The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors

Emmeline Thistle was never supposed to live past a day old. Being born with a curled foot, the midwife decided it was best for all that she be taken in the woods and left there. Her mother is left unaware while her father has to comfort her knowing the truth.

But, as you know. This isn't how the story ends. Emmeline is visited by four cows who brave the cold to provide her warmth and protect her. Against the odds, Emmeline is greeted in the morning by the astonished milkman whose cows unexpected trailed off the day before. Thus begins Emmeline's incredible story of survival as the "unnatural" girl of Root.

Emmeline's disability makes others see her as wrong and unnatural. Her fellow villagers whisper about her and stir all kinds of drama. Emmeline knows that she is unwanted. She knows that she was unwanted from the day she was born but her mother always loved her. Two souls intertwined. She no longer has her mother but she has her father, who's eyes reveal shame whenever he looks at her. No matter, the husband market day is coming soon and she'll get to see all the girls bidding on their future husbands. A fate she knows she'll never have especially with Griffin Boar, who's the most handsome boy of them all. She just enjoys the spectacle of it all.

But, life doesn't always goes to plan when she finds her village gone in a second by a flood, her father taken from her, and a new life waiting for her. And something she could have never imagined stirring up inside her - magic and the hope for love.

Emmeline's humbleness, kindness, and fire made her endearing. I really liked that she represented a strong girl who happened to be disabled. She fought to live with every breath she had since the beginning. Her strange gift to have all cows everywhere want to be near her made her doubly lovable.

The story is sectioned by different people coming into the mix. There were two point of views with Emmeline being the most prominent. The story took you along through a journey of deception, betrayal, love, and acceptance. The legend behind Emmeline being able to make chocolate intertwined all the characters lives and the lives of the Kingdom.

Owen Oak is the second POV who comes in sometimes to give his take on Emmeline and what happens on his end of the story. Owen is considerably kind. He never treated Emmeline like less. I don't even think he ever called her a dirt-scratcher (a derogatory name for her people). He was simply a good guy.

The writing was phenomenal. I was captured by the very first sentence. That's another reason why I love Emmeline so much - her voice is so interesting as well as her origins. Selfors really knew how to keep me wondering about the fate of the characters so that I kept turning the pages. I had so much nervous energy to see how everything would play out.

My only grievance was that I wanted Owen (a bare fist fighter and dairyman's son) and Emmeline to get to know each other more before she was whisked away into the next act in the story. I wanted them to have more conversations and see that slow progression of caring for each other. It didn't feel like inst-love so you don't have to worry about that. But, for such a long book, I shouldn't want more.

The Sweetest Spell conjured up my interest with magic, love, and chocolate. It made me a fan of the main character who's acceptance of herself was the real journey.

If you could make magic like Emmeline, what would you make and what animal would it connect to?


  1. What a lovely-sounding book! Going to check it out, thanks!

  2. This sounds great! I love magical stories so this sounds right up my street. Stunning review lovely! <3

    Charlotte |

  3. Sounds like a lovely story. Thanks for sharing.


Post a Comment

back to top