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Savannah finds herself without her powers, just as the supernatural world faces threats on multiple fronts…
While Waking the Witch may have been a move towards a traditional detective story, Spell Bound continues Savannah’s story in a way that is unique to the Otherworld that Kelley Armstrong has created – and which, simultaneously with the release of this book, she has announced she will be leaving with the publication of 13 next summer.
A moment of altruism on young witch Savannah’s part leads to her losing her powers, and alongside the driving narrative as she and her friends try to divine the nature of the threats that are facing all the supernatural races, Spell Bound charts her growing maturity. Initially lashing out and feeling useless, she comes to realise that she is far more than just someone who can use spells and she has value to her friends for other qualities.
Spell Bound could have as easily been titled Prelude for War, and we see all the old favourites from the books (werewolves Clay, Elena and Jeremy; vampire Cassandra; medium Jamie and many more) trying to understand what is happening to their community. There have been numerous loose ends in the Otherworld universe, and regular readers will recognise some of the characters brought back into play, although enough information is given about them to enable new readers to get a basic understanding.
Verdict: Armstrong puts her pieces in place for the finale in a story that’s less stand-alone than her usual stories but which will be enjoyed by fans of the series. 7/10