A very good start to a new trilogy in the Nine Kingdoms. Despite my disappointment in the finale of Kurland's last Nine Kingdoms Trilogy, I was still excited to read The White Spell. I had read the synopsis and was intrigued to learn more about Acair (who is a villain in previous books) and I was just hoping to fall in love again with her writing like I did in the past.
Acair has been a mischief making no good black mage for his entire life. He finds himself in a moment of weakness and agrees to a penance of sorts for the evil things he has done. He is not allowed to use his magic for a year, and he is to go to a unpleasant land and work as a stable hand. Being a man of his word (his one and only virtue) he heads to Saraichte to do his time.
When he gets there he immediately begins working and becomes intrigued by Leirsinn who has quite a gift with handling horses. She is the local lord's niece and is working the stables so that her grandfather can be cared for. Her situation is dire but she is saving and trying to get herself and her grandfather out. She and Acair unfortunately run afoul of some dark magic and need to flee for their lives.
I loved Acair! He is honest to everyone but himself it seems. He is waging an inner war of good versus evil. He curses at quite a many things, horses, and people. Yet he shows tenderness and gentlemanly qualities as well. He is the main reason I was pleased with this book. I definitely fell for him and his tortured self. Leirsinn on the other hand was way too similar to Aisling of the previous Nine Kingdoms Trilogy. I grew tired of her constant swooning and denial of the truth staring her in the face. But she still was sweet and courageous and bursting with potential. Great things may come from both of these characters in the future.
Kurland's plots (at least for the Nine Kingdoms stories because I haven't read many of her others) are starting to get a little repetitive and predictable. That's why I was excited to see her make a previous villain into a hero. This was out of the box, and she completed the task spectacularly. There is a bit too much flying around from place to place seeking safety and searching for answers. I really hope Kurland has something unexpected up her sleeves for the next two books. I have all the faith in her and am as always impatient for the next book!
**ARC Provided by Publisher**