Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: Sorceress - Claudia Gray

Sorceress by Claudia Gray
Series: Spellcaster Trilogy #3
Genre: YA, supernatural
Published on March 3, 2015
Published by HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Read From: 4.18.15 - 4.23.15

To save the lives of countless people in Captive's Sound, Nadia has sworn herself to the One Beneath, to black magic. Her plan, and the town's only hope, is for Nadia to learn enough sorcery to strike back against the forces of darkness. But now that she's separated from her friends, her family, and her Steadfast, Mateo, Nadia is more vulnerable than ever to darkness. And as the sorceress Elizabeth summons torrential rains and brings the One Beneath closer to the mortal world, Nadia is running out of time to stop her. The final battle lines are drawn, surprising alliances are made, and true love is tested in the action-packed conclusion to the breathtaking Spellcaster series.


Dear Sorceress,

You are the conclusion to the Spellcaster Trilogy - a supernatural/paranormal romance trilogy that I’ll admit, I’ve enjoyed. With the ending of Steadfast, I was eager to see what Sorceress would bring. I won’t say that you disappointed me, but I do feel like there could have been more.

You pick up more or less where Steadfast left off. Nadia has been forced to swear her service to the One Beneath in order to find out how to stop Him once and for all. But as she studies dark magic with Elizabeth, the One Beneath’s most powerful servant and a Sorceress, Nadia might lose who she is to the darkness - forever. Meanwhile, Verlaine is falling deeper and deeper in love with Asa, a demon sworn to obey the One Beneath in all things, even if it means hurting the girl he loves. But Verlaine isn’t giving up on Asa quite yet; she’s determined to find a way to free him. But just in case, she’s also searching for a way to kill him.

I like doomsday scenarios - who doesn’t? But I generally think that doomsday stories should move a little faster than you did, Sorceress. Like your previous companions, you spend a lot of time setting things up. Elizabeth increases the rain and flooding to wear away the earth and destroy Captive’s Sound for the One Beneath’s return. There’s panic and mayhem and near-death experiences for Verlaine and Mateo. Nadia is wracked with guilt over what she has to do. Elizabeth causes more romantic tension between Mateo and Nadia. Verlaine and Asa know they should stay away from one another because of Asa’s being sworn to the One Beneath, but they somehow just can’t. The people of Captive’s Sound finally start to wonder about all the weird stuff that’s been going on, and that causes more mayhem and more danger for Verlaine, who they naturally turn against because of her curse.

You didn’t get good, Sorceress, until the end - when Nadia realizes that the only way to defeat the One Beneath is to travel to Hell itself and destroy the bridge that’s being built by Elizabeth. A trip to Hell? Sign me up! Well, in a reader sense, naturally. By this point I was a little bored with reading about the flood and Mateo and Nadia’s struggles that I was desperate for a change of scenery and pace. Hell promised that.

Sort of. Don’t get me wrong, Sorceress - your grand finale bordered on epic. I had some doubts as to whether or not certain characters would make it through the whole thing alive. Maybe Claudia Gray would pull a tragic ending after all. In general, your ending worked - it was the climax I needed after so much repetitive action - but it was also too quick. These characters have been through so much and that’s all they have to do to defeat Elizabeth and the One Beneath? It’s a double-edged sword with me, to be honest, because on the one hand I hate drawn-out endings. But on the other, when the rest of the book is drawn out, a swift ending feels out of place.

As far as characters go, Sorceress, I still liked them pretty well. Nadia is doing everything she can to save the people she loves, and Mateo is there supporting her in every way he can. I feel bad for Asa, who wants so badly to do the right thing, but literally cannot do anything that would go against the One Beneath and His goals. Asa can’t help it. Verlaine was hard to totally like, I have to admit. While I identify with her on some levels - like her love for vintage, always looking her best - her humor started to grate on my nerves, for some reason, and she seriously worried about what outfit to wear on her trip to Hell? I mean, yeah, I do that sort of thing, too. Always want to make sure you’re properly attired for any and all escapades. And I totally understood that to Verlaine, putting together an outfit and doing her makeup was her way of dealing - of preparing herself for what she had to face. At the same time, it felt ridiculous. Verlaine started to feel ridiculous, and I can’t exactly say why.

So, Sorceress, you had your flaws. You were a little slow for a finale, and your actual ending was too quick. The romance wasn’t awful, though once Mateo and Nadia slept together I had a hard time backing them because that always cheapens romance for me. Asa and Verlaine’s relationship was another version of the “nice girl falls for bad boy,” but oddly enough I could sort of support it because Asa was honestly trapped. He wasn’t a bad person; he was enslaved. But bizarrely enough, I still enjoyed you for the most part.

Feeling mostly satisfied,
Mara A.

Others in This Trilogy:


  1. I have tried only one of Claudia Gray's books, and I didn't end up finishing it. I have been meaning to go back and try that same one, or another.
    It is unfortunate that the pacing was slow. That is probably one of my biggest pet-peeves in a book. Thanks for your informative review.
    Suzi Q., The Book Dame

    1. You might want to try her newest book - A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU. I've been told it's her best book yet and I'm eager to pick it up next month.


Thank you for visiting The Reading Hedgehog! The hedgie and I love hearing from our readers, so please feel free to leave a comment or question! I always try to reply within a day or two. Please keep all comments civil and clean.