomenal success story. Having overcome dyslexia and to graduate summa cum laude from Yale is fabulous. Now he is a third-year medical student teaching creative writing to medical students? Nico, is that you? I didn't even know there was a class like this in med school. It seems like Blake Charlton is living his fantasy.

The magic in this book was one of the most creative that I have ever rea...more
Jo
I wish Goodreads had half stars, I would give the book 3 ½ stars.

I wanted to love it but I couldn’t quite get there. I understand that it’s the author’s first novel, as well as being the first in a trilogy. The book got better as it went along so maybe the following books will be better. I did like this one well enough to know that I’m going to find the next one and read it.

Nicodemus Weal is a student at the magical academy of Starhaven, where students are taught how to use magical languages to...more
Justin
I tried so hard to like this one. Charlton has built a unique world on the back of novel magic system, and by the time I got to the end I was actually ready to dive into the next one. However, a host of mundane problems with the pacing made it a bit of a slog for me.

Spellwright introduces Nicodemus Weal, a student in a far-flung magical academy called Starhaven. The arcane runes studied at Starhaven are not just the means to casting spells; they are the spells, themselves. Magical words are pain...more
grellian
Probably I should not be so frank, but the first thing that caught my attention in the description of “Spellwright” (besides the cover art – majestic!) prior to actually reading it was, quite unexpectedly, the author’s biography. It is a rare feat to successfully combine writing fantasy fiction with the demanding life of a medical student (seriously, how does Blake Charlton manage?), and even more so to overcome dyslexia.

In fact, it should not be surprising that the main character himself suffe...more
Aidan
This is an excerpt, for the full review please visit my blog, A Dribble of Ink:

It’s obvious from the very early pages of Spellwright that Blake Charlton is a child of late-eighties and early-ninties Fantasy. It’s full of dastardly villains, righteous youths and hidden destinies. Like contemporaries Brandon Sanderson and Peter V. Brett, Charlton is doing his damnedest to bring back the type of fantasy where the good guys are good, and the bad guys are bad (barring a few genuinely surprising twist...more
Ryan Burt
1) Rating - 4 out of 5 stars. I was going to give it a 3 and 1/2 but then the author actually twittered me when I said I was reading his book. That’s worth a half of star right?

2) Genre - Fantasy

3) Synopsis - Spells are cast using words. What happens if you can't spell? There is no way you can be the child of prophesy right?

4) Feelings - I heard about this book and it sounded interesting. The author suffered from severe dyslexia and this book seems to be a fantasy version of that scenario. My pr...more
Aimee
This story has all the workings of most fantasy series, in that there is a young boy who is embroiled within a prophecy and must go on a journey in order to save the world. What makes this a completely stand-out story, is the completely original concepts that the Author has used with regards to the types of magic used, not only in the way the characters manipulate their magic but also the constructs within the language that is used. Language is the focul point within this story and yet the main...more
Mary Robinette Kowal
This is a strong opening to a new fantasy series which takes the power of language literally. One of the things I most enjoyed was how complete the worldbuilding is and the many different cultures that populate the novel. Nicodemus is a deeply sympathetic character whose cacography (think of dyslexia but with magical ramifications) not only keeps him from being able to cast spells but also makes it difficult for him to even handle magical artifacts. Too often a character is given a disability wh...more
Trish
Blake Charlton has created an original world of fantasy where the ability to spell determines how well you're treated. In the Starhaven Academy, those who cannot spell correctly are labeled, taught a different curriculum, and rarely ascend the scholarly ladder of success. Many forces are at work to destroy our hero, a mispeller, and many are willing to help him if it also fits their agenda. We come to the end of the book, dazzled by the textual battles and buzzing with the discoveries made. I'm...more
Anu
I completely enjoyed this book! usually, when the author is setting up the new universe and getting things rolling, the momentum takes a while to pick up... To say this was untrue for this work would be a euphemism. I got completely bowled over by the premise... and the nouns are completely fantastic - as is the language and vocabulary. Maybe I found the sudden dynamism of Nicodemus' character toward the end a bit abrupt - but that would be asking for perfection :) I totally loved this book and...more
Karla Mata-soto
This made me feel better about my dyslexia. I love it.
Blodeuedd Finland

My Thoughts:

What was great about this book was that Nicodemus was "dyslectic". When he tried to write his magic he misspelled and the spells often become something else. This is called cacography and those who are afflicted are thought as broken and also dangerous since their magic can be out of control. The author used own experiences as he is dyslectic and created a wonderful tale about a wizard who can't write spells. It certainly brings that something extra to this book, the hero has flaws,...more
Justin
http://staffersmusings.blogspot.com/2...

Sometimes a book's title says it all. Spellwright. Spell means to write in order the letters constituting a word. It also means a verbal formula considered as having magical force. Spell in these two cases is considered a homonym because they share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. Wright or write or right or rite all mean something different but sound the same. They're called homophones. A wright is a person that co...more
Andrew Liptak
Blake Charlton‘s Spellwright is a fantastic, entertaining entry into the genre that has been fairly well received throughout the lit world, and for good reason. Charlton has put together a wholly original fantasy novel, changing up a couple of familiar elements, then replacing them in a familiar environment and letting the story go from there.

The story’s plot is probably the weak point in the entire package, but to be very honest, that’s something that I’m more than fine with – the fantasy story...more
John
I read this book while recovering in hospital following surgery on a broken leg.

When unable to sleep at night due to pain and the painkillers doing a complete lack of any pain killing, this book completely took me away from that (so Blake: 1 - Opiate Based Painkillers: Nil).

That should be strong enough recommendation for anyone but if I was to apply a little more of a critique; this book did rely on some pretty standard fantasy tropes prophecy, demons, wise masters, young boy learning of his des...more
Ole Imsen
Charlton is quick to get the reader into the story. And he is also quick to introduce a central mystery that is
both interesting and intriguing. The mystery part of the story is presented to us in the first couple of chapters, and while this seems pretty ordinary at first the setting makes it something else entirely.
While the story at times can seem predictable, there are several layers of complexity added as it progresses, and it takes several turns that I didn't expect. It is not an especial...more
Mieneke
When I first started following the book blogosphere seriously, back in late January of this year, one book that was receiving a lot of buzz was Spellwright. Once the book was released in the US in March and reviews started coming out, it soon came apparent that it would constitute a major #bookfail not to read this book. So when I spent some of my birthday money at The Book Depository last month, this book had to be part of my birthday loot.

I’m a librarian, so a magic system based on text is cer...more
Jacob Proffitt
Nicodemus is dyslexic, a real problem when wielding magic requires meticulous spelling (at least, in most of the spell traditions). Besides this one limitation, however, he's also quite capable and really pretty powerful.

Here's the thing: I had a hard time putting this book down. You really feel for Nico and his friends and the threat to their home. There's intrigue and betrayal and trying to chart a moral path amidst impossible choices. All good stuff. So the story was excellent and it would ha...more
Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I. Black99
What caught my attention about Blake Charlton's debut novel "Spellwright" was the really beautiful designed cover of the book. I was intantly intrigued by it. And I must say, I was definitely not disappointed. I know people say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But I do think having a nicely designed cover can also help people take more notice of your book. A what an exciting, entertaining read "Spellwright" was.

Blake seems to have a way with words that really grips you and doesn't let y...more
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1916427
Blake Charlton overcame severe dyslexia at 13 years old when he began sneaking fantasy and science fiction books into special ed study hall. Somehow this inspired Blake to become a novelist and a physician, but he's feeling much better now. Thanks for asking.

Recently Blake graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine and published SPELLWRIGHT and SPELLBOUND, the first two books in th...more
More about Blake Charlton...
Spellbound (Spellwright, #2) Spellbreaker (Spellwright, #3) Unfettered Seeds of Change

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