In the sequel to Spelled, can Robin Hood’s daughter, Rexi, stop the Wicked Witch from finding Excalibur?
Fairy-Tale Survival Rule No. 52:
No matter how difficult the obstacles or all-powerful the evil villain, one can rest assured that the hero of the story never dies. The sidekicks though… they should be worried.
Rexi Hood is proud to be an outlaw. After all, she’s the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood. But sidekick? Accomplice? Sorry, that wasn’t in her story description. Yeah, she and Princess Dorthea of Emerald have been inseparable since they teamed up to fight the wickedest witch. But if Rexi doesn’t figure out how to break the curse that binds them, forget being overshadowed by the spirited princess, Rexi’s going to become a Forgotten, wiped from the pages of Story and reduced to a puddle of ink.
Not happening. No way in Spell.
Rexi’s plan? Steal the sword Excalibur and use its magic to write her own tale. But Gwenevere has opened a new Academy of Villains in Camelot and danger lurks behind every plot twist. And you know how it goes in Story: keep your friends close and your enemies closer…
Published: February 7, 2017
So onto book #2 of the Storyteller’s Series…
I personally think the second book of a fantasy series is the hardest to write. In the first book, everything is new and seen for the first time. Readers are engaged and learn about the characters, their plot goals and hopefully see them achieve these goals in the most entertaining fashion possibly written. New concepts, not yet used by other authors are a welcomed relief from the boring repetitive themes seen in many genres. So something refreshing, is widely accepted and revered. Then comes the second book.
It must not only continue on where the first book ended, have original plot ideas of its own, more character goals that need to be achieved and interesting twists, adventures and efforts not seen in the first, but are better if not equal to what was written in the first book and still somehow connect to the story-line started in the first. This is extraordinarily difficult for an author to pull off and why many stay away from writing a series (or should based on some who try and fail miserably).
To make the second book just as great as book number one is to include bringing back the old characters in refreshing ways while giving them a whole bunch of new challenges to face. Wanted does this.
The role of the plot in book two is one of the toughest to meet. It can’t come across as a bridge to book #3 but somehow must connect to book three without destroying itself in the process. And worse yet, it can’t seem to be just a continuation of book one without any resolution to conflicts. So the writer is in a tough spot.
I think that was the problem Betsy Schow faced and unfortunately, despite best efforts, struggled with book two of the series. Here’s why:
The plot was all over the place. I thought the idea of bringing legends into the fold was an excellent concept and made for some interesting parts, but sadly many aspects fell flat and became redundant or boring. The main character was a carry-over from book one, and she was complicated and more sobering than the first book Protagonist, and she was developed nicely and completely reaching her goals and solving conflicts. I enjoyed her.
Sadly, the plot jumping did damage to scene description and point of view and I guess if this had been tidied up a bit more, it wouldn’t have come across as a hot mess like it had. Once again the cover was gorgeous and the concept was engaging, it just didn’t fully hatch like it had in book one.
Read my review for book three, “Banished” Here. Or, book one, “Spelled” Here.
For “Wanted,” I gave:
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