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Review: Spellbinder by Thea Harrison (Moonshadow #2)

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Spellbinder by Thea Harrison (Moonshadow #2) // VBC ReviewSpellbinder (Moonshadow #2)
Thea Harrison
Published: Jul. 18, 2017 (Thea Harrison)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Moonshadow.

Morgan leFay was a villain in Moonshadow, the first book in this series, though there was a sense that he was a reluctant one. Spellbinder reveals the full extent of the geas that binds him to the will of Queen Isabeau of the Light Court. The geas also allows him to go on vacation in the human world when the Queen gives a careless command. That’s where he sees Sidonie Martell in concert and falls in love with her music.

In order to manipulate Morgan, the Puck (yes, that Puck) kidnaps Sidonie and delivers her to the Queen. When Sid refuses to play, she’s thrown in prison to rot. Morgan does what he can to help her, but is forbidden from freeing prisoners. He can’t even tell her who he is for fear she’ll be questioned by the queen, but they form a connection nevertheless.

I thought Sid was an interesting heroine. She has OCD and is always counting things. She sits in a dungeon and ponders privilege. But despite being a magicless human surrounded by more powerful creatures, she basically saves herself. There are no TSTL damsels in distress in this series and I love that.

I didn’t like Spellbinder as much as Moonshadow though, in part because the world is so small. Sid and Morgan spend most of the story in isolation, either because she’s in prison or he’s in hiding. That makes for an intense romance, but I didn’t learn much new information about the Fae until the very end.

Though it’s not the main storyline, Spellbinder explains the fall of Camelot and what became of Merlin. I thought that story, the artifacts of the gods, and the connection to the Wild Hunt were more interesting than the romance. I also liked the tie in to Dragos and the main Elder Races series at the end. It reminded me that I need to go back and finish the Elder Races books. They’re really good!

When I reviewed Moonshadow last year I hadn’t read any of the original series but didn’t have any trouble picking up this one. Now I’ve still only gotten to the first two books so I don’t know if there might be more background on the Fae that I’m skipping, but I didn’t feel like I had missed anything. In fact, this story is only loosely tied to Moonshadow. The war between the Light and Dark Courts is mentioned, but the puck is the only character, other than Morgan, that really carries over. It’s his affection for the first book’s heroine that motivates his actions at the beginning of Spellbinder, but you could certainly read this book without knowing that.

And that bothers me a little bit. I was looking forward to spending more time with the Dark Fae knights and instead got moved to the Light Court. There are only three books planned in this series, but there are so many more stories to tell that I hope there will be more.

Sexual content: graphic sex, references to rape

3 Responses to “Review: Spellbinder by Thea Harrison (Moonshadow #2)”

  1. Alison R says:

    I totally agree with your review, I wanted more of Isabeau’s Court, more of the history between Isabeau and Morgan and less of the sitting in a prison cell eating pies. Also, Sid’s OCD faded out in the second half and seemed a fairly pointless device to me

  2. Tais S says:

    I was pretty reluctant to read this second one knowing the main characters would change, and I guess I’m even more disappointed now, with the lack of connection. Still, my ocd has problems with unfinished series, so I’ll give it a chance, I guess.

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