Saturday, April 20, 2019

Book Review: Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell

Author: Sebastien De Castell
Series: Spellslinger (Book 1)
Publication: Orbit (July 17, 2018)

Description: A would-be mage with no magic of his own has to defeat powerful enemies with only cunning and deception in the first book of an exciting adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.

Kellen is moments away from facing his first duel and proving his worth as a spellcaster. There's just one problem: his magic is fading.

Facing exile unless he can pass the mage trials, Kellen is willing to risk everything - even his own life - in search of a way to restore his magic. But when the enigmatic Ferius Parfax arrives in town, she challenges him to take a different path.

One of the elusive Argosi, Ferius is a traveller who lives by her wits and the cards she carries. Daring, unpredictable, and wielding magic Kellen has never seen before, she may be his only hope.

The first novel in a compelling six-book series, bursting with tricks, humor, and a whole new way to look at magic.

My Thoughts: This first book in a new fantasy builds an interesting world and has an intriguing main character. Kellen is almost sixteen, the son of a very powerful mage, and feeling his magic fade away. He lives in a society where only those with magic are powerful and respected. Those without magic are essentially made slaves who may end up working in the mines or serving in their own family homes.

Kellen may lack magic but he is clever and tricky. Faced with having to win a magical duel, he wins by using his wits to convince his opponent to bespell himself. However, he's called out by his own sister for cheating. And he is willing to cheat if it gives him the magic that he needs to take his proper place in his society.

It isn't until he meets Ferius Parfax that he even begins questioning his future. Ferius is accused of being a spy for a rival country but is actually a member of the Argosi - travelers who are watching all the different countries. She is irreverent, fearless, and fascinating as she challenges Kellen to really think about what he wants for his future.

As events happen in this story, Kellen learns things about his people that changes his view of them. His parents aren't who he thought they were. What he wants for his life changes through the course of the story.

I liked Kellen's character. I liked his resilience and creativity. I liked his new "business partner" Reichis who makes a great adventure buddy. They each balance the other's weaknesses and enhance their strengths. I liked the role Ferius plays as she acts as a goad to the changes Kellen needs to make.

I am eager to read more in this six book series.

Favorite Quote:
"This would be a good time for a really powerful spell," he chittered in my ear.

"I've got one that channels a light breeze," I said, ignoring the confused looks of my uncle and his followers. "Think that'll work?"

Reichis gave a sigh. "Why did I ever agree to partner up with a magic-less skinbag?"

"I think because your mother ordered you to."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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