The Book of Spells

Title: The Book of Spells (A Private Series Prequel)

Author: Kate Brian

Summary from Goodreads:

The Book of Spells will make you it’s witch.

Just as the Private series comes to a close, we take a look back. Hundred years ago, the originals Billings School for Girls and was the sister school to Easton Academy. Meant to turn girls into dutiful wives, it ended up producing one of the school’s most enduring legacies.

At the helm is Elizabeth Williams. Joining with her friends, they decide to form the Billings Literary Society. Initiation is difficult and dangerous, but once the eleven girls are part of the society, she informs them she would like them to a part of her coven. A powerful witch by birth, Elizabeth shares the book of spells that has been passed through her family. The girls cast charms, cursing the headmaster and giving blisters to boys with wandering hands.

But soon things grow sinister and the coven begins to splinter, with some wanting eternal wealth and others looking for even darker magic. Can Elizabeth put a stop to what she has created? And what repurcussions will this have for the future girls of Billings?

Personal Review:

Okay, this personal review is going to be split up into two different parts, the non-spoiler part will be first and then I will have a spoiler alert and the rest of the review will be spoiler. This is a prequel to a series that has been out for years. The prequel was just published this past December. If you have not read the Private series DO NOT START WITH THE PREQUELS. They will give away much of the plot of the books and take out the mystery. However, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend the series. I have been reading them for close to five years now.

The book starts out with Elizabeth about to go to the boarding school Billlings. The year is the mid-1910s. Upon arriving at school, Eliza immediately makes friends with a couple of girls and while working in the gardens, they stumble upon a sort of treasure map that they decide to follow. They decide to follow it and much to their surprise, it leads not to treasure but to a magic spell book and a hidden room. The girls decide to, in fun, form a coven.

At first it was all fun and games, from changing the color of a dress, to fixing a tear. There were potions to give boys with wondering hands boils. But swiftly, fun and games turn into something much more serious. Soon the girls find themselves in over their heads and have to find help in a most unlikely person.

I love this series, however this book left some things wanting. It was not nearly as good as the originals in the series.



If you have read this series and this book, I would love to know your opinions. The end felt a little rushed. It was also hard to buy that they got up to all their shenanigans and such in only two weeks.

And then I was very dissatisfied with the love aspect of this novel. While The Book of Spells, was not a love story or about romance, I felt that if Kate Brian hadn’t intended to have Eliza end up with the guys, she shouldn’t have had them fall for each other so hard. The whole back and forth for the book. It was very frustrating. And then I was angry in the end that they didn’t get together despite the fact that Theresea had admitted that he loved Eliza and they should be together. Did anyone else feel this way or was I alone?

My other issues with the book will be brought up in my review of Ominous, since several of them have already been brought up.

 Rating: 3.5

Let me know what you think of this book. Did you like it? Hate it? Want to read it?


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