Bound by Spells by Stormy Smith

Throwback Thursday!!!  Following up on the review I posted of the first book, Bound by Duty, here’s my review of book two — Bound by Spells!!

25131976Aidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.

Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen’s mercy, she spends her days with Micah — an ally she still holds at arm’s length — struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia’s true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she’s willing to sacrifice.

Will Aidan get to Amelia before it’s too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?

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My Review:
4.5 stars — Another beta read!!

There was so much I loved about this book, but I think the thing that really raised it above the first book is the addition of Aidan’s POV. And not just b/c we all love Aidan (b/c come on, we all do). But the nature of the story as it left off in Bound By Duty demanded that 2 separate stories be told, and it would have been a terrible loss to not have that other half of the story. I ended up learning so much more about the prophecy, the AniMage’s, the history, just from what Aidan was going through and the people he encountered. When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the alternating chapters, b/c they really are completely separate stories. But I really loved how they gradually got closer and closer together until they intersected at the end in such a profound way.

Now don’t get me wrong, Amelia’s story was epic in its own right. And quite frankly, I wasn’t always totally on board with her in BBD. But she just grows leaps and bounds in this book and becomes a heroine that I genuinely like, admire, and am looking forward to seeing how her future is going to play out.

Bethany was still awesome (though she was a bit more fun with Amelia in BBD). Micah, on the other hand, well that I just didn’t see coming. Micah AND Baleon. I’d say more, but basically he surprised me in a huge awesome way, and I just did not (which I should have) expect his role to be quite so big. It was so refreshing to get to see what he was about, and learn about his life pre-Amelia.

Now, strangely enough, you know what my favourite part was? Queen Julia. Well, favourite might not be the right word. But basically, Queen Julia turned into this bizarre 3 dimensional evil character. Bizarre? Bizarre because she just wasn’t the usual paranormal villain. She…she is….I don’t know. She’s like an Immortal Hitler. She is so unbelievably power hungry, but she believes with all her soul that she fights for the right. It’s just…well….different from what I’ve come to expect, and I appreciated that.

Then there was Dillon. And more Charlie. Yup, all still epically awesome in the adorable, wise, unexpected characters.

I always love it when a sequel is even better than the first book….that’s when you know a series is going to be epic.