Review: Spellbreaker (Spellbreaker Duology #1) by Charlie N Holmberg

I normally stay clear of duologies. For some reason they just feel unfinished and odd to me and historically I just haven’t enjoyed them as much as I have trilogies.

But how could I pass on this cover? There was no way I was going to pass on this one because that cover it too stunning to not pick it up and read it! Plus I know that this author has written another successful series (The Paper Magician) that I have had my eye on for so so so long.

I thought the book sounded like a quick easy read with a lot to recommend itself. I mean, how can I pass on magic during the month of October!? No way. The world sounded too rich and too interesting to pass on!


A world of enchanted injustice needs a disenchanting woman in the newest fantasy series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.

Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in. Working together, Elsie’s trust in—and fondness for—the handsome stranger grows. So does her trepidation about the rise in the murders of wizards and the theft of the spellbooks their bodies leave behind.

For a rogue spellbreaker like Elsie, there’s so much to learn about her powers, her family, the intriguing Bacchus, and the untold dangers shadowing every step of a journey she’s destined to complete. But will she uncover the mystery before it’s too late to save everything she loves?  (summary from Goodreads)


I really appreciated the way that the author incorporated magic into her story. While it wasn’t overly complex, it was still fun to read about and I though the author did a great job with the magical elements of the story and I think fans of magic and the supernatural will enjoy this one quite a lot. While it might not be a overly complicated world of magic, it’s no less full of adventure and excitement!

I loved Elsie’s character right away and I think that many readers will connect with her and identify with her struggles and her triumphs. I really loved getting to know here character and see her evolve throughout the story. This one felt like a teenage Austen novel with magic and I am completely here for it! I loved so much about this book and even though it’s a dueology, I am hopeful that the things that I loved about this one will continue into the next book, but in all honestly, I worry that I won’t want it to end after the next book.

As I said, dueologies always feel unfinished to me and as a reader I am just never ready for the world, story and characters to come to an end when I find that I love the first book such as this one. I would be lying if I didn’t have fears about this one. This first book was so solid and I loved it, but I am worried that the second book will feel unfinished but I am willing to reserve judgement until I read it.

This book was well written with interesting characters and a rich world of magic and adventure. If you love magic with a little romance and of course the Victorian era, then look no further. I adored this book and can’t wait to continue the dueology and I think I will go and check out the Paper Magician series too because I really loved the authors writing and storytelling style in this one.

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 300 pages

Expected publication: November 1st 2020 by 47North


Free review copy provided by publisher, 47North, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: magic, YA


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