Early Review: Daughter of the Spellcaster by Maggie Shayne

, by Kt Clapsadl

Daughter of the Spellcaster by Maggie Shayne 
The Portal #2

Has a spell been cast?

Lena Dunkirk is a practicing witch, Ryan McNally a wealthy playboy. Logic says mismatch, yet from the first they share a passion that defies reason, as if they know each other from another place, another time. Then Lena gets pregnant and runs for the safety of home.

Months later, when Ryan appears at her door looking to help raise their child, Lena doesn’t know whom to trust–particularly now that “guru to the stars” Bahru has taken an interest in her baby, offering gifts forged of magic.

Soon she and Ryan are sharing eerie dreams of ancient lands, while a vengeful demon plots to take possession of their child. As the moment of birth approaches, the demon’s power rises, forcing the hand of love to wield the blade that will decide the fate of a child’s soul–and the future of the world. 

It's the same old story, a girl meets a wealthy playboy and falls head over heels, gets pregnant and then runs when he continues to be a playboy. Only this time, the girl is actually a witch, and the playboy is the man who has been starring in her dream visions since she was a child. So when Ryan shows up at her doorstep wanting a role in both her and their child's life, she is hopeful, yet also wary. She's isn't quite sure who to trust, especially as it becomes apparent some force is bent on claiming her child. Who can a witch really trust but her own heart?

I really did not care for Lena's character at all. We are told that she is supposed to be this strong and independent woman, but I honestly didn't see any evidence of that at all. I realize that she is pregnant in this book, so some of her behavior can be explained off as hormones, but no where near all of it. She was quick to judge and suspect Ryan continuously throughout, and yet she was completely oblivious to the real threat making her seem absurdly naive. Even then, I still could have forgiven her behavior if she had been able to communicate at all with Ryan without seeming like a petulant child or stubborn mule. Perhaps I'm being too hard on her, but she just rubbed me the wrong way, especially since I didn't care for how she treated Ryan. Even her excuse for running off while pregnant with his child and keeping it a secret was incredibly weak. Granted, Ryan does try and push himself off as a carefree playboy, but if she had of taken even just one step back to look at his actions rather than his words, she would have seen to the kind and caring man underneath.

Aside from the great characters in the first installment, what I enjoyed the most was the mysterious magical aspects of the story and the tie from the past lives to the present. However, this time around those aspects just didn't come through as strongly. Yes, the tie to the sisters' past lives was there, but it just didn't suck me in like before. Don't get me wrong, things were still firmly rooted in witchcraft but nowhere near as shrouded in mystery like before, and I really missed that.  

Unfortunately I just didn't enjoy Daughter of the Spellcaster near as much as the first installment. Between my dislike of Lena, and therefore the romance, plus the less impactful magical aspects it just wound up being a rather mediocre read for me. I'll definitely continue on with the trilogy as I want to see how the final installment plays out, but I have to admit that my excitement has dimmed just a little after reading this book. Hopefully this one can just be chalked up to a sophomoric slump and things will make a turnaround. That being said and despite my frustrations, I still would recommend this book to fans of the first installment as it does further the storyline and sets things up for the finale.

(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)

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Previous Books:
  1. Mark of the Witch

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