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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Many young adult fantasy stories try and fail to pull off a new twist to that old trope about an underdog that triumphs despite tremendous adversity. Spellbound & Hellhounds by Nia Rose is able to nail it. Journey to Aeristria, a country in the world of Raen where you meet the heroine Vanessa. She is a third-year student at the largest academy in Tolvade, the Runerite Academy of Wizardry and Arcane. Vanessa has long dreamed of being in the Coven ever since she discovered magic coursing through her veins. Tragedy strikes when an explosion disrupts the sanctity of the academy. As an aspiring Spellweaver, Vanessa is tasked to investigate and track whoever is responsible for the attack. Together with her demon partner, Vanessa’s investigation will take her through secret tunnels and caverns. Whoever is the culprit considers her and her friends as a threat to a huge, sinister plan. Still far from becoming a recognized Spellweaver, the battle ahead of her will demand bigger spells than her current level is able to achieve.
Spellbound & Hellhounds by Nia Rose is much more adept than most convoluted reading fare in the young adult fantasy genre. This tale balances dialogue, narration, and action scenes. It is convincing enough for you to embrace the plot as something happening in an alternate universe. The story’s third-person narration is also thoughtful in that it gives you a good view of the suspenseful moments and action scenes. Spellbound & Hellhounds is brilliantly projected in the way a fantasy adventure should be. You get enough breathing room for character study as humans and mythical creatures live and work side by side. The ending is a cliffhanger, but the resolution is satisfying enough to make you wait patiently for the next part of the series. This series is worthy enough for you to devote time to reading because the storyline is something new.