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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

REVIEW: Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell


There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.

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...
  Sebastien de Castell quickly became one of my favourite authors after I read Traitor's Blade in September last year. Even tough Spellslinger wasn't as good as his debut novel, I still loved it despite the few problems I had with it.

  I love de Castell's writing. It's engaging, enjoyable and easy to read. He also includes a lot of humour in it which I totally love (again, the Greatcoats are far better but the funny moments here weren't bad either).

  I love the world he's created! It's interesting and very problematic. There is that one character who constantly mock's the mages' traditions because they rely on magic and nothing else. Her comments are hilarious. She mocks them because basically, they are all thought that magic is their one most priced possession and their future depends on how strong they become. The magic system is quite interesting but what I loved the most were the different types of abilities they could get and the way they could "spark" them.

Usually, such books (especially YA) feature extremely powerful characters (who happen to not even have facial hair yet or their period in that matter) but in this one, Kellen is the son of two of the most powerful mages in the area, his sister is thirteen and also hella powerful while he... Well, let's say that his strength lies in other areas such as his quick thinking and sassiness. I like reading about very strong characters but I also enjoy reading about the ones that are pretty ordinary and try to fight their way through a very conservative society that refuses to change.

Kel also has a hard time accepting the truth about himself which is okay and very realistic. His character is just so relatable that it was unreal (and I make sense).

Ferius Parfax is a mysterious character whom I liked from the beginning. She is the one I mentioned when I started the review. She is a really cool person who used playing cards as weapons and I'm all for that. I swear, she could have been nothing but a hollow shell of a human being and I would have loved her for her cards but she also had a depth to her so that's a big plus. I loved her and I want to see more of Ferius in Shadowblack.

I hated the side characters which was probably the point anyway.

Kel has pretty bad friends and the whole mage society was pretty weird in their ways of dealing with conflict.

At first, I thought his family was nice and trying to help him but later on, I realised that was so not the case. And his sister! She was the wors of them. She made a lot of bad decision and she is very, very arrogant, to a point where I started to dislike her from the very beginning which rarely happens with characters.

What I loved about this book (that makes me want to change it's rating to 4 stars) were the characters and the mages' society. I don't know what it was about them really that made me feel this way, but they felt so real that it was scary. I could practically feel them. I just loved how everything was presented and even though I really hate how close-minded these mages were, I loved how strongly they protected what they believed in.

One of the biggest problems for me was to figure out the plot of the book. Now, I can be very slow sometimes but hell, it just seemed like there wasn't any plot which was downright weird and confusing. It just looks like one of my old projects but better.

Another thing I liked was the talking squirrel-cat because he is so funny and mean, it was just hilarious. I always find it weird when I read about talking animals, I don't know why but I always dislike the idea but once I start reading, I love it? Yep, I totally make sense.

The end was probably the best part of the book (even though I kinda got bored, oops). I loved the action and the events, the magic and the revelations... I just loved it all.

Anyway, Spellslinger was a nice read and I want to get my hands on the next novel in this series because I love Sebastien de Castell's books and I hope the next one is better!

Have you read this novel? 
What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.