Review: Spell Bound by F. T. Lukens

Spell Bound by F. T. Lukens

Spell Bound
F. T. Lukens
Simon & Schuster
Published April 4, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Spell Bound

Two rival apprentice sorcerers must team up to save their teachers and protect their own magic in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of In Deeper Waters and So This Is Ever After.

Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.

Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, and Rook minds less and less.

But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.

Spell Bound on Goodreads

My Review

SPELL BOUND is the first book I’ve ever read by F. T. Lukens, and after this, I definitely want to read more. (Their other books look super fun, by the way!) I really liked the sunshine vs. grumpy rivals to romance between Rook and Sun. The story is told from both their points of view, and I thought both were really compelling and individual. I loved the other characters, too, especially Herb (the coatrack with an attitude) and Antonia, Rook’s employer and mentor who will gladly kick butt and take names when it’s required, thank you.

The only hiccup I encountered was in my expectations. So the cover copy references Antonia and Fable getting attacked, so I expected that to be an early event in the book. It actually happens just after the middle, I think? So I felt like I spent a lot of time looking for that rather than enjoying the earlier scenes for what they were and recognizing how those played into the larger story.

Aside from that, though, I had a lot of fun reading this book. It’s set in the real world, but add magic, and I loved the way that was set up. The powerful Consortium charges magic users taxes for spells and business services, and has gotten perhaps too comfortable with their power.

It’s kind of just a fun romp through a magic world led by two characters who are grieving in different ways, and searching for their place and validation for who they are. I felt like those emotional parts read so real and genuine, and the rest of the story– the adventure and antics– was so much fun to read.

I think this is perfect for fans of Caleb Roehrig or fans of the storylines in Ethan Aldridge’s graphic novels.

Spell Bound on Bookshop

Content Notes for Spell Bound

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Rook is white and maybe pansexual? He doesn’t specifically self-identify. Sun is nonbinary and Asian, maybe Korean?

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used pretty frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing. Rook and Sun fall asleep together while on the run.

Spiritual Content
Some characters have the ability to do magic by pulling power from ley lines, a sort of grid of magic power that exists on earth.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Rook and Sun encounter cursed objects that try to harm them. For example, a rug repeatedly trips anyone who steps on it. A some scenes show a group attacking and trying to subdue an individual or smaller group.

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of SPELL BOUND in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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