Mundie Moms

Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Review-Nightspell & Author Interview with Leah Cypess

Published by Harper Collins
To Be Released on May 31st, 2011 TOMORROW
Source- Book from publisher for review
4 stars- I really enjoyed it

Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.

Darri's sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister . . . if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all? (quoted from Goodreads).

Nightspell is an alluring spellbinding fantasy with a fantastic twist. The story's strong characters, and unique world, Ghostland, make Nightspell the perfect companion novel to Leah Cypess's debut novel, Mistwood.
The story centers on Darri who's traveling with her brother, Prince Varis, to rescue their youngest sister Callie. Callie was taken a few years ago and brought to the dreaded Ghostland. In this land where the living and the dead live side by side, nothing is what it seems, even for Callie. Darri, the story's main character and Callie are both strong characters, and I was really surprised at how much I ended up liking Darri. By the end of the story I completely understood her motives for her actions through out the book. The character who surprised me the most was Clarisse, who is also in Mistwood.

I am a sucker for strong, independent, well written characters, which Nightspell has a lot of. I loved the action, the subtle romance, the tension and character chemistry that happens between both the living and the dead. The deception between the characters was brilliant. It kept me glued to the pages, because I had to know what happened next. Leah Cypress really delivers a one of the kind fantasy story filled with in-depth plot twists. I really enjoyed the mythology that centers on Ghostland, as it explains why ghosts and the living are allowed to live side by side, and it's this part of the story that I was the most fascinated with.

Leah Cypess is an engaging fantasy story teller, and has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I loved her debut book Mistwood and really enjoyed reading Nightspell. I want to point out that Nightspell is not a sequel, but a companion book in the series, which can also be read as a stand alone. If you love reading fantasy I highly recommend picking up both books!


We're the next stop in the Nightspell blog tour, hosted by The Teen Scene. Today we're excited to share with you our recent interview we had with Leah.

We loved Mistwood and we're really looking forward to Nightspell. Are you able to tell us a little bit about the story?
It’s about a new character, Darri, who grew up on the other side of the mountains that border Samorna. She’s a member of a tribe of plainspeople and is being sent to a kingdom called Ghostland to marry their prince. Four years
ago, her sister was sent to Ghostland for the same reason, and Darri is determined to rescue her. But her sister is not eager to be saved…and Darri is going to have to come to terms with how her sister has changed, and to reexamine beliefs she has never before questioned.

What is something you most admire about Isabel (from Mistwood)?
I love how she always keeps her cool in every situation, even when internally she’s in turmoil.

Have you found it easier to write a sequel or is it a little more intimidating?
It was a lot harder. First of all, the timeline was much tighter; I had years to get Mistwood into exactly the form I wanted it to be before I submitted it. Even though I wrote the first draft of Nightspell before I had a publishing deal, I had to revise much faster. Also, it can be difficult to switch back and forth mentally from promoting one book to writing another. (Technically, Nightspell is a companion novel to Mistwood, rather than a sequel.)

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most?
I really feel like I got to know Darri over the course of writing and revising Nightspell, discovering things about her that I hadn’t fully realized (even though I had written them!) That was a great experience for me. A lot of writing is about getting to know your subconscious better. ;)

What is a recent released you've read, that you'd recommend to our followers?
I recently read Entwined by Heather Dixon, a retelling of the fairy tale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I definitely recommend that one!

Thank you Leah for joining us today! Be sure to visit Leah on her site here and to find out more about Mistwood and Nightspell, but sure to visit the Harper Teen site here.


  1. Nice, this has been on my to read list for a while! I am really excited for this release!

  2. I can hardly wait for this! Mistwood is one of the best books I've read in the last decade so I'm super excited for a companion novel. I'm going to pre-order it today!!!

  3. And I now have both on my TBR. Thanks for the review..."twisty" stories always get me.

  4. Larissa- I hope you enjoy it!!

    Heather- I LOVE Mistwood. This is a great companion novel for it.

    Sophie- I think you will LOVE both the books.