The Fourth Year Spell
by Amanda Jeffery
The Fourth Year Spell follows Duncan, an apprentice trying to complete his end-of-the-year final spell so he can progress to the next year when he runs into a band of thieves trying to rob the same home he is. Soon all their fates are tied together and Duncan must complete a totally different spell to save them all.
There's magic, suspense, violence, loyalty, and attraction all wrapped up in one short novella. I thought it was well developed for such a short story and though you want to know what happens for our characters next, I didn't feel confused or lost without a complete backstory. Enough detail was given that you could easily picture the world they lived in. The main reason I gave it four stars instead of five was that I'm not sure it's really a world that I want to learn more about as it seems kind of depressing.