A while ago, I purchased a series of books entitled “The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge” by Jacob Z. Flores and I ended up forgetting all about them until recently when I was browsing through my “To Read” list on my Kindle. For some reason, I’d purchased the entire four-book series at once, something I typically don’t do unless I’ve read at least one of the books in the series. But I must have been encouraged by positive reviews to get them all at once.
Anyway, I finally started the series with the first book, “Spell Bound”, a young adult (rated R) paranormal story. The main character is Mason Blackmore, a high school tough guy and one of three warlock brothers (their dad is a warlock as well). While Mason’s father and brothers are powerful warlocks, Mason’s active power has yet to surface, so his spells never turn out quite the way he intended, leading him to feel that he is a disappointment to his family.
The Blackmoors along with two other families: a family of witches who use white magic and a family of wizards who use gray magic are charged with protecting the source of all magic in the world call “The Gate”. Mason’s family uses black magic, though it’s not the type of “evil” magic we see with Voldemort on Harry Potter; instead, a warlock’s black magic is dark, powerful and sometimes selfish.
The Murder and The Stranger
The story kicks off with a dead body showing up on the football field at Mason’s high school. At the same time, Mason encounters a new kid at school: cocky, self-confident Drake Carpenter, who immediately rubs Mason the wrong way.
Drake appears to dislike Mason as well, and Mason can’t help but wonder whether Drake’s appearance has anything to do with the dead girl found at school. He suspects that Drake may be a magical being of some kind and sure enough, Mason later encounters Drake out in the woods running and jumping in a somewhat non-human manner. Mason assumes the new kid is a shifter.
Mason & Drake
Thus far, Mason and Drake appear to have an intense dislike for each other, but that seems to change after Mason saves Drake’s life in the town square. Though our young warlock tells himself that he dislikes the cocky Drake, he also can’t deny his attraction to him.
The two eventually get together, finally acknowledging their mutual attraction and overcome their initial misunderstanding of one another. It also appears to be no coincidence that right after Drake showed up on Mason’s life, Mason was able to tap into his active power.
But it’s not going to be an easy road for either of them.
Another murder leads to the appearance of The Conclave — a council of mysterious, hooded and extremely powerful warlocks, witches, and wizards who typically only show up in dire circumstances. Their strange behavior concerns the magical families, and instead of helping with the danger, the Conclave seems to be ignoring it.
Things become more dangerous for the Mason and Drake in the coming days, leading to a nearly lethal battle with a powerful foe, which threatens the existence of all three magical families. At the end of the book, the battle may be won, but not the war. We distinctly get the feeling that there’s more danger ahead. But for now, there is a rest from strife and a “happy for now” ending.
Though Mason initially comes across as a surly teen, his overly tough exterior melts once Drake comes into the picture and he transforms into a likable, complex character. This well-told gripping story contained elements of mystery, romance, danger, suspense, young love, grief and magic with excellent plot and character development. I loved the chemistry and innocence between Mason and Drake and enjoyed seeing both of their characters grow. The romance in the story wasn’t rushed but proceeded slowly and cautiously.
I look forward to reading more about the warlock brothers and look forward to the next book in the series. Recommended!
You can check out Spell Bound HERE