Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Review: Nightspell by Leah Cypess

Nightspell by Leah Cypess
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication date: May 2011
ISBN: 9780061957024
Source: Library

Darri has never forgotten her promise to come for her sister Callie.  Four years ago, Callie was sent to Ghostland to be the wife of the prince, but it broke Darri's heart to let her go.  Now, her chance to save Callie has come, but Callie has changed over those four years and has secrets and motivations Darri can't imagine.  Can Darri outmaneuver the wily Ghostland courtiers, both living and dead, to bring her sister home, or will it be too late for both of them?

Things I Liked:
I really liked the world in this book, the two kingdoms Cypess created.  It felt a lot like Robin McKinley's in The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown.  I loved how developed it was and how real the two different kingdoms felt.  Ghostland was interesting and unique - I loved the customs and the way they dressed and how different the culture was from Darri's culture.  That was one of my favorite aspects of the book, seeing how it was for these people to go to a new country and culture and how they dealt with it.  Also, the mysteries and secrets and twisty revelations compelled me to keep reading.  I did see one major twist coming, but most of them surprised me quite nicely.  A fun courtly intrigue book.

Things I Didn't Like:
I admit I had a hard time with how characters suddenly had certain pieces of knowledge.  The surprises that they revealed did not really logically flow from the information they'd received.  Either that or I just couldn't figure out how they had suddenly deduced who had done what, etc.  I don't think enough of the pieces were there for the conclusions to be drawn logically.  And I wasn't entirely satisfied by the ending.  I think that was done on purpose, but I still felt rather let down by it.  But I enjoyed it while I was reading and fell in love with the world.

The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

s-factor: !
a few here and there

mrg-factor: X
mostly implied

v-factor: ->->
some rather gruesome details and deaths

Overall rating: ****

It's reading books like this that remind me just how much I love plain old fantasy.  What books remind you of your "first love" genre?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I really liked Mistwood but the ending depressed me. I got this one because I do like the author's writing but if the ending depresses me on this one too, I'm so done reading her books!

  2. Hm, I'm not sure you will be entirely happy with the ending, but I don't think it is depressing :-)


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