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…

Review: 4 Stars

Spellslinger is a book that I have wanted to read ever since seeing its cover and reading its tagline “magic is a con game“. While it did live up to my expectations it was nothing like I expected it to be. I think I expected it to be like a magical Six of Crows with cards involved somehow. It was funny, action packed and fully of tricks and deceptions. It may have not been what I had expected, but it was still great.

The main character Kellen was very different than your typical heroine in a fantasy novel. Kellen’s power was weak and you typically read about the strong. I found that I actually enjoyed reading about a weak character better, because it was more of a struggle for him to fight every obstacle that came his way. He also had to deal with the shame that came with being looked down upon by his friends and family, who were all much stronger than him. A weak character has so much more to overcome and Kellen did it in style while also keeping to his morals which made him a character that I admired and loved to read about.

The plot was pretty good. Although a lot of the time I had no idea where it was going or what would happen next, it never lost my attention. About halfway through the book I hit a point where the action never stopped and I had a hard time setting the book down. The climax was great. There was one action packed scene after another, each escalating in tension and importance to the plot. At one point I found myself shocked that there was more to come because I couldn’t see how it could get more intense.

Spellslinger was absolutely nothing like I expected, but was still great. I absolutely loved Kellen as he had to work so hard to overcome obstacles. The plot had so much deception and action packed into it. It was such an entertaining read filled with banter and jokes that I found myself laughing out loud several times. The ending of this book was amazing and really set the scene for the possibility of a great sequel. I had been looking forward to reading this book for so long and I am so pleased that I can say it didn’t disappoint and I want to read the sequel.

10 thoughts on “Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

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  1. Great review 🙂
    I really want to read this! It’s indeed nice for a change to have a ‘weak’ main character!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore Spellslinger! I still need to read the other two books, but I Sebastien de Castell is easily becoming one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read his Greatcoats quartet, you should check it out!

    “I found that I actually enjoyed reading about a weak character better” – This! Sometimes I feel like the heroes and heroines often have it too easy. Struggle and conflict are what makes a book great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually read Three Dark Queens and found that I felt the EXACT opposite way about their weakness, I think it was the way he was written and his personality that made me like him SO much. I will have to check out the Greatcoats books, this was my first read by Sebastien de Castell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Falcio has a similar personality to Kel. I don’t think he’s as flawed as him, but he’s pretty self-deprecating which I always appreciate in a hero.

        Liked by 1 person

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