Review: The Train (The Spell Saga: Book 1) by Cari Z

Rating: 4.5🌈

What a exciting and suspenseful story! From the moment we dive into the harried life of young Anton Seiber, journeyman thaumaturge, we are plunged into a world of murder, spies, Royal espionage, and magical weaponry! On a train!

The Train (The Spell Saga: Book 1) by Cari Z has a nonstop fast action plot that’s rich with excellent characters, a multitude of themes, from those peoples wishing freedom from Royalty to dangerously magical weaponry and spells to imminent continental war. With a the hint of a romance as well.

Mystery, murder, and magic!

I’ll go ahead and throw in the mayhem that occurs when Anton Seiber misses his train to Zurich from a Paris layover. He’s got a hard earned scholarship to the Masters of Thaumaturgy program at the prestigious Universität Zürich and he must be there precisely on time or all will be lost.

So when the occasion arises where he assumes the identity of a man that will be traveling on the last train to get him there? He takes it.

Anton Seiber is such a fabulous character. He’s worked hard to become the best thaumaturge he can and you absolutely believe in his pursuit of knowledge and his magical abilities. He’s a vivid personality that makes you wonder what’s happening within his head, and heart!

The person to bring out the most confusing emotions and the best of his abilities is the French Emperor’s spy ,Lord Camille Lumière . It’s their joint investigations aboard the train, the murders and murderous attempts that keep this story rocking along at a fast pace . It also keeps us guessing as to who the next target is and where the danger is coming from. And are they ever going to kiss?

The Train and our heroes work through all the investigations to a highly satisfying ending that starts a hint of a romance for the series.

The Train leaves me in great anticipation for The Tower, coming out soon.

Until then, I’m highly recommending The Train, the first in this new series by Cari Z. It’s magical, suspenseful, murderous, and more entertaining then you can imagine!

The Spell Saga series:

✓ The Train #1

◦ The Tower #2 -October 11, 2022

◦ The Tank #3-October 25, 2022

The Train: The Spell Saga: Book Oneby Cari Z


Anton Seiber, journeyman thaumaturge, has finally escaped his dead-end job identifying bodies in the morgues of London. He’s off to seek a brighter future…or he would be, if he hadn’t just been robbed, mugged, and turned away from the only train that will help him reach that future on time.

A random meeting turns into a fight for his life and gifts Anton with two things: a knife that always kills whatever it stabs, and the chance to assume the identity of the man who just tried to kill him and board the train in his place.

He wasn’t counting on being found out by a lumière, one of the French emperor’s most powerful and intriguing spies. He wasn’t betting on a murder being committed on the train, or on being asked for his help identifying the culprits. He wasn’t asking to be drawn into a web of simmering insurrection, and he certainly didn’t want to find Lord Lumière so irresistible, but there’s no denying it.

Perhaps Anton will even tell him so…if he survives to the end of this journey.


Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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