Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg
The author bring the reader into a fantastic version of England in the late 1800s that involves magicians who can master in a specific element. When registered and trained, which is really only for the wealthy in society, a magician can become a master in an aspect. Bacchus Kelsey, returns to London to take finalize him becoming a Master, and discovers Elsie Camden breaking one of his spells. Elsie, an unregistered magician, strikes a deal with Bacchus to not get turned it. As any reader predicts the two start to develop feelings for each other as they work together and discover mysteries that are left as cliff hangers for the next book. The reader will be drawn into this magical version of England and find that the world the author creates is realistic enough for it to almost seem realistic instead of pure fantasy. Charlie N. Holmberg became a top author to look out for after her Paper Magician Series, and the only complaint about this new series is that there are only two books.
Character List/Book Summary:
Elsie Camden = 21 years old, unregistered spellbreaker. Caught by Bacchus Kelsey while doing work for the “Cowls” and agrees to a deal to save herself from jail. Abandoned by her family when she was a child, she keep writing to where she was left in an effort to find them. Realizes that Bacchus has two ruins on his body and tells him about the second one. Works with Bacchus to find out about the second ruin. Discovers she remembers who took her from the workhouse and how she ended up with Ogden when she breaks a curse on Ogden.
Bacchus Kelsey = 27 years old, ready to test for his Master status, requests a Master spell for ambulation is denied that spell but allowed to become a Master. After catching Elsie he has her help him update ruins around the estate. Grew up in Barbados and plans on returning there. Discovers that the ruin that was hidden so well that Master Jacques Pierrelo didn’t know it was there and that several doctors were convinced he had Polio, because it was so well hiddden.
The Cowls = what Elsie calls the people who use her to break spells, claiming that it is for social justice
Squire Douglas Hughes = Squire of Brookley, where Elsie lives, sees her in London when she is on a mission for the Cowls. Elsie was originally left with him, however she became employed by Ogden shortly after.
Cuttbert Ogden = Elsie’s employer, lets her be free with her time as long as her job/tasks are done, can create color as a minor level magician. Father type to Elsie, robbed at home and the constable must alert the high court due to the murder of Master level magicians and their books being stolen.
Emmeline = Ogden’s maid, 17 years old, nervous around Nash
Abel Nash = Ogden’s messenger boy, charming to Elsie. Elsie follows him one night when trying to find the Cowls and who is responsible for the lies they have told her, in doing this she discovers his true identity.
Isaiah Scott = Duke of Kent, hosting Bacchus while he earns his Master status. Long time family friend Bacchus’s father, many readers may start to have suspicions about him as he gets ill. Invites Elsie to dinner after he sees her with Bacchus on his estate.
Rainor = one of Bacchus’s men, tells Bacchus of the Master Level Opus that will be auctioned and may have the spell that Bacchus is looking for.
Mrs. Hall = offered Elsie’s family shelter one night, when she woke only Elsie was left behind. Kept Elsie for several months before turning her over to a workhouse. Her husband tells Elsie to stop mailing asking for if anyone has come asking for her.
Master Enoch Phillips = titled Earl, head of the London Physical Anthenum where Bacchus is getting his Master Level status
Master Ruth Hill = only female Master in the Physical Anthenum, in her 50s, the one to test Bacchus at his Master Status, he passes and they have a conversation
Master Victor Allen = his first two years he spent learning Spiritual aspect before switching to Physical and while a Master level is looked down upon for switching
Mr. Parker = Works for the squire and makes it his job to know about everyone because his Squire has his hands in a lot of things.
Abigial Scott = married to the Duke of Kent, wants to play matchmaker for Bacchus and is happy that Elsie comes to dinner. Has two daughters, Ida (who shows a promise at aspecting and wants to be an apprentice) and Josee both about 16.
Master Lilly Merton = Abigail invited her to dinner for Ida’s benefit, a Master in the Spiritual alignment. Informs Elsie about the murdered Masters and stolen Opuses when she runs into Elsie one Sunday after the dinner.
Felton Shaw = won the bidding war over the Master Level Opus that Bacchus wanted, it had belonged to Master Cassicus Bennett. Owns several gentlemen’s clubs. After the auction was attacked and the opus was stolen, Bacchus and Rainor were questioned over the attack.
Alfred = broke up with Elsie to marry a widow, briefly saw her in London
Master Jacques Pierrelo = Master aspector, put the ruin on Bacchus that slowed the progression of his Polio 10 years ago. was not aware that there was already a ruin on Bacchus. After Elsie removes the second hidden ruin, he explains to Bacchus that he thinks there the ruin was creating Polio like symptoms but in fact Bacchus may be a healthy man. Stays out of the Opus theft conversations.