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Nightspell Hardcover – May 31, 2011
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About the Author
Leah Cypess wrote her first short story—in which the narrator was an ice cream cone—at the age of six. She has degrees in biology, journalism, and law, and has traveled to Iceland, Israel, Jordan, and Costa Rica, among other places. She now lives with her family in Maryland. She is also the author of the acclaimed fantasy novels Death Marked, Mistwood, and Nightspell.
Top Customer Reviews
NIGHTSPELL is a ghost story rich with betrayal, royalty, murder, magic, politics and nonstop suspense. Definitely a page turner that is hard to put down. Leah Cypress vividly introduces the reader to Ghostland, which is quite literally a spooky kingdom. Unlike any other realm, here the dead (those that fall victim to foul play anyway) come back as ghost to live out eternity side-by-side with the living. But all is not as it seems as the secrets of Ghostland are revealed and the mysteries compile with captivating plot twist and perfectly executed pacing.
NIGHTSPELL (Mistwood #2) is well thought-out and beautifully executed with a strong cast and unique premise. Not having cared for its predecessor, MISTWOOD, I'd say I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed NIGHTSPELL. A great read for anyone up for a bit of mystery a good amount of betrayal and a heck of a lot of spooks
But I loved the story and the setting and everything about Nightspell. There's mystery and murder and ghosts and knives and even though I never knew who the hell to trust, I sure had a lot of fun trying to figure it out with Darri, the protagonist.
There was a lot of point of view changing, which bothered me at first, but I enjoyed it more once I got used to it because I was able to see and understand story elements I wouldn't have otherwise.
The setting was awesome. I loved the idea of there being a place where ghosts and humans inhabited the same space, where they knew of each other and accepted each other outwardly, but not so much on the inside.
Overall, I loved Nightspell even more than I liked Mistwood. The story and the setting was much more vibrant to me (despite it being set in Ghostland), and if you're a fan of fantasy, I definitely recommend it.
Nightspell is a companion to Mistwood, so you don't need to read Mistwood to understand, but I recommend you do so, just because of the character that appears in both novels :)
My daughter picked up Nightspell after having thoroughly enjoyed Mistwood by the same author. Her initial reaction was less enthusiastic, apparently because it had been easier for her to identify with the main character in Mistwood right from the beginning. So the first quarter of the book went along slowly. But then, she got hooked and finished the last three quarters in a single all-night reading session. She slept through the next day, waking up toward the evening (she's on vacation), in a pattern that made me ask her if she was going to emigrate to Ghostland.
More recently, I had a dream of visiting my daughter's college dormitory as a ghost. For some reason, her roommate was totally freaked out. I regret not having enough presence of mind (hey, I was dreaming!) to tell her that it was perfectly normal and that she should go read Nightspell.
The narrative itself managed to convey a real sense of the creepy, which I appreciated. Nothing in this book should've been comfortable and it wasn't, at all; well done in that respect. The ending could've fallen into the trap of a pat resolution, and it didn't. The harder road was taken which isn't something I see much of in YA fiction, and I like it. Sometimes life doesn't have a good solution and it's nice to see a fantasy novel reflect that.
Overall a much better read and better writing all around. I won't be raving about this one, but unlike the previous book, I'd probably recommend this one.
The main focus of Nightspell is the family dynamic between Darri, Callie, and their brother Varis. It gave the story a meaningful emotional anchor and a guide for the actions of those main characters. I felt, however, that the same issues were revisited over and over with varying degrees of resolution, causing this aspect of the story to become a bit muddled. By the end, though, things got straightened out.
The secondary theme of Nightspell, which I looked forward to the most, is court intrigue. Nightspell features ghosts who are out for revenge against their murderers, but the ghosts of Ghostland have their own agendas as well. There are several interesting plot twists, but I felt that Nightspell fell far short when compared to Mistwood. There was great potential in this book, and the author failed to deliver.
I do not discourage people from purchasing or reading this book. It does have entertainment value, and Leah Cypess is a good author. I just preferred Mistwood, and wished Nightspell had been a bit... more.