The second book in the dazzling Spellcaster series from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray is perfect for fans of the Beautiful Creatures and Hex Hall series.Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine saved Captive's Sound from the dark sorceress Elizabeth . . . or so they thought. But despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia's magic is magnified but her training is still incomplete. And a darker magic has begun to call Nadia. . . .With her Steadfast, Mateo, and her best friend, Verlaine, Nadia must fight the black magic that tempts her and stop the One Beneath before he comes to claim what is his.
Now on to the post!
The system of magic in the SPELLCASTER trilogy doesn’t come from medieval witchcraft lore, the modern practice of Wicca, or any other real-life source. To me it felt important to create something from scratch, so the spells, the ingredients, all of it – complete fiction.
(Though I always joke – if you try one of the spells and it works, please let me know.)
Witchcraft in the SPELLCASTER world is only practiced by women; apparently one very, very angry sorceress back in the day cast a curse that would keep men from possessing magic. (Though there are some interesting wrinkles in that curse, as Nadia finds out in the first book.) The Craft is kept secret from all men, and from all outsiders. The ability to wield magic tends to run in certain bloodlines, so a young witch is most often taught by her mother, grandmother, an aunt, someone like that. They do this clandestinely, so much so that a student witch may have no contact with a larger coven until she reaches her full powers.
Different witches have different levels of potential; however, any witch can strengthen her spells if she’s able to find a Steadfast. A Steadfast is a person who – while not a witch herself – makes a witch’s magical power greater just by being nearby. There’s a specific spell to cast that makes someone a Steadfast, but you can’t pick just anyone. The bond between a witch and her Steadfast is intense and enduring. To some extent they will be connected their whole lives.
How do the spells work? You need two things: One, a mineral or material to “ground” the spell. That can be as rare as a gemstone or as simple as quartz; different materials ground different kinds of spells. The trickier part of the spells: the ingredients. Each spell is made up of memories – moments personal to each witch that fulfill the criteria for a spell. For instance, a spell might ask for “a final farewell,” “sorrow at midnight,” and “rushing water.” The witch would think of memories that fit those categories, and call them up in her mind as vividly as possible (When I broke up with my boyfriend just before we moved – when I found out Grandpa died late that night – when I went whitewater rafting) while she touched the grounding element. As much as possible, she should try to almost relive the moment. That’s when the spell is cast.
Memories allow witches to determine how strong or weak a spell will be – more emotionally powerful memories will strengthen the spell. Of course, this also means that the older a witch becomes, the more memories she has – so she has more to choose from and can cast spells with more finesse and often more strength. This is bad news for Nadia, because her enemy in the SPELLCASTER series has cast spells to extend her life and is now about 400 years old, give or take? But Nadia goes through some intense experiences in this series, so she’s making new memories. Powerful ones. And everything she goes through has the power to become a weapon she can use.
Thanks Batman! That was awesome!!
Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)
I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, GoodReads or (of course) my own home page.
If you want to contact me, you can email me, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and GoodReads.
2/24/2014- Fiktshun- Guest Post
2/25/2014- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post
2/26/2014- Fantasy Book Addict- Interview
2/27/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Character interview with Verlaine
2/28/2014- Jenna Does Books- Author interview
3/3/2014- Mundie Moms- Review and an excerpt
3/4/2014- Parajunkee- Interview
3/5/2014- Bookalicious- Guest Post
3/6/2014- Tales of a Ravenous Reader- Guest Post
3/7/2014- YA Sisterhood- Guest Post