Spells is the second novel in Aprilynne Pike’s series about faeries. Like the first novel in the series, Wings, this book features the main character Laurel, a young teenage female faerie who was adopted and raised by human parents. Her romantic intrigues continue, torn between her human boyfriend, David, and the faerie who loves her, Tamani. In this second book, Laurel makes her first visit back to Avalon since coming to live in the human world. She attends school and begins to learn the art of potion-mixing that is her responsibility as a Fall Faerie.
“Laurel was startled for a moment, then remembered that she had spent seven years in Avalon before going to live with her parents. The fact that she couldn’t remember anyone didn’t mean they couldn’t remember her. It made her strangely uncomfortable to wonder how many of the faeries she passed on the grounds could remember a past she would never recall.”
Blooming with fresh ideas and intrigue, the traditional faerie tale takes on new life in Pike’s series. The world of Avalon described in Spells is vivid and captivating. The concept that faeries are descended from plants and divided into seasons by both birthright and talent is a plot detail that is well-developed and adds a unique twist to capture the imagination of the reader.
My one major criticism is that the story revolves too much around the teenage romantic triangle of Laurel and her two potential loves rather than the plotlines related to Avalon, the trolls, or the new hunter character, Klea, who is introduced in the book. There was so much potential for intrigue in Avalon, yet all Laurel ever seemed to think about was David or Tam. I’ve read enough young adult fantasies to come to terms with the fact that this formula is true to form for the genre, and Pike’s main target audience must certainly enjoy it because her debut novel, Wings, hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list.
Overall, the book is a page-turner. I found myself engaged and wanting to learn more about Pike’s faeries and Avalon, as well as what will become of Laurel in the human world.
Note: This article was first published as “Book Review: Spells by Aprilynne Pike” on Blogcritics.org.