Spellslinger (Spellslinger #1) by Sebastien de Castell

spellslingerSpellslinger is the first book in a new series by Sebastien de Castell.  I have no idea how many books are planned but there’s a lot of scope here for more stories.  I really enjoyed this and in fact I’ve already read and loved book 2.  Let me be clear this series is fun, the writing is very easy and there is lots of humour and banter liberally splashed throughout but more than that I liked the characters.

The first story is, like many series, a brief introduction to the characters and place.  We meet Kellen at a time when things seem to be going from bad to worse for him.  Kellen is son to one of the strongest magical families and as such his abilities are expected to be impressive.  Unfortunately, his magic, unlike that of his sister, doesn’t seem to be manifesting and in a world where humans without magic become something akin to slaves to those who do wield it, a person’s magical trials become important and stressful indeed.

In terms of the plot, well, it unfolds almost in a crazy way, like the story gathered it’s own steam and just grew in unexpected ways – even unexpected to the author.  It lends it a surprising element in some respects as Kellen’s life spirals out of control and yet, when the story eventually concludes it becomes patently obvious that everything has been very well planned indeed.  I don’t really want to give too much away about the story.  It’s a set up for the series and a means for us to start to explore the characters, it touches briefly on the world here and it finally leads to a place where we have three characters who look set to become friends and mentors.

The characters.  Kellen is a resourceful young man, he may not have magic at his disposal but he has his brain and he plans to con his way through his trials.  He’s almost refreshingly useless in some respects but then endearingly naive in others.  Ferius is one of the Argosi people.  They seem to be a mysterious bunch who follow a certain path in life.  Ferius kind of explodes into Kellen’s life at a very dramatic moment and from there onwards the course of both their lives becomes inextricably linked. I have to say I really enjoyed this character.  The final character is a squirrel cat who forms a talking link with Kellen and definitely brings a lot of humour to the story (along with Ferius of course and her one liners).  Reichis is a chittering maniac who thinks he’s ten men basically.  Think of the feisty little critter out of Guardians of the Galaxy and then throw in the angry pack of squirrels from Open Season and you’re getting in the general ball park – then add a smidgeon of aggression and a longing to fight and gouge eyes and rip ears and you have a ball of madness – and don’t ever call him a pet.

Basically, I don’t feel like I’m telling you much here with this review – because it’s difficult to really elaborate, this is a first in series and of course it does have something of a set up feel but it’s also funny, highly entertaining and just the sort of read that makes me smile and gives me a book high when I finish reading.  I like a book that gives me all the happy feels and this seems like a series that will do just that.  I could become hooked.  A magical world with a character that can barely conjure, a wild west feel that’s more card flinger than gun slinger and a world and characters that I want to explore further.

Where I got a copy: bought.

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11 Responses to “Spellslinger (Spellslinger #1) by Sebastien de Castell”

  1. imyril

    Glad you enjoyed this one too – it is one of my favourites of the year for just being such an entertaining ride 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s very entertaining indeed and it might be a little bit skimpy on world building but it was just such fun.
      Lynn 😀

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    The theme of the young man who finds himself at a disadvantage (either physical or – as is the case here – magical) and makes up for it with his intelligence and wit is one that’s been very dear to me since I “met” Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan, so I’m certain I will warm up to Kellen in no time at all 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      These are good fun for sure. I hope you enjoy them too.
      Lynn 😀

  3. sjhigbee

    I think you’ve written an excellent review of this one, Lynn – great stuff! And although I enjoyed this one, I liked Shadowblack even more:)

  4. October : My Month in Review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell […]

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Highly entertaining and fun? I’m in! Wouldn’t have expected anything less from De Castell! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m loving it and the second one was really good – better than the first.
      Lynn 😀

  6. jessicabookworm

    I’m glad these books lived up to their gorgeous covers. Plus squirrel cat?! I need to read this book! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know – just look at those covers. And the squirrel cat is awesome. Totally grumpy and always wanting to fight everyone.
      Lynn 😀

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