Google+ Reading Teen: Nightspell by Leah Cypess

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Nightspell by Leah Cypess

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (May 31, 2011)
Author's Website:
Buy the Book:  Amazon

Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.

Darri's sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister . . . if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?
I have seen Mistwood sitting on the shelves of bookstores for a long time now, and always thought it looked good, but never picked it up.  So, when the companion novel, Nightspell, was available for tour, I jumped on it.   I'm really glad that I did.

I love fantasy!  I just LOVE it!  I think it's because it's the one time that you can totally lose yourself in the story.  There's no hint of real life, it's all imagination.  The world that Leah Cypess created in Nightspell is fascinating.  A city where half the people are dead?  How creative is that?  I've never read anything like it before.

The story is told from different viewpoints, which I really liked, but I have to say I got confused at times.  There are so many different "revelations" and secrets that are told that I got mixed up about who had learned which secret and who still didn't know.  But, I did figure it out!  And I loved all the plot twists that came throughout the book.

The characters in Nightspell are interesting.  There were a lot of different characters, some dead and some living, and I feel like they were all explored really well.  I think Leah did a fantastic job of defining them, but leaving enough mystery that made you wonder what truth they may be hiding.

If you're a fan of fantasy you should definitely pick this book up.  I think it would be especially good for younger teens who may not be ready for books like Graceling and Fire.  After reading Nightspell, I will definitely be going out to get a copy of Mistwood.  I can't believe I haven't read it already!  I'll also be letting our Reading Tween crew about these books.  I have a feeling they will love them!

  • Sexual Content:  None
  • Profanity:  None
  • Violence:  Mild/Moderate
  • Other Notables:  Ghosts
For more details, check out Nightspell on Parental Book Reviews.

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