October 25, 2016

How to be a strong independent witch | Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans

Welcome to my stop on the Spells and Sorcery blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. My post consists of a spoiler-free review of this magical tale, as well as TWO giveaways for a chance to win this great book. I hope you are ready for a dose of magic for your day!

Spells and Sorcery
By S. Usher Evans
Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1
Released on October 4th, 2016
386 pages
Young Adult, Fantasy

This book was provided to me from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.

You have magic.
One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I'm not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.
Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb--she's magical.
Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he'll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.
Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.


Spells and Sorcery tells the story of a stubborn, independent teenage girl who wants to learn more about herself and the magical secret her family has kept from her all of her life. Evans crafted a wonderful novel that focuses on independence, family, and trusting in yourself.

I was entertained with the novel, despite its slow pace in the middle. Lexie's journey of self-discovery intrigued me, especially with the lack of romance. I am surprised to say that there was not even a hint of romance in this novel. I truly applaud Evans for writing such a riveting story without using romance as a crutch. In fact, the lack of romance was a breath of fresh air that allowed the true focus of the novel--family--shine through.

Lexie was a strong independent (if a bit thick and stubborn) witch who does not need no man in her life. Her family is all she needs (for the most part) and she is content with herself throughout the novel. As Lexie tries to figure out how to control her magic, so also learns a thing or two about family. No spoilers, but if you are a fan of the triumph of family love, then you would love Lexie's close family.

I loved how there was a balance of family, school, and magic in Lexie's life. Seeing Lexie trying to cope with magic, family issues, and homework all at the same time made me really connect with her. She is not portrayed as perfect, which makes her character and development that much more interesting. Through Evans's writing, I truly got to see everything about Lexie and her family. 

But, I will admit that Lexie could be a little bit too much sometimes. She would go overboard and her ignorance and tendency to make the same mistakes over, and over, and over again. Her behavior kind of became cyclical. Lexie would be warned against something, such as using magic around humans or insulting her family of witches, but she would inevitably reject the advice and follow her own destructive path. After a while, it became difficult and frustrating to watch Lexie blatantly disregard other people. 

The pacing of the novel was inconsistent, with a steady beginning, stagnant middle, and a fast ending. The beginning started off strong with Lexie's revelations about magic, but the middle lagged with info-dumping and lack of action. But, the last 20% of the book flew by as I devoured Evan's words. The ending was rapid-fire and action-packed, which left me curious about the sequel.

In the end, I would recommend Spells and Sorcery to fans of witchcraft and magic in YA. Fans of strong family bonds would also enjoy this story. Also, if you are looking for a book without romance to freshen your reading life, I recommend Lexie's story.

Author Bio

S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.


You can enter to win an ebook copy of Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans in the format of your choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also enter the tour-wide grand prize giveaway that ends on November 3.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
What are your favorite YA books about witches? Do you wish that YA had more strong family bonds? Are you planning to read Spells and Sorcery now? Did you enter the giveaways? 

No comments:

Post a Comment