Nightspell by Leah Cypess

Summary: Years ago, Darri’s sister Callie was sent to Ghostland to marry a prince and form a political alliance. Darri never forgave herself for letting Callie be forced to live in a community where half its residents are actually dead. Now she has the opportunity to go take her sister’s place. Unfortunately, Darri finds herself in the middle of a war between the dead and the living—and she only makes things worse.

My thoughts: Mistwood was one of my favorite books of 2010, so I was thrilled upon hearing that its companion novel, Nightspell, would be released in May. While I don’t feel that Nightspell was as excellent as Mistwood, it still was a fun fantasy read.

The most memorable aspect of Nightspell is the setting. Leah Cypess has a knack for creating worlds that sweep you away, and Ghostland is no exception. The mysteries and moral dilemmas that lie in its sprawling castle are thought-provoking, and it’s near impossible to guess what awaits Darri as she begins to unravel them.

In terms of characters, Nightspell fell a bit flat for me. Darri was a strong, loyal protagonist, however for some reason I couldn’t connect with her at all. Though we are exposed to some of Darri’s thoughts, she is rarely vulnerable enough for us to find an aspect of her personality we can relate to (other than her devotion to her sister, which is relatable if you, y’know, have siblings).

Fans of Mistwood will recall Clarisse, Prince Rokan’s sister. She plays a very interesting role in Nightspell, and I’d say that she was the most enjoyable character in the story. She’s as duplicitous as ever in Nightspell, and trying to figure out her allegiances was fun.

Nightspell, like Mistwood, is a book that’s easy to get into and quick to finish. I’d recommend it to fans of fantasy YA—it’s certainly a solid contribution to the genre. Nightspell contains next to no romance, but the secrets of Ghostland will enchant readers who delight in reading of a new world.
I’ m so excited about the fact that there’re so many books to read, so many stories to enjoy, so many characters to fall in love with. I hope you all share my book passion.- Now, get yourself a cup of nice tea  and don’t forget to read a couple of pages before going to bed.

3/5 stars