Spell Bound

S. & S./McElderry. Apr. 2023. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781665916226.
Gr 7 Up–Rook is a very relatable 17-year-old who readers can’t help but root for as he explores the magic that was lost to him after his grandmother’s death. When his mentor goes missing, the apprentice sorcerer must work together with his enemy-turned-friend, Sun. This is a charming and engaging story about finding your family when you feel out of place. The characters feel familiar and likable, and from Rook and Sun’s sarcastic banter to Antonia’s carefree attitude, it’s hard not to smile while reading it. This is an excellent tween/early teen book full of adventure, fantasy, and humor. For those who may struggle with science fiction and fantasy, it is an easy gateway into the genre without being overwhelming. Lukens makes it easy to get lost in the story without the constant worry of keeping track of worldbuilding or an influx of characters. Instead, readers travel along with the story and each piece of the puzzle is given as they need it.
VERDICT A simple but sweet story that would be a great introduction to fantasy books. Very worthwhile to have in any tween or YA collection.

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