Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Of Witches & Warlocks: The Trouble with Spells by Lacey Weatherford
The Mullins family has a secret, and on her 16th birthday Portia Mullins is abruptly sucked into the dangerous and mystical world that is her inheritance. When her grandmother reveals the unbelievable truth, Portia's initial skepticism is forced to give way in the face of overwhelming evidence. Portia is a witch, destined to empower her family's coven by becoming its thirteenth member. That is only part of her fate, however - the rest lies in the form of her leather-clad classmate, Vance Mangum. Vance is haunted by his past and has spent years running for his life before finding refuge within the protection of Portia's powerful coven. The undeniable chemistry between them is clouded from the start by the constant threat of past evils rearing their ugly heads in Vance's new life. As the danger looms closer, Portia finds her life and love endangered and her nascent powers tested. When the final shoe drops and the plot takes a startling twist, the dynamic duo are forced to face their worst fears and hope against hope that they come out alive (and human) on the other side.
Lacey Weatherford's debut novel, Of Witches and Warlocks: The Trouble with Spells, is a charming tale of magic and romance, as well as dark and deadly danger. Portia is a sweet but spunky heroine who immediately comes to life for the reader, while Vance's initial bad boy persona is intriguing and his troubled past only heightens his appeal. Unfortunately, the lovesick puppy he becomes after falling for Portia quickly crumbles the alluring mystique, rather than allowing the reader to gradually decipher his inscrutable but tantalizing dark side. Vance and Portia experience the kind of bizarrely fast and strong bond that has become the norm in YA paranormal romance, but thankfully Weatherford does readers the service of providing a magical explanation for the phenomenon. The unusual magical link their bond produces puts an imaginative spin on the romance and adds a new layer to their relationship. Despite her overwhelming commitment to Vance, Portia is no damsel in distress. Their relationship is refreshingly balanced, with both characters coming to the other's rescue more than once, a welcome change from the usually unequal power distribution in otherworldly romances.
One of the most vivid and endearing characters in the novel is Portia's grandmother and high priestess of the coven, Milly. The quirky and powerful matriarch has a special bond with the young heroine, and their relationship is the most engaging in the novel. Portia's first foray into her magical inheritance, guided by her grandmother, is an entertaining introduction to Weatherford's enchanted world, and her undisguised glee at her new-found powers is infectious. Readers will cheer her on as she tests her capabilities, and will wish for magical powers of their own. A more detailed portrait of this magical world would add greatly to the story - the taste readers are given is just enough to whet their appetite. However, the haunting backstory sprinkled throughout the beginning of the novel deftly blends the warlock myth with something much more sinister to produce a chilling new kind of demon. Once the action starts and the plot picks up speed, readers will find themselves swept up in a heart-pounding and hair-raising journey alongside Vance and Portia as they come face to face with death, or worse.
This book can be purchased as a paperback or in E-Book format. The UK distributor of this novel is Susan K. Mann.
*Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this novel from the author. This did not affect my review in any way. You can read my complete review policy here.
The author, Lacey Weatherford, has kindly agreed to do an interview with The Bookish Type! Please submit any reader questions you would like me to include in the interview via email by midnight EST on May 28.