"This Magical Debut will Cast a Spell on You!"
SPELLBOUND IN SEATTLE is a hot and humorous fantasy romance
that rivals the works of Sandra Hill and Nina Bangs, but is
a bit more reminiscent of Tanya Huff's Keeper Chronicles.
The heroine, Petra W. Fields' sassy and often sarcastic wit
reminded me of Megora in Disney's HERCULES. Take that Wiz
Earth, fifty years after the discovery of a way to combine
physics and sorcery
Trouble seems to follow Petra W. Fields. She is one of the
few humans who have no trace of magic in them whatsoever.
Her childhood had been a difficult one, having been raised
by two very powerful sorcerers. Her adult experiences with
the magical ilk had been no better. Her faithless fiancé
had only wanted to get closer to her parents. She could
have found a nice non magical place to relocate, after all
not every state had legalized magic, but the creep was
still looking for her. Better to hole up in the last place
he (and the police) would look for her. That is how she
found herself living in Seattle, the hotbed of wizardry.
Wouldn't you know magic would be at the root of her latest
problem? Petra's got guests arriving in less than an hour
and the spotless carpet she'd purchased at a flea market
(it had a pig border, and Petra has a penchant for pigs -
*g) now has a huge magical bloodstain in the center of it.
All attempts to clean it were in vain, and Petra decides to
call in the pros. She places the call to Rapid Renovations,
owed by a female wizard known as Fytch, However, Dugan of
Emerald Renaissance Garments beats them to the job. In a
desperate hurry, Petra hires Dugan's firm instead. Of
course nothing is ever easy when Petra is involved.
It appears the carpet has been involved in a crime, and
Dugan calls in his wizard, Vorador, who also uses his
skills to help the police solve crimes. Petra's heart stops
at the sight of the tall, dark man who looks totally yummy
in spite of the ridiculous green robe that appears to be
the E.R.G. uniform. But he's also haughty and arrogant, and
there is Petra's track record with the magical type to
For his part, Vorador is floored by Ms. Petra W. Fields.
It's all he can do to maintain his professional demeanor.
She's stunning, and to top it off she collects pigs! But
Vorador had been the anomaly in a family of pedigreed non
magicals. Compared to his childhood, Petra's had been a
so he generally avoids her type like the
plague. He works an invisibility spell to get her through
the party and promises to have the job done by morning.
Easy? NOT! Petra awakens to a huge hole in her floor where
the stain had been. Things go from bad to worse when Bosco,
the stray cat that had showed up the same day as the
carpet, dives in it. From there things go completely awry.
Vorador promises to fetch the cat and disappears down the
hole. What can Petra do when he doesn't return? Why follow
him of course. Where does she land, but right in his lap.
Not a bad place to be, but this is not her basement that
she finds him in. It appears that the crime victim had
worked an enchantment, and now they are within its
manifestation. There is no sign of Bosco and the pair makes
their way to the only building in sight, which just happens
to be The Hotel California (I kid you not). There they meet
the younger sister of the victim, a rather hostile Amazon
(are there any other kind?) by the name of Kitoka. Unlike
in the song, it appears that they can actually leave by
simply checking out.
Vorador knows more about the crime than he's admitted so
far. In fact the crime victim, Medora, who just happens to
be Dugan's new flame, hangs by a thread back in his
laboratory, thanks to a spell very few knew existed. The
key to bringing her back requires the blood of the person
who had done this to her. Medora had been an extremely
powerful wizard, and Vorador is aware that it would have
taken very powerful magic indeed to have overpowered her.
He also knows that Petra couldn't be responsible. But who
could the murderer be? He hasn't a clue. Petra has a
theory of course, not that Vorador would listen to it. He
just wanted to keep her out of harm's way, but then again
Petra wasn't the best listener either.
Often at odds, the two spar constantly. The byplay between
them is simply hilarious. Did I mention that poor Vorador
has an affinity for fire, and that Petra has a penchant for
setting him ablaze with her expletives? Or that somehow
even the simplest spells always go awry when she's in the
same room with him? But beneath all the posturing is a
rapidly developing passion. When they aren't rubbing each
other the wrong way, they are chafing to rub each other in
a way that's definitely right. Their connection is
electric, in more ways than one.
This story hits home on so many levels, for beneath all the
passion, humor, and suspense, is a neat little message
about prejudice. What happened to the cat? What is all this
pigs? Who tried to kill Medora, and why? These are just a
few of the mysteries that one will uncover while reading
this aptly named debut novel. Oh, and when Petra and
Vorador finally get it right, you'll definitely be glad
that you did. Whew! Fantastic! I can't wait to see what Ms.
Anderson comes up with next.
Copyright © 2003<
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted April 22, 2003