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Melanie Rawn's Spellbinder


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Okay, my interest in this books requires a little preamble. First of all, the only thing I ever liked (loved) by Rawn was her Exiles trilogy, which after 10 years is still missing the last part. I tried to read her earlier popular books, like the Dragon Prince books, but they were terrible. The dialog was clich?d and the sex was gratuitous. I like my sex and romance and magic and all that, but nothing came close to the politics and subtleties of Exiles.


So after much hesitation, I picked up Spellbinder, first curious because it might have some insight into my missing novel, and because it was the first novel Rawn wrote after her clinical depression episode. It advertises itself as "a romance with magical interruptions." Already, I wished that was reversed, but I continued on because I also wanted to see how she would portray modern witches.


I was horribly disappointed. The "witches" were Wiccan, with their color-coded robes (a different color for each, like the Power Rangers or something) and circle drawing, even the lame "So Mote It Be." The dialog reverted back to the unskilled Dragon Prince era of badness, and the characters were so shallow I threw the book down in disgust at least 5 times.


I only got to about 25 pages before I called it quits for good. The main character both weirded me out and disgusted me. I do just want to point out one funny bit that related to me-- her name is Holly (McLure, also lame) and she is a red-headed witch of Irish ancestry. I don't know if that makes me a clich?, but it was too eerie a coincidence. The final straw was when Holly was revealed as a writer of fantasy novels (like Rawn and by the extension of my English major and goal to work in publishing novels, like me).


So while the similarities between the main character and me were just weird, the grossness came from Rawn writing herself into this soft porn fantasy world. I didn't get to the sex in the first 20 pages, but preceeding the title page was enough of a teaser to convince me that there was nothing original in those pages.


In any case, anyone on this forum would be similarly revolted by the portrayal of witchcraft in that book. I'm just horribly disappointed in Rawn and I'm further disappointed with the unfortunate wide-spread acceptance of Wiccans as legitimate witches.


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