Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: Lavinia Thompson's "Spellbound By Fire" Spellbound Book #1

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 560 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
Review Copy Courtesy Of:  The Author, Lavinia Thompson, in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis Courtesy Of Goodreads:

The Spellbound series starts off with Spellbound by Fire and flows into the sequel, Spellbound by Swords. The basic theme of the series is that abuse of all kinds is intolerable, unacceptable and most of all, the cycles of violence can be broken by those who have been victimized by it.

Spellbound by Fire follows the haunted journey of Janey Black, a young witch who loses everything when the witch hunters, who call themselves the Black Guards, terrorize the village of Tia Justace, where she lived with the aunt who raised her, Olivia. Olivia is executed, leaving Janey to fend for herself. She has never been outside of the village and is desperate. 

Synopsis Courtesy Of The Author's Blog:

Never again: those were the two words every innocent witch waited to hear after the nefarious Black Guards took over the country of Nevermore, savagely hunting and torturing witches for 35 years. Twenty year old Janey Black never thought they would rip through the little village of Tia Justace, but they did just that.

Spellbound is an adult fiction novel that explores the cycles of violence against women and the lives it affects. Janey loses everything she has ever known in one day when the Black Guards execute the aunt who raised her, after making a fateful promise to her aunt Olivia that she would never give up. She finds herself alone until she is rescued by chance by a witch rescuer named Shane and taken to a witch refugee camp. Soon, Janey is helping rescue tortured witches from the infamous Warbeck prison and learning the truth behind her own past from Jill, an old friend of her aunt’s. Janey discovers the legacy her aunt left in helping create the series of underground tunnels and portals that saves the lives of women and children everyday right under the noses of the Black Guards. Through the agony of torture and bloodshed she is shown the humanity of love and kindness; how it is the key to breaking the cycles of hatred and violence. Even in Billy Eagle, the man she loves, there is a child who never got to grow up, his own innocence shattered after witnessing the death of his mother as a seven year old. They both find themselves stranded, with only each other to count on in spite of their reckless flaws.

Through the despair and hopelessness that seems to hang like a black cloud over Nevermore, Janey needs to find a way to survive and live on through her aunt’s lasting and impacting legacy, to find the day when the two words would be the one thing to bring down the Black Guards… Never again (

Saph's Review:

The above synopsis' from Goodreads and the author's website sum this book up most excellently. 

Janey is a 20-year-old living her life in fear of the witch hunters that have taken over the land.  She has lost many loves ones to hands of the Black Guards who torture, rape, and kill women who are accused of witchcraft; good or bad.  She witnesses and endures treatment that no one should ever have to but still goes on today - domestic abuse - abuse by the hand of a loved one - assault by strangers - destruction of self-worth - corruption of the moral code - etc.  I actually just read a story on Yahoo! news about a family accused of killing a family member they accused of being a sorcerer.  Here is the link:

This novel is extremely riveting and is completely revolved around domestic violence in the form of Salem-like witch hunts that include falsehoods made against them, torture, and the eventual murder by fire, drowning, or bleeding out.  I became completely engulfed in Janey's story, wishing I could climb inside my iPad and help her and those who were being abused.  Janey loses her only surviving family member (her mother was killed by the Black Guards when Janey was young), Aunt Olivia, when the Black Guards arrest both Janey and Olivia.  In order to save Janey, Olivia confesses to something huge with the agreement that Janey goes free.  After being forced to watch Olivia burn at the stake, the Black Guards take Janey to the river, tie her up, and toss her in to drown.  She is rescued by Shane, a man associated with one of Olivia's long lost friends, Jill.  Janey is then nursed back to health in a secret compound and is schooled in the ways of protection, rescue, and in magick.  During this time, Janey is reunited with a lost love, helps put an end to the ways of the Black Guards, discovers who her father is (I wasn't really expecting this--kudos to the author), and endures loss, pain, verbal and physical abuse, and loneliness.

Spellbound By Fire is intense and very descriptive.  The plot is solid and the characters are believable (remember--I wanted to hop into the iPad to help them).  I tend to read several books at a time (I take really good notes of each book as I but I pushed them all aside as soon as I began reading this.  I admire Janey for her strength through this entire chapter in her life.  She is a very strong heroine who seeks out to find a way to stop the violence and help the survivors to go on-much like a women's shelter would do.  I absorbed every emotion Janey had from sadness to anger, from anger to grief, from grief to relief, and love.

The only part I had a hard time with was the beginning of Chapter 1 (the first 5 pages).  There were too many people involved without enough speaker identification.  I had to reread them a couple times to figure out who was who and who did/said what.  After that though it was smooth sailing.

This is a must read!

Please note:  Due to the topic involved, there is violence, rape (not graphic), torture, and murder prevalent in this novel.


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