Open Sorcery | Critical Book Review

A Spellbinding Fantasy with Missed Opportunities

“Open Sorcery” by Rob Sheely beckons readers into a world where magic reigns supreme, holding up a mirror to our own society’s technological dependence. In this indie fantasy novel, Sheely crafts a thought-provoking narrative that explores the integration of magic into everyday life and introduces us to a world where magic is as ubiquitous as technology is in our own reality.

A Magical World Unveiled

Sheely’s story introduces us to a unique world, where magic isn’t an elitist privilege but a common part of society, affecting personal, financial, and social aspects of people’s lives. The novel delves into a realm where magic and homeless magical drug addicts coexist, painting a vivid backdrop for its narrative.

In Baxter’s Grove, Harrold and Harrold, a quaint family-owned magic house, resists the domination of magical monopolies like the Guild of Magic. Jack Harrold, the son of the founder, hopes to rejuvenate the struggling business with a seemingly brilliant deal. However, when Tad, an apprentice spellbinder fresh from the Academy, is tasked with fixing Jack’s client’s spell, things take a dark turn. Unbeknownst to them, the client has ulterior motives, setting in motion a perilous chain of events.

Immersive World-Building

From the first page, “Open Sorcery” immerses readers in its enchanting world. While it bears some resemblance to our own reality, Sheely deftly navigates the fine line between the two, ensuring that the contrasts serve as background elements rather than the main attraction. Readers will find themselves seamlessly integrated into the world of magic, feeling more like residents than tourists.

Sheely’s skillful world-building extends to character development. In the initial half of the novel, characters are introduced and developed in a way that feels organic and well-rounded. The multiple perspectives employed throughout the story enhance the understanding of each character, their motivations, and their personalities.

A Rushed Climax

However, the latter half of the book takes a different turn. The pace quickens, hurtling toward a hurried climax. Along the way, the level of detail and nuance displayed in the first half is sacrificed. Dialogue becomes choppy, losing its natural flow, and descriptions feel lacking. What begins as a compelling tale centered on one magic house’s struggle for survival quickly morphs into a world-saving mission against malevolent forces. The shift leaves readers yearning for more of the initial, smaller-scale narrative.

Final Verdict

“Open Sorcery” is undoubtedly an intriguing read, primarily thanks to its captivating premise. The meticulously crafted magical world will undoubtedly keep you engaged. Despite the later shortcomings in the story’s pacing and depth, the book remains a satisfying experience. Baxter’s Grove, as depicted in Sheely’s narrative, holds the potential for multiple revisits, making this indie fantasy novel well worth exploring.

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
IndieBookViewFantasy371 pages979-8986982304

A Spellbinding Fantasy with Missed Opportunities “Open Sorcery” by Rob Sheely beckons readers into a world where magic reigns supreme, holding up a mirror to our own society’s technological dependence. In this indie fantasy novel, Sheely crafts a thought-provoking narrative that explores the integration of magic into everyday life and introduces us to a world…