Imagine losing your home, your shop and your friends! Chloe Hobbs’s hometown has disappeared and in desperation she travels to Salem for answers, in Spun by Sorcery by Barbara Bretton.
The third in the Sugar Maple series follows immediately on from Laced with Magic. Chloe has finally managed to banish the Fae queen, Isadora. Unfortunately Chloe also seems to have expelled the whole town of Sugar Maple and all of its occupants as well!
Chloe is half human and half sorceress but despite living amongst the magickal community in Sugar Maple all of her life, she is only beginning to discover her own magickal powers. Her lineage goes back to the founding of Sugar Maple in Vermont shortly after the witch trials in the late 17th century. She is therefore also the de facto mayor of Sugar Maple.
Chloe owns Sticks & Strings, a highly successful yarn store. She is devastated by the loss of her shop and yarn stash. You can understand this if you are a knitter; losing my yarn would be like the loss of a part of myself!
Now Chloe’s shop, her home and her friends have disappeared in the blink of an eye – just removed from the face of the earth, as if they hadn’t existed! Chloe’s first resource is the Book of Spells. This tome contains the magickal wisdom of over 300 years worth of Hobbs women; but when she tries to call it there is no response.
Thankfully Chloe has Luke, Janice and Penny with her. Luke is the love of Chloe’s life; he is fully human and is the local law enforcement officer. Janice is a witch and Chloe’s close friend. Janice has managed to retrieve Penny (Chloe’s ancient black cat) along with Chloe’s old car and some of her yarn stash.
The friends have very little understanding of how their town has disappeared, let alone how to get it back again. They reluctantly agree that their only course of action is to drive to Salem. Salem is the town where the residents of Sugar Maple escaped from during the witch trials of the 17th Century. Could there be any magick left in Salem to will help them with their quest?
The trip leads Chloe to discover the origin of the town’s most longstanding familial rivalry. She faces life threatening perils along the way, but in order to win the battle for Sugar Maple, Chloe will have to question her feelings, confront her desires and demonstrate that she is worthy of her ancestry.
I loved the knitting chat in this book, especially between Chloe and Janice on the drive to Salem. There is a lot of knitting related articles at the back of the book. Some of these articles include patterns for a miniature sock, a mini stocking cap and a scarf amongst others. These are fun and an enjoyable addition to the book.
Barbara Bretton is a wonderfully creative writer, as she showed in the two previous books in the series. In Spun by Sorcery she gives us more background about the history of Sugar Maple, which I enjoyed. She also answers some questions about the relationships between the characters in the tale. Although not my favourite book in the series, Spun by Sorcery provides an interesting exploration of the bonds between the town’s characters.
I’ve grown to like Chloe and Luke. Although their relationship does not really move on much in this story, I enjoy their dialogue and the interesting take they have on issues that confront them. I also liked the cat Penny; a sort of familiar who has been with Chloe’s family since the move from Salem. I did miss some of the other quirky Sugar Maple towns folk, though.
I am glad that there were not too many additional characters introduced into this book; this helped continuity of the story. Each of the major new characters brought in added to the story and were pleasurable to read.
I thought that the drive to Salem was a bit longer than necessary. It did not add to the tension for me. I also thought that the final battle scene was too quick so it was rather anticlimactic.
I did, though, enjoy the humour in the book. Barbara Bretton’s writing style is a joy to read and there are some really strong scenes. I especially liked the Salem lighthouse as a setting for some of the later scenes.
I would recommend that you read the other two books in the series before this one. Although it can be read as a stand-alone tale, it makes it more enjoyable, in my opinion, to understand the references from the previous books.
Spun by Sorcery by Barbara Bretton has plenty of fun, fantasy and magic. The end of the book is left open for a return to the series. I look forward to the continuation of the story.
The yarn in the photos attached to this blog is my own Hand Dyed Opal Sock Yarn which is available here. I read this book on Kindle.