Sunday, 12 February 2017

Review: A Spell in the Country by Morgan Smith

What if you weren't what heroes are made of? What if your life was an open book? What if you were just an ordinary soldier, with ordinary skills and ordinary goals? What if you weren't "The Chosen One" but still had to try to save the world? "A Spell in the Country" is the story of that soldier - a young woman driven not by prophesy, but by circumstances and coincidence, and by the strengths and weaknesses that anyone might possess. Lured into treason and only narrowly escaping the gallows, Keridwen was desperate to build some kind of life for herself. But between demons bent on death and mayhem, treachery at the very heart of the kingdom, and a prince who had every right to nurse a grudge against her, what were the odds that she could stay out of trouble for long?


I had such a good time reading A Spell in the Country. I'm currently reading Casting in Stone, also by Morgan Smith, and I adore her heroines. In spite of their circumstances, engagement in vivid and gory battles, and struggles, they display a sturdy, forthright and almost (shall I say) cheery disposition against all they face.

In A Spell in the Country, Keridwen quickly finds herself bounced from facing the noose to a solitary trip to obscurity posted at Penvarron, a sad and so out of the way post even the even the Camrhyssi wouldn't be likely to trod within spy-glass distance if they chose to invade.

Keridwen finds her niche at Penvarron, leading her soldiers with the same pragmatic and insightful tone in which she tells her story, describes the dead and lends her snide opinions (quite rightfully) of those she must tolerate. She can also be counted on to speak up no matter how unwelcome the truth may be.

Smith's delightfully clean and engaging prose lures us through twists, deceptions, revenge, dice games and pints. For Keridwen, trouble lurks under every stone and through every poorly lit corridor. A Spell in the Country has magic by the bushel and although the story is told by Keridwen, Smith's secondary characters are as well developed through Keridwen's eyes as I've seen lead characters in other books.

I recommend adding this one to your shelf!

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