Sunday, March 26, 2023

Review: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Male/Non-Binary Young Adult Fantasy Romance 
Spell Bound cover
ISBN: 9781665916226
Release Date: April 4, 2023
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.

Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, Rook minds less and less.

But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.

Grumpy meets sunshine is only the beginning of the fun in Spell Bound. F.T. Lukens’s tale of magic, rebellion, and coming into one’s own is engaging, interesting, and wholly entertaining.

Rook is a genius but that doesn’t help him after he’s cut off from magic with the death of his grandmother. He wants to belong and is so lonely it broke my heart. He goes to the office of Antonia Hex, a rebellious and incredibly powerful sorcerer, and asks for a job. Antonia sees something in him and agrees and to take him on, bringing Rook back into the world of magic he’s been so desperately missing. Now all he has to do is keep his invention – the Spell Binder – secret because it would land he and his boss in a world of trouble and upset the control the Consortium has over all magical society. Oh, and he has to keep his cool around Sun, the apprentice of Antonia’s frenemy, Fable. The latter isn’t easy because while Sun is grumpy and prickly, they also make Rook want to swoon. But then something goes wrong and Sun and Rook have to figure out a way to save their mentors and themselves before magic is cut off from all of them forever.

In Spell Bound, Lukens creates a wonderful world of magic that is interesting and well-rounded. I loved learning about the magic, the rules, and those that rebel against the Consortium. Discovery is what makes this book so entertaining so I can’t say much without spoiling it. We see different sides of magic, from the mundane to the extraordinary, and it’s wonderful. The different facets made me want to stay in this world longer, to learn more through Rook and Sun’s eyes.

And speaking of Rook and Sun, our protagonists are at the heart of the book and they are a delight. Rook is eager, brilliant, and sweet in a way that charmed my socks off. Sun is talented, inquisitive, and – despite their prickly, antisocial exterior – kind. Rook throws them off their stride, but I loved their relationship and how it grew over the course of the story. The two of them fit perfectly and there were times I simply melted as their feelings for each other grew. Spell Bound is filled with magic, discovery, challenging gatekeeping, and finding your own power. I truly enjoyed it from beginning to end and I cannot wait to revisit this story again.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.