3 stars · fiction · series · young adult

Nightspell by Leah Cypress


Author: Leah Cypress

Pages [hardcover]: 326

Companion to:

Favorite Characters:
Kestin & Callie


A stand-alone companion novel to the much-acclaimed MISTWOOD. When Darri rides into Ghostland, a country where the living walk with the dead, she has only one goal: to rescue her younger sister Callie, who was sent to Ghostland as a hostage four years ago. But Callie has changed in those four years, and now has secrets of her own. In her quest to save her sister from herself, Darri will be forced to outmaneuver a handsome ghost prince, an ancient sorcerer, and a manipulative tribal warrior (who happens to be her brother). When Darri discovers the source of the spell that has kept the dead in Ghostland chained to this earth, she faces a decision that will force her to reexamine beliefs she has never before questioned – and lead her into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens the very balance of power between the living and the dead.


I was so incredibly excited to read this book, after loving Mistwood to pieces. However, this companion really fell short . . . And I’m not entirely sure I’d have read it through to the end, if it hadn’t been for my feelings toward the other book.

The characters of Nightspell are varied, though most are royalty and all are flat. I never seemed to care whether or not most of them were in danger or perfectly safe, because some-for example, Dari’s brother, Varis-were detestable to me, and never redeemed themselves. I assumed that at some point he would grow into a better person, perhaps recognize what was wrong about his beliefs, but this never happened. I think that coming from my own experience, I was finding it unbelieveable that someone could care so little about whatever terrible fate their siblings fell to. I was hoping he’d at least get what he deserved.

And the ending barely resolved anything for me. The major conflict, which I was actually drawn into near the end, was never fully solved, just left as it was. Some sort of resolution was hinted at, and though sometimes I enjoy books that don’t spell out everything that will happen after the action takes place, this just didn’t do it for me. Some who were evil were never dealt with. Some of the problems they simply walked away from.

I did like the setting which was carefully constructed, so I have to acknowledge that. But most of the plot twists were easily seen before they happened, so there was little impact there, just a confirmation of my intuition.

I find it hard to see that these two books were written by the same author, let alone being set as companions for one another. I can’t tell if my expectations were too high, or my tastes have changed since February, when I read Mistwood, but I know that I’m not entirely at fault. So I can say I will probably not be reading more by this author.



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