Cozy and Comforting Queer Joy: Spell Bound by FT Lukens

Release Date: April 4, 2023
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult


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, 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.

So, I’ve been reading F.T. Lukens since their first YA fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic (which I adored!). I’ve read every YA fantasy they’ve written since, and loved them all. All of them are cozy and comforting, even when the protagonists are dealing with anxiety or trauma. The threads of love (in its myriad forms), found family, and queer affirmation and joy connect each novel. For a while now, reading each new Lukens book has reminded me of something I couldn’t quite place. Something on the tip of my tongue, on the edge of my mind. With Spell Bound, it finally hit me: Diana Wynne Jones…

Read the rest of this review at

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