TheEagerReaders Violet's Reviews > Spells

Spells by Aprilynne Pike
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May 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: faeries, fantasy, fiction, read-in-2010, romance, series, young-adult
Read in May, 2010

More Tamani, more David, more romance, and more Avalon! Second books do not always live up to the first, but I liked Aprilynne Pike's Spells even more than Wings. Spells begins six months after the end of the first book and follows Laurel into Avalon as she learns more about the faerie realm and her own Fall faerie abilities. The trolls still pose a threat, and new mysterious characters enter the fray. The love triangle becomes more intense, and Laurel is caught between the intriguing faerie world and her more familiar human life.

What I Liked:
- I loved learning more about Tamani's family and his life in Avalon. I adored Tamani in Wings, and Spells definitely made me love him even more. Tamani's unwavering devotion makes him feel like the Gilbert to Laurel's Anne. And who can resist their Gilbert? I really enjoy his character, and I am eager to see what the rest of the series has in store for him.
- David remains sweet and thoughtful, and it is easy to see why Laurel is increasingly fond of him.
- The class system among the faeries adds an interesting element to the story, and I look forward to seeing that explored further. The seasonal class distinctions remind me a little of the house-elf situation in Harry Potter, and I am glad to see that Laurel's unfavorable attitude toward the faerie's cultural hierarchy seems to be setting that up to become a major plot point in the next two books.
- Although I didn't always approve of Laurel's choices, I did find them believable. It is fairly difficult to pull off a love triangle between three perfectly nice people & keep all of them likable, but I think Spells managed that challenge quite well.
- Another enjoyable aspect of the love triangle is that neither boy is extremely domineering or pushy. There is no 'bad boy' romance here. Both guys are kind and loving, and both genuinely care about Laurel and encourage her to make her own choices.
- I didn't really want this book to be too action-packed or too focused on the conflict with the trolls, and it wasn't. Instead, much of Spells is focused on Laurel's changing relationships with the people she cares about most - her parents, David, and Tamani.
- While a few elements of this story are reminiscent of other books, the characters are charming in their own unique ways and their relationships are compelling enough to place this on my "read again" shelf.
- Spells receives automatic bonus points for a brief mention of The Princess Bride. ;-)

What I Wished:
- The second book in a series of four nearly always has a cliffhanger ending, but I wish a few more mysteries had been resolved (or at least more fully revealed) before the end of Spells.
- While I loved learning more about the faerie realm in this book, the scenes in Avalon occasionally seemed to slow the pace of the book. A few of the descriptive scenes seemed overly thorough.

Readers who enjoyed Wings will definitely want to pick up Spells! This series will appeal to fans of love-triangle-driven YA fantasies like Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Readers who like relatively innocent YA fantasies, such as Jaclyn Dolamore's Magic Under Glass and Amy Brecount White's Forget-Her-Nots, will also want to pick up Wings and Spells. I look forward to reading the next two books in this series! :)
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