Full Title: “The Seventh Spell (Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales)”
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale
Length: Novella (219 pages)
Release Date: February 5th, 2014 (so close, and yet so far!)
Future availability: Paperback (Amazon.com) and eBook (Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com)
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Back of the book blurb:
A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many
casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos.
Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba,
and the rest of magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchantment
before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been.
The Seventh Spell
Book Three of The Wilderhark Tales
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An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast;
A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell;
Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk –
All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.
You’ve heard the stories –
of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel;
of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball;
of frog princes, and swan princes,
and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.
Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.
Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.
Well, I can honestly tell you that there was a lot of good in this book. A lot. The characters, just as in The Stone Kingdom, were awesome. I loved every single one of them, and I loved even more that we met characters that were clearly from tales that we’ve heard of before, but we actually got to know them. Gant-o’-the-Lute was by far my favorite character in this one. His acrobatic skills along with his outgoing personality made for a very fun character to read about, especially during his rescue of the king, which I can’t tell you guys much about without revealing entirely too much.
As usual, Shipley’s writing style is phenomenal. To bring the characters and the story to life, she utilizes a touch of humor while still (somehow) retaining the seriousness of the situations. Much of the conversation is blown out of proportion in a way that, while completely inappropriate for our own time and place, feels very natural and perfect for the time and fairy-tale-like (I mean Wilderhark, of course) setting.
I do not have many things to say about mediocre-ness (is that even a word?). The one main thing that I felt was that, similar to what I said in my review of the first one, the book passed by entirely too fast. I could have used more adventure, more difficulty in Rosalba’s searches for the ones she is looking for. Why, Villem didn’t even really have to search. Gant-o’-the-Lute showed up to him and he did not even have to rescue Edgwyn from the castle or any other such adventurous item. I did quite enjoy the book, but I could have used so much more. As I understand it, this is a novella, along with the other two books in the series. I believe if Shipley elongated these books into novels, they would be much richer with adventure, tension, and even character emotion. But that’s just my opinion.
I think my only big complaint about The Seventh Spell is that, despite the fact that the characters have aged somewhere around fifteen years (I know it says in the book, though I can’t quite remember the number) since The Stone Kingdom, they do not appear to act much older to me. That’s not to say that they never act any older, but for the most part, they appear to be the same age that they were in the last book.
This last complaint, of course, is minor in the whole scheme of things, because Shipley’s The Seventh Spell was a fantastic book. A little too short (I just wish there was more!) but fantastic all the same. While there were many character viewpoints that could be considered confusing, Shipley brought everything together with her unique and humorous writing style, adding an element to a rather serious event that most authors would not think to add. It was a fun read, though as I’ve mentioned several times, I think these books would be better as longer works and perhaps the characters weren’t represented quite as they should have been. But I still highly recommend it. Even if you have not read the previous books (though I suggest those as well) you should read it. Seriously.