Monday, July 1, 2024

Book Review: The Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst


Kiela has always had trouble dealing with people. Thankfully, as a librarian at the Great Library of Alyssium, she and her assistant, Caz—a magically sentient spider plant—have spent the last decade sequestered among the empire’s most precious spellbooks, preserving their magic for the city’s elite.

When a revolution begins and the library goes up in flames, she and Caz flee with all the spellbooks they can carry and head to a remote island Kiela never thought she’d see again: her childhood home. Taking refuge there, Kiela discovers, much to her dismay, a nosy—and very handsome—neighbor who can’t take a hint and keeps showing up day after day to make sure she’s fed and to help fix up her new home.

In need of income, Kiela identifies something that even the bakery in town doesn’t have: jam. With the help of an old recipe book her parents left her and a bit of illegal magic, her cottage garden is soon covered in ripe berries.

But magic can do more than make life a little sweeter, so Kiela risks the consequences of using unsanctioned spells and opens the island’s first-ever and much needed secret spellshop.


From the get go Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst won my heart. Who knew the Cottage Core Aesthetic could overflow into a book, but it has with her magical new book. Also who knew I would read a fantasy and totally enjoy it, certainly not me, but Spellshop made that happen also =0)

This book is beautifully written, it's cozy, yes, seriously. Yo will want to tuck in with a cup of steaming hot tea and have a long read. It is delightful, sweet, slightly romantic , has small town vibes, a plot that will keep you engaged. The fantasy in the book is even magical and cozy..... you will garden in a magical garden, help a mermaid baby, ride seahorses, and that is only the beginning.

Main character Kiela is much like me, she is not fond of people, she works in a library or she did, but she had to escape to her childhood home on an island to escape death. Have you ever lived in a small town? Well her home town is small and of course there are problems, mostly noisy neighbors. There is conflict of course, but it is fun and resolved quickly. Also, there is a good amount of comic relief in the story from Kiela's sidekick, who happens to be a spider plant names Caz.

Please pick this one up, but don't try and take it seriously- it is not meant to be, it is the escape we all well need right now.

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