US cover art by Todd Lockwood. Click here to see UK hardcover edition cover art.
David Gemmell Morningstar Award nominee 2010.
Imagine a world in which you could peel written words off a page and make them physically real. You might pick your teeth with a sentence fragment, protect yourself with defensive paragraphs, or thrust a sharply-worded sentence at an enemy’s throat.
Such a world is home to Nicodemus Weal, an apprentice at the wizardly academy of Starhaven. Because of how fast he can forge the magical runes that create spells, Nicodemus was thought to be the Halcyon, a powerful spellwright prophesied to prevent an event called the War of Disjunction, which would destroy all human language. There was only one problem: Nicodemus couldn’t spell.
Runes must be placed in the correct order to create a spell. Deviation results in a “misspell” – a flawed text that behaves in an erratic, sometimes lethal, manner. And Nicodemus has a disability that causes him to misspell texts simply by touching them.
Now twenty-five, Nicodemus lives in the aftermath of failing to fulfill prophecy. He finds solace only in reading knightly romances and in the teachings of Magister Shannon, an old blind wizard who’s left academic politics to care for Starhaven’s disabled students.
But when a powerful wizard is murdered with a misspell, Shannon and Nicodemus becomes the primary suspects. Proving their innocence becomes harder when the murderer begins killing male cacographers one by one… and all evidence suggests that Nicodemus will be next. Hunted by both investigators and a hidden killer, Shannon and Nicodemus must race to discover the truth about the murders, the nature of magic, and themselves.
"Blake Charlton has not only invented a fascinating world and peopled it with realistic people and wonderful, grisly monsters, but he has also created one of the few truly original magical systems we've seen in fantasy fiction. The lucid complexity of the magic reminds me of Jack Vance, which is high praise indeed. I'm fascinated to see what happens next and will be following every word with the absorption of an apprentice spellwright. You will be, too." – Tad Williams
"Nicodemus Weal is a protagonist that all of us can identify with. SPELLWRIGHT features a unique system of magic and characters that are genuine inhabitants of that world. SPELLWRIGHT is a letter-perfect story: an absorbing read and recommended." – Robin Hobb
"SPELLWRIGHT is exactly the kind of book that got me into fantasy in the first place. Blake Charlton has built a world that his as new as it is classic, and a story that kept me reading late into the night. Blake Charlton is a talent to watch." – Daniel Abraham
"This imaginative debut novel about the power of words – and I mean that literally – weaves together an inventive magic system with the story of a young man’s struggle to come to terms with who and what he is. Charlton makes a timeless plot fresh by drawing from his own experience, and he manages the difficult balancing act of writing with a real sense of delight in his world while meanwhile tackling some darker themes. I look forward to seeing what comes next." – Kate Elliott
Debut novelist and medical student, Blake Charlton is a new face in both fields working to establish a dual career in fiction and medicine. Currently, Blake is writing fantasy novels, science fiction short stories, and academic essays on medical education and biomedical ethics.
An interview with Blake Charlton. Risingshadow.net.
Photo used by permission from the author.
The Spellwright Trilogy :: Series
An exciting, original epic fantasy, The Spellwright Trilogy is a unique story of growth and self-discovery in a world in which words can be the most powerful magic of all.