Spellbound & Hellhounds

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
214 Pages
Reviewed on 04/21/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Many young adult fantasy stories try and fail to pull off a new twist to that old trope about an underdog that triumphs despite tremendous adversity. Spellbound & Hellhounds by Nia Rose is able to nail it. Journey to Aeristria, a country in the world of Raen where you meet the heroine Vanessa. She is a third-year student at the largest academy in Tolvade, the Runerite Academy of Wizardry and Arcane. Vanessa has long dreamed of being in the Coven ever since she discovered magic coursing through her veins. Tragedy strikes when an explosion disrupts the sanctity of the academy. As an aspiring Spellweaver, Vanessa is tasked to investigate and track whoever is responsible for the attack. Together with her demon partner, Vanessa’s investigation will take her through secret tunnels and caverns. Whoever is the culprit considers her and her friends as a threat to a huge, sinister plan. Still far from becoming a recognized Spellweaver, the battle ahead of her will demand bigger spells than her current level is able to achieve.

Spellbound & Hellhounds by Nia Rose is much more adept than most convoluted reading fare in the young adult fantasy genre. This tale balances dialogue, narration, and action scenes. It is convincing enough for you to embrace the plot as something happening in an alternate universe. The story’s third-person narration is also thoughtful in that it gives you a good view of the suspenseful moments and action scenes. Spellbound & Hellhounds is brilliantly projected in the way a fantasy adventure should be. You get enough breathing room for character study as humans and mythical creatures live and work side by side. The ending is a cliffhanger, but the resolution is satisfying enough to make you wait patiently for the next part of the series. This series is worthy enough for you to devote time to reading because the storyline is something new.

Lit Amri

“The Coven would accept her as a low-ranking officer until she brought in twenty-four dark witches for proper magic binding. Today's mission would mark number twenty if successful. Little did Vanessa know that it would mark more than that.” In Spellbound & Hellhounds (Coven Chronicles, Book 1) by Nia Rose, Vanessa Peterson is a young witch working as a Hunter for the Coven, and her goal is to get a place among its higher-ranking members. Together with her demon partner, Botobolbilian - a summoned ogre whom she prefers to call Bobo - they investigate an explosion at the Runerite Academy and presume that a culprit or two will soon be arrested. However, the investigation turns out to be more than they could handle themselves.

Magic, dark sorcery, summoned beasts, pixies, and even celestial beings ... fantasy fans will love the world-building of Nia Rose's Spellbound & Hellhounds. Set in the land of Aeristria, the story begins in the city of Tolvade. Young Vanessa Peterson is an ambitious low-ranking officer of the Coven aiming to rise up in the ranks. She’s stubborn and has a tendency to be reckless, in contrast to her strong, bookish, intelligent, and well-mannered demon partner. Their different natures fuel their constant bickering but their partnership is solid with Bobo being the sensible and competent protector. The plot is fast-paced and filled with high-blasting, hair-raising actions balanced by funny moments and mystery-solving endeavors. Vanessa also has no choice but to team up with the law-abiding Spellweaver Leon Zvěrokruh and his demon partner Lyx, a Succubus whose nature also contributes to the humorous bits of the story. The ending may be slightly abrupt for some readers but it also promises more risky tasks and surprises for the compelling characters. All in all, a great start for the series.

Pikasho Deka

If you enjoy stories involving witches, demons, and monsters, get yourself a copy of Spellbound & Hellhounds, the first installment in author Nia Rose's young adult fantasy series. Vanessa Peterson is a tenacious young woman working as a Hunter for Aeristria's governing body known as the Coven. The Coven is headed by a thirteen-member High Priest Council, including a being named Celestial, and is tasked with protecting Aeristrian society from the onslaught of demons and dark magic users. Determined to rise through the ranks of the Coven, Vanessa and her gentlemanly pet ogre Bobo unwittingly find themselves fighting hellhounds not seen in centuries. To reprimand her reckless behavior, the High Priest Council assigns her a supervisor named Leon, alongside whom Vanessa unearths a deeper conspiracy.

Spellbound & Hellhounds is an entertaining tale of demons, monsters, and witches that instantly takes you to a world full of magic and leaves you with a childlike wonder. Nia Rose builds a highly imaginative world that truly feels unique and authentic. The plot moves at a fast pace, and the narrative quickly immerses the reader in the story. I found all the characters to be quite colorful and quirky. Vanessa, Bobo, Leon, and Lyx's relationship dynamic, as well as the banter amongst them, keep the narrative lively. There's plenty of humor to be found throughout the pages, and Nia Rose maintains a fun-filled tone to the story. Overall, I found Spellbound & Hellhounds to be a well-written first book of a promising series. I would recommend it to young adult fantasy lovers.

Foluso Falaye

The country of Aeristria in Nia Rose's Spellbound & Hellhounds has a predominantly magical population that uses their magic for both good and evil. Vanessa, an orphan in Aeristria, wishes for more than the basic spells and jobs available outside the Coven. To achieve this, though, she must first pass the training to become a Spellweaver. The Coven acts as the police force and government of Aeristria, and anyone involved with the 'dark ways' becomes a criminal. When Vanessa finds something sinister going on in the basement of a magic academy, she resolves to find out more about this evil and keep it from spreading. However, time is running out! Accompanying Vanessa on her mission are a sharp-tongued and highly intelligent ogre, a well-known Spellweaver and friend, and a mischievous succubus.

I see Nia Rose's book as a complete package because it has many great features that fit together perfectly to give readers a memorable and spectacular experience: hair-raising monsters, mind-blowing magic, strategically placed secrets that awaken a strong sense of curiosity, unrequited love, witty sarcasm, and a fight for justice. I smiled as I pictured poetic descriptions like, "A set of wings that looked like they had been touched by the fingers of fall..." It was mightily fun to unravel the world and discover how magic changes colors based on one's good or evil intentions. If you love books that frighten you out of your wits and narratives with many surprising twists and a funny and sarcastic group of friends as the protagonists, you should definitely read Spellbound & Hellhounds.