Author: Sebastien de Castell
Series: Spellslinger #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
The third book in the page-turning Spellslinger fantasy series.
‘I was getting almost as good at running away from enemies as I was at making them in the first place. Turns out, I wasn’t running nearly fast enough.’
Kellen has begun to master his spellslinging and the Argosi tricks for staying alive, and he and Reichis have found a career that suits them both: taking down mercenary mages who make people’s lives miserable. But Ferius is concerned that Kellen is courting disaster . . .
Perfect for fans of The Dark Tower, Firefly, Guardians of the Galaxy, Terry Pratchett, Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher.
Source: ARC from Hot Key Books via NetGalley
The Spellslinger series is back for the third time, and Kellen just cannot catch a break. He’s had his magic stolen from him, been infected by a demon-like power (both courtesy of his “loving” family), has an elemental living in his eye, was forced to flee from his homeland – the rulers of which are busy hunting him down to wipe him out of existence – and his mentor spends more time talking in riddles than actually teaching him – when she isn’t gambling in roadside inns. All while travelling about and meeting a bunch of people who only ever want to kill him. Surely someone cursed him to live in interesting times.
Luckily for Kellen, he also has Reichas his squirrel cat “business partner”, who is brave and murderous and amazing, and the absolute best thing about these books (look, he’s on the cover!). He’s also pretty lucky to have Ferius too, even if she never gives a straight answer to any question. I really enjoyed seeing Ferius and Kellen’s relationship progress throughout this book, as Kellen finally begins to understand more about the Argosi, the things Ferius has been teaching him, and the role he might possibly play in future of the world. He has a lot of hard decisions to make this time around, both helped and hindered by the various Argosi wandering about, and more woes brought about by his longing for home and the life he once might have led.
The world too continues to open up its wonders, this time with the incredible capital city of Gitabria, full of gifted artisans and the perils of their glorious creations. There’s plenty of darkness in this tale, with murder and politics and betrayals all helping to muddy the waters as Kellen tries to do his best to sort everything out. But there’s a lot of humour too, mostly coming from Reichas as he makes – and corrupts – a new friend. These books would be so much poorer without that squirrel cat.
In short, if you’ve been enjoying the series so far, this latest book will not disappoint. I continue to love this world, these characters and the way the story is unfolding, and cannot wait to see how everything turns out in the final book.
Charmcaster is Out Now.
Visit Sebastien de Castell for more details.