'Writing for me is not about speeling, grammar or punctuation – that’s why we have editors.... No, writing for me is the ability to capture a story and put it in words.' - Fantasy Muse

Friday 27 December 2013

To Cast The First Spell (The Maestro Chronicles)

My next review is To Cast The First Spell (The Maestro Chronicles) by John Buttrick.


Book Description

Daniel Benhannon has finished building his cabin near the peak of Mount Tannakonna and is ready to leave home and invite Val Terrance to be his wife. But the simple life he hopes for is changed forever when he inadvertently casts a spell so powerful it draws the attention of the Grand Maestro of Aakadon and the dark Maestro Tarin Conn. The two powerful foes sense a change in the balance of power and both of them intend for it to be in their favor. Daniel wants nothing to do with either faction but must learn to master his newly discovered potential before the forces sent looking for him destroy his family and friends and every person living in the remote village of Bashierwood. But to master his potential he must learn from an Accomplished. To save the village he must accept help from Talenteds sent by Efferin Tames, or surrender to Tarin Conn. To seize control of his life he must set his priorities and arrange his chores accordingly.

My Opinion

The book follows Daniel as he realises his potential as a spell caster. The problem is that as he unearths his gift, it draws untoward attention.

As far magic books go I really enjoyed this book. The magic system was different and unusual from the others I've read.
 The spells in this story are formed by music, and the level of intricacy of the tune represents how powerful the spell is. So, basically to be a proficient spell caster you have to be a good musician - which of course our hero Daniel is. He also has a rare, unique talent in that he can create his own spells. And this is what sets him apart from other magic users.

I also liked the idea that spell casters strength were determined by how many bolts they had tattooed on their shoulders. Simply put, the more bolts they have, the more powerful they are. 

The story was told in quick pace and I finished the book in one sitting. The action scenes were written well and kept me hooked.

Some of the cons:

  • At times it felt like Daniel was just too powerful. Whenever he was in danger, all he had to do was think of some tune and he would create a spell that would get him out of it. As a result, it lacked any kind of suspense or tension.

  • There was quite a few names that were compressed into long paragraphs. It just felt little clunky to read smoothly and I had to slow down my reading just to keep on track of who was who. However, it says a lot about this book if this is one of the worst faults I can find.

  • One last point - I paid about £3.00 for this book which was just about 200 pages long. Personally, I felt a little short changed and I would have liked it to be, say, a hundred pages longer. 


If you're looking for a magic book with a unique twist to it then give this book a go. I've already bought the next two in the series. 

Out of 10 Stars:

7 Stars


Buy it here:

Saturday 14 December 2013

Silver (The Silver Series)

Next book up on Fantasy Muse is Silver (book 1) by Cheree Alsop.

Front Cover


Silver, book one of The Silver Series, is a coming of age story about a teenage werewolf whose father is murdered. He has to come to terms with his new life, new school, and new friends while trying to stop a killer. Attempting to make peace with the territory’s pack and falling in love make his new situation even more perilous. 
A fresh new werewolf series, Silver is fast paced and exciting, and shows that with love, there truly are no limits.

My Opinion

From the blurb and the numerous glittering reviews bestowed upon the book I decided to read it and it also helped that it was going for free.

The book isn't long and I finished it within the dat.Truthfully, I didn't enjoy the book. I'm still scratching my head at all the 5 star reviews on Amazon and wondering if I've read the wrong book. From start to finish I just couldn't get into the book.

This is a story about werewolves and our main character is Jaze, a teenager that has just transferred to a new city and consequently into a new school. As you can probably guess the usual cliches were all there - nerdy friend, school bully, and the pretty girl. 

I actually like cliches when they are done right, but this wasn't one of those times. The storyline was pretty dull and all the characters felt hollow. The writing felt simple. Too simple for my taste.

I also couldn't understand the plot between Jaze and his love interest Nikki. At the start of the book she had a boyfriend, who of course was the school bully, but the author seemed to gloss over that part as they pursued a relationship. It only took a couple of chapters for them to be madly in love. I did keep reading, waiting for the part where Nikki would actually mention the fact that she had a boyfriend but nope didn't happen.

All-in-all I was eager to finish the book. But for all the wrong reasons.


I'm happy I didn't have to pay anything for the book. The author does have a series of books with werewolves in them but with different cast of characters. I don't think I'll be buying anymore of her books, however, saying that I have just browsed through her other books and their story-lines seem much more interesting. So maybe it's a case of picking the wrong apple from the barrel.

Out of 10:

4 Stars 

Buy it here: