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3.38  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In the summer of 1914, Jane Fairchild, a young English musician, is kidnapped by magic and sent to Spellhaven, an island city ruled by magicians. Here, peace and prosperity are maintained with the assistance of Unseen Spirits bound to the service of the Lords Magician. The Spirits must be kept in good humour by the performance of all kinds of shows, dance, drama and music ...more
ebook, 274 pages
Published August 17th 2017 by Mirror World Publishing
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Average rating 3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  21 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Farah Mendlesohn
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first read this as an MA novel (in a class where I made everyone write one before we even started the sessions). I loved it then, and having reread it this week, I love it still. I've waited a long time to see it in print so I can enthuse about it to you all.

Jane is a musician, a flautist, when she meets Lucian Palafox, who tricks her away to Spellhaven, an island in the mist where the spirits must be appeased with entertainment. Spellhaven is a Morrissian fantasy of music, dance, theatre and
Tonja Drecker
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
(Note: This starts with a normal YA read style, characterization and plot, although Jane matures in the last chapters.)

This magical world lures in and adds exciting twists and tension with every turn.

After completing a musical performance, Jane is approached by a strange man who insists she play a solo performance for him. She declines and finds herself put under a spell, which makes her feet act on their own and lead her to a magical island, Spellhaven. There, the magicians perform shows to kee
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
The way magic is used in Spellhaven's plot makes the basis of the storyline unique. Lords Magician, as they are called, kidnap people with significant talent in varied forms of the arts. These singers, musicians and artisans of every kind are kidnapped by the use of magic and sent to the island of Spellhaven. Spellhaven is home only to the various clans of the Lords Magician, the artisans and the Unseen Spirits. Once at Spellhaven these artisans are used for the sole purpose of appeasing and ent ...more
Regan Macaulay
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Spellhaven" is an example of expert, well thought out world-building to the point where I hope to see sequels set there in future! The characters are at times admirable and engaging and at other times infuriating—aren’t we all. The story itself has been well summarized by a number of other reviews here, so let me just say that it’s very much like a period piece within a period piece…or perhaps, a period story with a high fantasy story wrapped inside it. Sandra Unerman has achieved a difficult t ...more
Cashew Nut
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This book offered a unique magical world. Magic was controlled by spirits and the inhabitents need to keep them happy through performances and the arts. The main character, Jane, was kidnapped and brought to Spellhaven so that she could perform for the spirits.

I really enjoyed how the story took no time to get started. I liked Jane's character early in the book. She was angry and had her own agenda. However, as the story progressed, I disliked her attitude more and more. The way the story is wr
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Several reviews have already summarized this book quite well, so I will just give you some of my impressions. In the first third of the book we meet Jane, a girl who definitely has a mind of her own. She is magically coerced to make a journey on foot and by boat to Spellhaven- her feet moving against her will towards her destination.
Jane is very angry and resentful at her abduction to Spellhaven, especially towards Lucien, her "abductor". This eventually develops into the inevitable love/hate r
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
An intriguing premise. Jane, a flautist, is spirited away to Spellhaven where the spirits of the city have to be entertained to keep them sweet. Talented musicians, actors, entertainers of all kinds are brought to the city, signing contracts for a limited period (the choice is to get thrown into Spellhaven’s jail for longer than the contract runs for). Jane signs up for longer than the minimum term on condition that she’s taught magic. She wants to force a duel on the magician who brought her to ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-f
I give this book the two greatest compliments any book can get: I stayed up much later than I intended reading the book to the end, and I could not stop thinking about it after I had finished it. The world-building here is fantastic, the main character, Jane Shepherd, is a powerfully realized person, one who keeps making decisions I profoundly disagree with but whose journeys and struggles I followed avidly. I love the creepiness and dangerousness of the spirits/fey beings that the human charact ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gill by: Farah Mendlesohn
I read this when Farah Mendlesohn linked to her review here. I thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the first two-thirds. I did feel the later stages were a little rushed, covering almost a decade in much less than the space given initially to two years. However, the writing is excellent, the world-building compelling and the characterisation superb. Utterly absorbing.
Lila Diller
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bingo-2017
The setting was almost a character in itself, and it was really intriguing! However, I was very upset with the last third of the story. :( And it was NOT a happy ending, in any way! I can't recommend it, unless you love depressing endings.
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