Spell Bound by F. T. Lukens was recommended to me by a YA librarian friend. ( I read this as a passport book – recommended by a friend.) The story is told in alternating chapters by two magician’s apprentices: Rook and Sun.
Rook, who was raised by his magician grandmother, is deemed unmagical. After her death, he is sentenced by the Magical Consortium to move away from his home and live in the city without magic. He is a genius (he keeps telling us that) and has invented the Spell Binder, a magic detection machine. Rook manages to convince Antonia, the world’s most powerful sorceress, to hire him. Sun is a typical apprentice, working with Fable, learning magic in a cottage in the woods. Fable and Antonia both work helping ordinary people to be freed of jinxes, curses, and hexes. The two magicians are fierce business rivals.
Once Sun and Rook meet, sparks fly and they are instantly drawn to each other. In a very carefully constructed plot, their relationship grows as all four of them get into trouble with the Magical Consortium for not following their rules.
I loved this book. The four main characters were all wonderful. They are real, vulnerable, and very relatable. (It is rare to have a book where I felt so strongly about all the main characters.) The book is a quick read, with lots of action, romance, and funny parts. It is a great coming of age story. All four main characters, even the adults, learn and grow through their experiences. And it has a happy ending!
The one criticism I have is with the cover. The two apprentices are not depicted at all like they are in the book. There are repeated references to Sun always wearing black and neither of the boys on the cover is wearing black.
I think lots of Cannonball Reads folks would enjoy this book. I recommend you read it for Pride Month!