What a wonderfully refreshing fantasy. Spellwright had a gripping story, but it was the world building and the system of magic that I fell in love with. Spellwright is about Nicodemus, an apprentice spellwright in a world where magic is text, it is written in magical languages and spelled in the muscles of the body to form magical runes. The catch: Nicodemus cannot spell. Infact, he sounds dyslexic. I especially loved all the play on words through the book – spellwright for one, the book worms (dangerous constructs that infected and destroyed books), ghostwriting (spells that produced ghosts with all the knowledge and memories of the person gone), spellbound (people caught in a magical spell), and many more. It had me smiling as I turned the pages.
At the heart of the story is a young man trying to come to terms with who he is (and his limitations) and wishing for more. There’s something universal about him not feeling ‘complete.’ He was vulnerable, yet bold and intelligent. I liked that.
I also loved the sense of prophesy, of old gods and demons, of history and culture, of the world on the brink of threatened change.