Saturday, May 11, 2019

Book Review: Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell

Author: Sebastien De Castell
Series: Spellslinger (Book 2)
Publication: Orbit (August 21, 2018)

Description: A failed mage turned outlaw must use guile and a handful of spells to challenge a dangerous rival in the second book of an exciting adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.

Forced to live as an outlaw, Kellen relies on his wits and his allies to survive the unforgiving borderlands.

When he meets a young woman cursed with a deadly plague, he feels compelled to help. But her secrets draw powerful enemies and it's not long before Kellen is entangled in a conspiracy of blackmail, magic, and murder. As the bodies begin to pile up, Kellen fears he's next.

My Thoughts: Outlawed Kellen is wandering in the Seven Sands region with his mentor Argosi Ferius Parfax and his "business partner" squirrel-cat Reichis when they come upon another Argosi and her charge who are also being chased by bounty hunters. When they discover the Path of Stones and Roses' charge Seneira has the same shadowblack around her eye that Kellen has.

The Path of Stones and Roses, who is called Rosie by Ferius, is on the track of a possible shadowblack plague and so they take Seneira back to Teleidos which is a town in the Seven Sands that is famous for its Academy which draws the best and the brightest from all the countries in the world.

Once in Teleidos, they find that Seneira's younger brother and her betrothed also have caught shadowblack. They also find another outlaw named Dexan Videras who claims to be able to cure the shadowblack but needs to find the mage who cursed the suffers. Dexan also causes a conflict for Kellen. He offers to make Kellen his partner and teach him all that he has learned as an outlaw. But following Dexan means leaving Ferius behind.

Kellen is torn between his need to help Seneira and his need to find a way to be safe from the bounty hunters who are pursuing him. He also has to decide what he wants for his future instead of just living moment to moment and staying one step ahead of the bounty hunters.

I really enjoy the characters and the worldbuilding in this series. Kellen is a young man who is trying to find his purpose and learning about himself. Reichis is great comic relief  but also has surprising depth. Ferius is the character who is the most mysterious, perhaps deliberately so, as she helps Kellen in his growth.

I can't wait to see what further adventures Kellen, Reichis, and Ferius have.

Favorite Quote:
"Most days, sure, but Kellen here is a spellslinger like me, and, well, the fifth rule of spellslinging is ..."

Please let it be "Always help a fellow spellslinger in need."

"There's always profit to be found in having a fellow spellslinger owe you a favour."

Okay, that'll work.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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