Author: Sebastian de Castell
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Audience: Young Adult
Magic is a con game.
Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage’s duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi – a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She’s difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen’s only hope…
Spellslinger is the first Sebastian De Castell book that I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time. There were a couple of things that I didn’t like so much, but overall, I thought it was a very good start to the series.
While I liked the characters in Spellslinger, I read them as being much older than they actually are. The main character is only fifteen, and it took a little bit of time to remember how young they are and how that impacts their decisions and their actions. I think I would have prefered them to have been a little bit older, but I carry on with the series; the characters will also get older. I think that they were all well developed throughout the plot, and you could see as they learnt things and how that changed the decisions they made. My favourite character has to be Reichis, the sassy squirrel cat. I loved the humour that he added to the story and how he changed the story’s dynamic.
It took me a little bit of time to get used to Sebastian De Castell’s writing style, but I really enjoyed it once I did. It flowed really nicely and suited the style of the characters, which meant that I was pulled into the story extremely quickly. The style of humour within Spellslinger is something that I liked, but I can see how it would annoy other readers.
When it comes to the plot, I found that it flowed nicely and didn’t ever feel static, which I can find within YA. In addition, I found that the magic system was extremely well explained and easy to follow along, which helped with my understanding. The plot developed nicely throughout the book and left me guessing right until the end.
I am looking forward to carrying on with the Spellsinger series and seeing the direction that the story is going to take after the events at the end of the book. If you like humorous YA fantasy I would definitely suggest that you give Spellslinger a try.