The Marriage Spell by Mary Jo Putney
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2006
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 384 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
The Marriage Spell is a wonderful historical fantasy set in the Regency era. In this alternate universe, magic is everywhere and there are many wizards (female as well as male), but the aristocracy scorns magic. As a child, Jack Langdon, Lord Frayne, suffered terribly at the hands of his father, who hated Jack's magical talent so much, he sent Jack to a boarding school with brutal staff who beat and brainwashed Jack into loathing the magical part of himself--as well as magic in anyone else. While at the school, Jack banded together with several other sons of aristocrats, whose parents also despised their magical powers, in order to defend each other from the school bullies who abused their power as prefects over the other boys. In the process Jack formed lifelong friendships.
Abigail Barton is the daughter of a baronet who is a practicing wizard and who has raised her to use and respect her own magic. She has admired Jack from afar for many years when he has come to her part of England to hunt, but she has never met him until the day he suffers a terrible fall. Jack is paralyzed and near death when his long-time friends carry him to Abigail and beg her to try and heal him. Abigail agrees, but her powers are not strong enough alone. Jack's friends must unleash their long denied magical talent to join with Abigail and local wizards to do a powerful healing circle on Jack--which ultimately cannot fully succeed unless Abigail unlocks Jack's powers and draws on them as well.
The characters, story and writing are all excellent in this book, and I highly recommend it to fans of historical fantasy. Amazon seems to have placed all the reviews of Ms. Putney's fans for this book here, but I didn't see a review of the actual audiobook recording, so I will focus primarily on the quality of the audiobook recording itself.
Simon Prebble is a talented British actor who is a particularly felicitous choice to narrate a novel filled with British characters. He renders all of them with great authenticity.
Mr. Prebble is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator who earns his glowing reputation here. He does full justice to every nuance of Ms. Putney's fabulous book and his voice talent reminds me of Jim Dale who narrated all of the Harry Potter books. That's a high compliment, because in my humble opinion, Jim Dale is the greatest living voice talent today.
The sound quality of this recording is excellent, and it comes with 10 separate discs.
If you like this recording, Mr. Prebble has recorded a number of other novels by romance authors, including Stolen Magic by Mary Jo Putney, Stephanie Laurens' The Reckless Bride, Jo Beverley's Lady Beware, and Julia Quinn's When He Was Wicked.