October is going down as my favourite reading month because not only did I have a pleasant time traipsing down memory lane re-reading some of my old faves, but I had a fabulous time reading new-to-me authors not just in the romance genre, but in my other favorite genre – Fantasy, this month’s theme for the TBR Challenge.
Since this post is long overdue (I finished the book almost two weeks ago!), I’ll dive right in with the review.
Title: The Charmed Sphere
Author: Catherine Asaro
Year published: 2004, by Luna Books
Why did you get this book?
I was intrigued by the synopsis on the back cover, which goes:
What was the use of being a powerful mage if you couldn’t learn the spells?
Once Chime had been the most promising mage in the land, feted and celebrated for her potential and future role in the kingdom. Then Iris, her young competitor, made a stunning leap in skill and turned Chime’s world upside down.
Now no longer the most powerful, no longer promised to a prince – and still unable to harness her magic properly – Chime was set adrift. As was the new king’s cousin – and former heir – Lord Muller. Yet when the neighboring kingdom threatened war, Muller and Chime were tasked with uncovering the plot. Both were flawed, yet unwilling to accept a lesser destiny than they had once known.
Could this quest be the opportunity for redemption – or would it lead them to their deaths?
There’s nothing like main characters trying to deny their destinies that would surely made me curious as to how they finally arrived at it. It’s their journey towards their destinies that will compel me to read.
Yep, I knew Chime and Muller will end up together, so I tagged along just to see what happens.
Do you like the cover?
Yes, I quite like it.
Did you enjoy the book?
I was charmed by the time I reached Chapter 4, although the next chapter, where we met the Disney- stereotype villains drew some yawns. But overall, because I had no illusions that this is Romantic Fantasy, not pure Fantasy, I wasn’t too bothered by its over saccharine sweet setting of the romance and courtship between the two main characters. They’re described as beautiful people, bound to be dismissed as a vacuous glamour couple. Their insecurities and flawed powers made them more human.
Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again?
The author is new to me and I’m going to pursue the fate of the Aronsdale Kingdom and the other shape mages in The Misted Cliffs and The Dawn Star, the remaining two books in this trilogy.
Are you keeping it or passing it on?
This is a keeper.
Although Mrs Giggles and Michelle didn’t think much of this book, I thought it made good escapist reading. It’s a very simple tale, with a traditional approach to romance and magic, none of those dark overtones of serious Fantasy fiction.
The world-building wasn’t too complex, although it wasn’t any less fascinating. Even the villain wasn’t sinister. In fact, he was downright pitiful. Still, this book was pretty enjoyable for me, no hard brain work needed.