Last year, I had the absolute delight of being given an ARC of Caster by Elsie Chapman – an exciting dystopian-fantasy where magic – or ‘casting’ – comes with a cost, and is often at the expense of the magic-caster’s body. I enjoyed Caster, and eagerly anticipated the sequel.
Caster was a thrilling ride from start to finish. I pitch it as a mix of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood meets one of my favourite crime thrillers, Infernal Affairs. Caster follows an Asian teen, Aza Wu, who enters an underground casting tournament akin to Fight Club to find answers about her sister’s death.
It’s been awhile since I’ve taken part in a blog tour. Therefore, I could not be more delighted to partner with Caffeine Blog Tours, organised and hosted by my amazing friend Shealea from Shut Up, Shealea, to participate in the blog tour for the sequel of Caster: Spell Starter by Elsie Chapman! (See the launch post for the Spell Starter tour here!) A huge thank you to Shealea for hosting this blog tour, a heartfelt congratulations and thank you to Elsie Chapman for writing an action-packed and exciting series for all of us to read, and a thank you to Scholastic for providing us with an eARC.
Spell Starter by Elsie Chapman
Cover artist: Mishko
Yes, Aza Wu now has magic back. But like all things in her life, it has come at a great cost. After the tournament, Aza is able to pay off her parents’ debt to Saint Willow. Unfortunately, the cost of the gathering spell she used to strip Finch of his magic has put her permanently in the employ of the gang leader. Aza has been doing little errands using real magic — collecting debts, putting the squeeze on new businesses in the district. But that had never been the plan. Saint Willow is nothing if not ambitious and having Aza as a fighter is much more lucrative than as a fixer. Especially if she can control the outcome. Aza is going to have to put it all on the line again to get out of this situation!
My fanart for Spell Starter!
A prevalent theme in Spell Starter is cost: the cost of casting magic has on the user’s body, the cost of Aza’s actions and how they impact her family, the world around her and her morals, and the underlying question of Spell Starter: magic, power, victory, family, peace – but at what cost?
As most of you know, I love drawing book fanart. While reading Spell Starter, I loved how vivid and incredible the imagery was; I was so engaged by Elsie’s storytelling and Aza’s dangerous path, and I really wanted to create art that captured that – her pain, her determination, and her power.
So here is my fanart for Spell Starter:
About the Author
Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George, Canada, and has a degree in English literature from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of the YA novels Dualed, Divided, Along the Indigo, and Caster as well as the middle-grade novel All the Ways Home, and the coeditor of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and Hungry Hearts. She currently lives in Tokyo, Japan, with her family.