Review | Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell


Title: Spellslinger

Author: Sebastien de Castell

Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult

Published by: Hot Key Books

Release Date: 4th May 2017

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So I tend to enjoy most books that centre around a magic related trial of some kind that the main protagonist must take part in. As soon as I read about this book I was very intrigued by the fact that this is one of those kind of books but also because the protagonist Kellen isn't the usual heroin that is almost instantly known to be amazing at the thing the trial enlists. I thought it was a very clever metaphor for showing that it doesn't matter how talented at something you are, and that there will always be something that makes you different and special and that almost anyone can overcome anything if they put their mind to it. The book follows Kellen and how his dreams of becoming a powerful mage like his father are soon shattered after a failed magical duel results in the realisation that he may never become who he wishes he was. When others seem to suffer a similar fate and lose their magical abilities, Kellen is accused of unleashing a magical curse on his own clan and is forced to enlist the help of a mysterious foreign woman who may in fact be a spy in service to an enemy country. "When you see the world outside your home town, outside the walls of what you were brought up to see, then you discover that you almost never know if you're dong the right thing. One action, brave and true, leads to war and destruction. Another, craven and greedy, leads to peace and prosperity." Castell's writing is full of humour and excitement and I found it really hard to put the book down even for a second because it was so enthralling. The magic system in this book is very well done and interesting to read about. I love the way Kellen isn't amazing at it and his suffering because of it is almost a realistic representation of real life and how people often envy those who tend to be better at something than them. It really makes you think and there are some great aspects to the story that can be interpreted in so many different ways that I feel that everyone who reads this book will get something different from it. “First thing you learn wandering the long roads, kid. Everyone thinks they're the hero of their own story." Kellen's relationships with other characters are done in a very realistic way but I loved how even though they were amazingly well done they also took a back seat in terms of the plot and that was great. The banter between Kellen and his Squirrel Cat was hilarious to read. Plus the fact that this book had talking animals is definitely one of the reasons that sealed my love for it, it was so good! I hated Kellen's family and how they were so horrible to him and I also hated the discrimination that took place. However it was crucial to the story and I feel like it was great how the main character really disagreed with it and started to intervene. Hopefully we will see more of this in the next book. I feel like the plot was very captivating and fast paced and overall found it very enjoyable to read. The emotion was done so well and I loved the humorous quips that came from the characters, Castell has an amazing way of making you so unsure whether you want to laugh or cry its almost frustrating. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this and I am so glad that there is a sequel coming because I loved these characters and I am so excited to see what happens next. Spellslinger is an intricate fast paced fantasy with a sort of western style world that is full of the best kind of magical intrigue; and characters that are so captivating and full of development that makes the book impossible to put down. Highly recommend! Thank you to Sebastien de Castell and Hot Key Books for sending me an early via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 4.5/5 Stars!

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Sophie Elaina | England, United Kingdom | sophieelainabooks@gmail.com

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