Spellwright by Blake Charlton In a world where magic is literally spelled, dyslexia can have deadly consequences. Not only can the dyslexic person cast deadly misspells, but their touch can cause the living words in magical texts to misspell themselves. Nicodemus Weal is a cacographer, possessed of magical abilities but unable to spell correctly. He’s apprenticed to the wizard Anwu Shannon, an older man who’s taken a cacographer in each generation under his wing. A convention of wizards and other magic-users is gathering at the wizards’ home of Starhaven. Some of them believe that Nicodemus might be the Halcyon, destined to prevent a magical apocalypse. Others think he might be the Storm Petrel, destined to cause it. Certainly, some unsavory magical creature seems to be stalking wizards in Starhaven, and Nicodemus may be their ultimate target. The magic concept is fascinating and unique, but the characters around Nicodemus never felt quite jelled to me. Large bits of back story also seemed to rise up out of the blue just in time to provide a plot twist. It’s clearly the start of a longer series, and I’m hoping that Charlton will have time to iron out the wrinkles before the next entry. It’s still a book for most who enjoy traditional fantasy.
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