This was a guest review done by Maggie, who is becoming a bit of a regular for me now. Enjoy
‘When you are ready, seek, and you shall find. It is your gift.
Gwen Harper left Pendleford thirteen years ago and hasn’t looked back. Until an inheritance throws her into the mystical world she thought she’d escaped. Confronted with her great-aunt’s legacy Gwen must finally face up to her past. The magic she has long tried to suppress is back with a vengeance but gift or burden, for Gwen, it always spells trouble. She has to stay – she has nowhere else to go – but how can she find her place in the town that drove her out after branding her a witch…?’
When Iris Harper dies, her great neice Gwen finds she’s inherited a lot more that a house. A gift for magic which Gwen had long been happy to leave dormant is awoken by her aunt’s house, … End. And that’s not all – coming back to Pendleford means facing up to her past, her estranged sister, troubled neice and, of course, an old boyfriend.
Gwen is, from the outset, a really interesting and sympathetic character. Despite her reluctance, magical ability is something that comes naturally to Gwen and this makes it easy to go along with as a reader as the magic is introduced to us gradually.
In her dealings with the assorted strange neighbours and townsfolk of Pendleford, Gwen is kind, astute, yet often with an edge of dry wittiness. Pretty much like someone I would want to be friends with. As we meet her family a lot of unresolved tensions bubble to the surface – it can be hard when your unusual talent makes half the town afraid of you and leaves your sister somewhere between embarrassed and envious.
Throughout The Language of Spells, Gwen comes to terms with her abilities, tries to find her place in the town, and gets to know her Aunt better through the diaries she kept. I grew quite fond of Iris, who couldn’t help but give people what they needed, whether they appreciated it or not. I also loved the descriptions of Pendleford and its inhabitants – anyone who has ever lived in a small town will recognise some of the characters, like the officious members of the town committee, or the local journalist desperate for anything that could count as news.
But it’s not all fun and games and magic spells – someone or something is out to get Gwen, but who could it be? I thought I had it sussed fairly early on, but I still managed to be surprised by how things were resolved.
The Language of Spells, Sarah Painter’s first novel, was a really engaging read, and one I’m glad I took a chance on. I can’t wait to see Sarah writes next!
The Language of Spells is a ebook only, here is the link to grab your own copy;
To check out Maggie you want this: