Book Tour: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

About the Book:

Title: Spell Bound

Author: F.T. Lukens

Page Length: 336

Publication Date: April 4, 2023

Publisher: Simon Teen

Synopsis: Two rival apprentice sorcerers must team up to save their teachers and protect their own magic in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of In Deeper Waters and So This Is Ever After.

Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.

Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, and Rook minds less and less.

But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Bookshop

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Review/Reasons to Read the Book:

Spell Bound is a charming and magical story that sucked me in from its first page. I’m as obsessed with the story and characters as I am with that stunning cover. With witty humor, powerful themes, and compelling characters, it is a story about magic and belonging.

I’m thrilled to be on the tour today for this amazing book. Special thanks to Turn the Page Tours, Simon Teen, and the author for gifting me a copy. It’s the first book I’ve read by F.T. Lukens, but I’ve already purchased two others to read. Spell Bound was that good!! Here are four reasons you should check out the story too!

1. THE CHARACTERS. Rook and Sun are both apprentices to rival sorceresses. They, too, become rivals and frenemies, though they are really interested in each other. Rook and Sun are fantastic protagonists, layered and dynamic, and I like that the story switches between their perspectives. They are so different – Rook is positive, energetic, and lonely since his grandmother died. And Sun is grumpy and sarcastic, and they have a lot of family and no chance to be lonely. I thought both characters were relatable and realistic, and they contrasted and complemented each other equally well. Oh, and one gets turned into a cat – IT. IS. PURR-FECTION!!!

Antonia and Fable are great too. Powerful sorcerers, they are also frenemies, but they feel more like friends than enemies. Both characters are fierce and fearsome, and there’s a moral grayness that surrounds them and their complicated relationship. Like Sun and Rook, Antonia and Fable are opposites in look, ethics, and personality, yet they balanced each other well. I was as interested in their stories as I was in Rook and Sun’s!

Something else I loved about these characters is the found-family aspect of their story. I especially like that Rook finds people who include him and take him under his wing. He is a lonely kid who misses his grandmother, and you can tell he just wants to belong somewhere. It’s an unconventional and unlikely group, and it’s a fabulous one. And the banter! I love the dialogue throughout the story. The banter is fun and quick. and there are so many moments when I laughed out loud. The characters play off each other so well, and you can see the growing connections in the dialogue.

2. THE WORLD. The world-building is not the focus of the story, but it is vivid and compelling. Spire City is a fascinating magical world with curses, hexes, spelled objects, and people being turned into animals. And I now wish I owned a cursed doormat. I would so use that!! lol

Everything about this world is detailed and developed and unique. It’s a super immersive read, and I could easily picture a world similar to ours yet so very different. I enjoyed the urban fantasy feel where humans and people with all different types of and levels of magical power exist.

There’s also a rigid magical government whose motives and goals seem antiquated and questionable. It has a dystopian feel to it, as the Consortium hides behind its rules to exert control over the magical world and all of the people who inhabit it. I like how the author integrated different magical ways in which the Consortium influences, spies on, and manipulates its people and the world they live in. The dystopian and magic mesh seamlessly.

3. THE MESSAGES. Themes like wanting to belong, finding one’s place in the world, believing in yourself, and being open to connections and love are all highlighted in the story and are integral to the characters’ growth. I also think the book examines what it means to be different, as Rook is a human without magic trying to ingratiate himself into the magical community.

As Rook begins work with Antonia, he goes on a journey unlike anything he ever expected. I think he and Sun, and even Antonia and Fable by extension, learn a lot about the relationships that are important to them. They encounter so many challenges and obstacles, and the characters must learn to be vulnerable and trust in their abilities, as well as in the support of their friends and allies. Overall, the themes presented in this YA fantasy book spotlight the importance of self-discovery, relationships, and personal growth, making for a powerful and thought-provoking read. I think these messages will resonate well with readers of all ages.

4. THE LOVE STORY. It’s sweet and charming and has total grumpy/sunshine vibes. Rook and Sun have such contrasting personalities, but they find themselves drawn to each other despite their differences. The banter between the two characters is a standout feature, as their interactions are filled with wit, humor, and playful teasing. The development of their relationship is both heartwarming and engaging, as they slowly learn to overcome their initial animosity and begin to see each other in a new light. Their sweet and charming romance is a delightful addition to the story, adding depth and nuance to both characters.

Favorite Lines:

The only person who ever loved me was my grandmother. She was magic. I miss her. I wanted to be close to her, to be part of the community she loved. But I’m not magic.

Don’t worry about being palatable for other people. Be yourself, Sun, and if that’s not enough or too much for someone else, that’s their problem, not yours.

I’m capable of anything. Don’t you know? Of turning the most ardent rule follower against them. Of creating magic where there is none. Even after walking the straight and narrow for decades, I’m still the monster in their fairy tales.

You don’t have to prove your worth to be my friend.

No matter what happens, you were the best part of this whole magical adventure.

About the Author:

F.T. LUKENS (they/them) is a New York Times bestselling author of YA speculative fiction including the novels So This Is Ever After and In Deeper Waters (2022 ALA Rainbow Booklist; Junior Library Guild Selection) as well as other science fiction and fantasy works. Their contemporary fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic was a 2017 Cybils Award finalist in YA Speculative Fiction and the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Winner for YA fiction and won the Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. F.T. resides in North Carolina with their spouse, three kids, three dogs, and three cats.


There are two (2) finished copies of this book available for giveaway! To enter, click the following link:

18 thoughts on “Book Tour: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

  1. I’ve had my eye on this since I found out it existed last week (I loved their other book In Deeper Waters). And now that I know one of the protags gets turned into a cat I HAVE to read it!

  2. This sounds so so so goood! I’m excited to try this author cos I’ve heard great things about their books. I’ve sort of started one book that I can’t wait to get back to once I finish my other reads 🙂 Great review!

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