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Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Review: A Season of Spells
A Season of Spells
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Sophie and Gray return to London, escorting the heiress of Alba to meet the British prince to whom she is betrothed. Sparks fail to fly between the pair and the marriage alliance is cast into further doubt when the men who tried to poison King Henry are discovered to have escaped from prison. Gray sets off to track the fugitives, while Sophie tries to spark a connection between the bride and groom by enlisting them in her scheme to reopen a long-shuttered women's college at Oxford. Many may believe that educating women spells ruin, but in the decaying college library lies the key to protecting everything they hold dear-as well as a dark secret that could destroy it all.
I've completely and utterly loved this trilogy since book one, and I've been super exciting to see how it's all going to turn out. The writing is always completely gorgeous and authentic and really pulls you in, and the settings are vivid as well as atmospheric. The world and characters are original and interesting, the plots are always complex and have multiple threads woven in. The characters have depth and are intriguing and you can relate to or sympathise with them.
So I was gutted to find myself a bit disappointed with this book at certain points. But before I get to that, I'm going to talk about everything I loved!
So, we're three years on from the last book and we're back in London! I am forever loving Sophie and Gray, they're adorable and such a good team! I kinda wish we got to see more of the two of them together! I completely and utterly love Gwen, she's one of my favourite characters, she's completely brilliant and I liked getting to see more of her in this book! I also really love her relationship with Jo although I was a bit disappointed by some implications but maybe I misread. Jo is tricky for me, because she has a tendency to bug me when she acts like a sulky child. Whenever she gets left out of things she genuinely acts like a sulky child and it bugged me last book and in this book it got to the stage where it was annoying and a bit ridiculous because you'd think after three years she'd have developed a bit more as a character. I might be wrong but I felt like she was a bit dismissive of Roland who was her friend in the last book.
I completely loved finally getting more page time for Roland and Lucia! I've always been intrigued by Roland and I loved Lucia in the last book so I was excited to get to know her. I feel like Roland really comes in to his own in this book and becomes a stronger character, more badass and you understand him way better. He was also kind of adorable at some points. As for Lucia I loved her as much as I loved her in the previous book! She's such a badass, and she's intelligent and brilliant and aaahh she's another of my favourites!
Lucia and Roland are quite the pair and I really loved their interactions. I shipped them so much it wasn't even funny. I was a bit worried it'd end up being the same as Sophie and Gray's romance or similar but I actually liked the contrast and the difference between the two relationships. Roland and Lucia really don't get on much in the beginning, they don't have the same interests and things are a bit awkward between them, so I really enjoyed watching them get to know each other and the romance develop that way.
This book is kind of a continuation from Lady of Magick. In the second book we end up in Alba, which was great and I enjoyed getting to see a new part of the world and meet these new characters, but I had been expecting it to continue on from LoM more in the sense that we'd be in London and things would be wrapped up with some characters. That happens in this book. Unfortunately the ever unpleasant Amelia is back for this book, on the one hand I get her. I can see how and why she feels like she does and I don't really blame her. But on the other hand....she knows what her father did but she's so in denial. I've always found her an unlikeable character, but I was pleased to see her change in this book and grow up a bit. Things with her, and the traitors and Roland and everyone where wrapped up. I'd been so excited to see Sophie navigate her new status and bond with her siblings but that didn't happen in book two, buuuttt it was nice to see some of that in this book.
The other thing I was pleased with was getting to learn aaaalll about Lady Morgan College. It was such a great mystery, and a huge point of intrigue. I was so curious and coming up with all of these theories, and I was kind of disappointed it took so long after it was introduced for us to finally get to it and solve the mysteries. I feel like it could have been done a lot sooner, but there was a gap and it was there at the end. I'd have liked to have seen more of it and explored it more.
There are once again, plenty of plot threads that come together including some from the previous two books answering pretty much all of the questions we had. I do feel like some of these threads could have been utilised a bit more, and as much as I hate to say it...I do feel like the ending was a bit rushed. It was all going well, things where happening and I was looking at how many pages left like...there's no way this can be wrapped up in like 20 pages....but there's not another book...and then it was all wrapped up and tied up and I was like...um...okay. I just felt like the ending was a bit rushed and could have been expanded a bit more. It genuinely felt so rushed, and I'm fairly sure some plot points weren't resolved, but I'd need to re-read all the books to confirm. I'm just devastated that this is the weakest book of the trilogy in my eyes, and that the ending was so rushed. There's a pretty big gap of nothing in this book too, and considering that, it's even more disappointing that the ending had to be rushed.