By Kelley Armstrong
Dutton, $25.95, 325 pages
Most fans of contemporary fantasy, particularly contemporary urban fantasy, are probably already aware of Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, where witches, sorcerers, vampires, and half-demons live among us in a world controlled by Cabals. Armstrong’s latest entry in that series Spellbound, is a high point, bringing together characters from the previous novels to work together to defeat a major threat. Savannah Levine, now a fully-grown, not to mention fully-accomplished witch, has just finished her first case on her own. In the tragic fallout from that case, she promises her powers if things can be set right. An unknown something takes her up on the offer, requiring Savannah to learn to rely on her friends and family. At the same time, an unknown force launches an attack on the Otherworld, threatening a widespread reveal to the human world.
Armstrong is one of the strongest writers in the contemporary fantasy community, with the ability to not only tell a compelling story, but also to do it well technically. Her books historically have good editing and continuity, and this one is no exception. She also keeps her world fresh and interesting for the reader by bringing different characters forward to act as the focus. She encapsulates that technique in this book; written mainly in Savannah’s voice it also features chapters in other character voices. All of her characters are interesting and believable, this book really is the kind of fantasy that engulfs you while you are reading it, and sits in the back of your imagination when you’re done. The biggest drawback of this book is that not a lot happens, Armstrong is gearing up to finish her series, and it shows, but still an enjoyable read for fans of the series.