About the author:
Claire Bridgeman is a secondary school English teacher from Norwich, England. She has written many books, but this is the first she has deemed worthy of publication. She believes that every child should be encouraged to explore the wondrous depths of his or her imagination through an artistic medium. She loves all things fantasy, hence the choice of genre for her debut.
The cover art is simple. It shows a girl, possibly entering a room, through a magic mirror (not quite sure of the meaning of the cover art, if there is any). It’s quite apt for a fantasy theme, like an alternate world of sorts.
My thoughts on the book:
Fantasy is one genre that needs to be executed well. The narration needs to be magical, to make you travel to that fantaisical land the book is set in. Dullness, I feel, is not an option at all for a fantasy novel. It is with expectation of that magic, that engaging narration, that I started reading a new fantasy e-book, Spellweaver, by C.J. (Claire) Bridgeman. To hold my attention span in an e-book, this quality is an absolute must you see.
Spellweaver is the story of Felicity, whose mother has just passed away in an accident. She’s still in a confused state, so much so that she doesn’t even feel sad at that moment of time. She’s quite used to being in the background, getting strange looks from those around her, that she doesn’t feel out of place even then. She goes to her dad’s place; she has a new school to get used to, and new friends to make. Her mother’s death changes her life in ways she can’t imagine. Her father does what he can to help her settle in to her new life. She finds two best friends in her new school. She has an inheritance from her mother that helps her feel closer to her mother. When all seems well, a chance encounter at her first outing with her new best friend changes her life. She refuses to believe that encounter, but soon more proof comes to her. And along with her, the new happenings change her best friends’ lives as well.
I feel Spellweaver has the potential to be excellent. It has magic, it has a good setting, nice characters and Claire definitely has that voice of narration that makes the story flow quite smoothly and from chapter to chapter. It has, like she says in her author bio, a little bit of influence from many well-known and well-loved fantasy books and scripts. The influence from Harry Potter is quite easily noticeable. Felicity is the “chosen one” to save the world, who doesn’t know the legacy that she has been given, who has magic inside of her without training. I’m still new to the genre, so other influences, even if I can make it out, I shall omit from saying here. The depth of friendship between Felicity and her two new schoolmates was quite nice to read as well. It may be my opinion only, but I feel a lack of romance in this book didn’t bring it down at all. It didn’t feel necessary at all. If anything was lacking, I felt perhaps a chapter devoted to Felicity’s mindset after the loss of her mother would have been appropriate. From landing up at her father’s home after the funeral, the scene shifts immediately to her first day at the new school. Felicity’s emotions after the death, it’d have lent her character an extra edge maybe.
A wonderful tale; and I look forward to more in the series.
Series: The Spellweaver Chronicles #1
Author: C. J. Bridgeman
Publishers: Self-published, via Amazon.com
Price: INR. 61 (Kindle Edition)
(20th Nov, 2013)