A Spell for Irresistible Charm

Sylvia, woodcutter’s daughter, maid of obscure birth, must remain in the forest. Her sole heritage, her sole special birthright is terror of King Julien of Torquella. No riches has she inherited, no right to might, no claim to fame, instead the necessity to conceal herself from the eyes of this very rich, mighty and famous person.

When eventually he chances upon her, Julien thinks to see in Sylvia’s face, with its features so reminiscent of those of her sister Floretta, confirmation of the continuing existence of the coveted Secret of Eternal Youth. Her success in extricating herself from his grasp – and from that of others – leads him to observe she now holds a second equally desirable spell — that of Irresistible Charm.

Will these great gifts fall into the hands of the King? And what will become of Sylvia?

Amaranth trilogy

The fantasy trilogy AMARANTH spans half a century in the history of the fictitious kingdom Torquella and concerns members of the royal family and one peasant family whose destinies become linked.

A Spell for Irresistible Charm is the second book of the trilogy, the others being The Secret of Eternal Youth and The Crown of Untold Wisdom.

mounting excitement

A Spell for Irresistible Charm (published May 2009) is the sequel to The Secret of Eternal Youth (published October 2007). Ideally, both books should be read before The Crown of Untold Wisdom, the third book of the trilogy, published in July 2010. From a short-lived peaceful idyll at the beginning of the first book, excitement builds up gradually throughout the three volumes, reaching fever pitch in the concluding chapters of The Crown.

who is Sylvia?

Sylvia is the equally beautiful sister of the legendary Floretta. Both sisters are the daughters of the mysterious and melancholy Flora — a retiring and elusive figure. But the two have different fathers. The father of the otherworldly Floretta was Flora’s first true love, the forest, the eternal forest, ‘the forest primeval’ (Longfellow), while Sylvia has a very manly father, the woodsman Sylvester, the solitary but handsome and noble fellow who rescues and takes in the half-crazed Flora and attempts to heal her by replacing what she has lost (her daughter).

So, while there was something ethereal about the iconic Floretta who pursued only ‘goodness’ in her own serene way, Sylvia is an earthy and very human young lady — potentially quite feisty — who even has boyfriends. She sees Floretta as the sister she never knew and as the image she can never live up to.

how does Sylvia become irresistibly charming?

A series of rather strange (and magical) things happen to Sylvia when she and one of her boyfriends are out in the mountains… Nothing will ever be the same again.

but surely the spell will make her invincible?

Not necessarily. It will lead to her being labelled a witch, in company with her sister. Indeed, her arch-enemy King Julien of Torquella will suspect that the two girls are but one and the same person, making Sylvia the holder of two secrets he covets. He takes her before an old admirer of Floretta’s (the Prince Elbert of Ferrar, whom he has held in confinement for nigh on two decades) to see if she is recognised:
“Go cold phantoms,” a feeble voice issued at last. “Shrink back into the cold stone whence you have come. And tease me no more with visions of an open door.” Yet, though he had now spoken, the prisoner had still scarcely moved; he had not even turned his head towards them.
Unable to contain herself longer, Sylvia turned towards Parva. “Who is this person?” she asked. “Will you not now tell me? And what has he done that he must remain imprisoned like this?”
“What now?” remarked the prisoner quietly in response to this. “Do I hear newer and sweeter tones? Must she too come to haunt me? If she has come to comfort me, then she may stay, but if she has come as a demon to torment me, then I must bid her good day.”
“Aha!” responded the King, who stood quietly at the back, scarcely inside the door. “So he knows her, does he?” His words came with something akin to a gleeful chuckle.
“Now I hear the oldest and sourest voice,” murmured the prisoner. “I bid him good day!”
“Step nearer,” Parva told Sylvia, “and look closer on him that he too must look on you.”
Reluctantly Sylvia did this, but though she paraded to and fro before the prisoner on Parva’s instructions, he responded no more – no word passed his lips to acknowledge or reject her, no flicker crossed his eye.
“Pah! Enough of this charade!” declared the King at length. He turned on his heel and strode off along the dark passage without.

What people have said about A Spell for Irresistible Charm :

I felt I must just drop you a line to say how overwhelmed I was with the first two of the trilogy. I have not chosen fantasy before – I think I was put off in my teens when a teacher suggested I should read Tolkien and I just hated those hobbits. Your stories, by contrast, soon sucked me in and had me hooked. I was so enthralled that I started ‘A Spell...’ as soon as I had finished ‘The Secret....’ I thought they were both beautifully written and unputdownable. Please let me know when you publish ‘The Crown......

- Lyn Greenhalgh, Norley, Cheshire

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Book Details

A Spell for Irresistible Charm

Margaret Swift


Age Range
16 Years +


(Uk Delivery : £1.49)