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Spellwright (Spellwright #1)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  3,828 Ratings  ·  422 Reviews

A 25 ans, Nicodème est l'apprenti de Shannon, mage linguiste de 200 ans. Mais sa cacographie, sorte de dyslexie magique, le rend suspect voire dangereux aux yeux de la majorité de la communauté magique de Starhaven. Lorsqu'un démon, Fellwroth, vient décimer les magiciens de Starhaven, Shannon et Nicodème font l'objet d'une enquête mais vont mener la leur en parallèle. Comm

Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Robin Hobb
Mar 01, 2013 Robin Hobb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if magic demands absolute accuracy in how your spell out the spells? What if the wizard is dyslexic? An absolutely brilliant debut novel!
Aug 26, 2011 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2011
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
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
Ok, Blake? Don't read this review. You're not supposed to be reading reviews on your stuff anyhow or something. I read that in a Book For People Who Want To Grow Up To Be Writers so...just don't do it.

Alrighty! Here's some backstory (this is going to be a long-ass review so if you're reading for any reason other than boredom, you'd be better off finding another 4-star review)
I had no idea who this Blake Charlton character was prior to June, 2012. He was at our big, ol' library conference, on a p
A dyslexic student struggles with linguistic magic. Nice idea, huh? Main protagonist Nicodemus is haunted by nightmares, finds the source of his disability, wins the cure and looses it again - all of that in the area of his magic school.

It is very unusual for me to pick up a novel classified as Young Adult. It may sound a bit arrogant, but I'm not in the mood to endure the typical tropes around those novels any more - immaturity, predictable plots, and simple characters. Two reasons motivated me
Oct 02, 2011 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Aug 27, 2013 Justin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Ashley Schroeder
Jun 21, 2011 Ashley Schroeder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 05, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Ryan Burt
Aug 11, 2011 Ryan Burt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cris Pender
Sep 11, 2014 Cris Pender rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...
Jan 25, 2016 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Upon finding Spellbound in the university second-hand bookstore, I knew I needed in on the Spellwright series. Unfortunately, book one was not to be found meaning I could not pick up the series there and then. Never fear, however, I was pulled in enough by the notion of the series that it didn’t take long for books one and two to be sitting at my bedside.

A magical world based upon words. A dyslexic protagonist. What’s not to love? Of course, I was going to be pulled in.

As soon as I could, I star
Dec 22, 2010 Tracey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Mar 01, 2010 Ingenue rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, arc
People talking talking talking about their magic involving words words words that are cast by talking talking talking which requires more talking talking talking and explaining As You Know Bob-style every exhaustive aspect of wordified magic ever to the people who don't know, a surprisingly high number of people among this supposedly wizardly bunch. This requires more talking talking talking. By the time the Big Bad gets around to gloating about the evil plan by explaining it in detail, I was al ...more
Jul 12, 2011 grellian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
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
Dec 15, 2009 Aidan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
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
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Nov 02, 2009 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys YA fantasy
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: Cara Powers
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
I wish Goodreads had half stars, I would give the book 3 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
Jo Anne B
Aug 31, 2011 Jo Anne B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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,
Apr 29, 2012 Aimee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 26, 2011 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 28, 2016 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-i-own
It took me a while to get used to this kind if magic. Forming spells with their muscles, it was different. And eventhough I studied English, I felt like I knew nothing at times. I probably should've looked up some of the unknown terms, but I guess I was too lazy. And the finally I got sucked into the story and I just didn't care. I only cared about what happened next! So yeah, I really enjoyed this book and I'm saving for the next two!
Mar 13, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
4.5 stars. A very interesting concept, and I was delighted that the magic system was well explained as well as incredibly nicely thought out. It requires the caster to spell words perfectly using runes -- and the main character is dyslexic, which certainly adds to the interestingness of the book. It built to a delicious climax, but the resolution seemed to just drag. It did set up the next book, but only in a vague, let's see where the story goes way. I still can't wait to read it.
Karla Mata-soto
Sep 26, 2014 Karla Mata-soto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This made me feel better about my dyslexia. I love it.

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
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Blake Charlton is now a proud dyslexic, but as a boy he hated the condition that kept him effectively illiterate. He learned to read fluently by sneaking fantasy novels into seventh grade special-ed study hall. Since then he has been (in no particular order) a JV football coach, an undergraduate at Yale University, bald, a high school English teacher, a chronically semi-employed writer, a special ...more
More about Blake Charlton...

Other Books in the Series

Spellwright (3 books)
  • Spellbound (Spellwright, #2)
  • Spellbreaker (Spellwright, #3)

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