Charmcaster (Spellslinger #3) by Sebastien de Castell

Charm3Charmcaster is the third in the Spellslinger series and true to its name it certainly cast a charm on me.  I’d say that this series is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine and I sincerely hope that plenty more adventures are in the pipeline.

I won’t elaborate on the plot too much here.  Our characters, Kellen, Reichis and Ferius are still on the hunt for certain ‘victims’ following the revelations in book No.2,  Shadowblack.  Their search is reaching its conclusion and they find themselves on a path that will lead them to Gitabria.

As with any review for a book midway through the series I would just place a warning here about potential spoilers, particularly in relation to earlier books.  I would also suggest that you read the whole series – I know that can be a deterrent to some readers as being behind by 3 or 4 books can seem such a hurdle BUT – this book is such good fun that I really don’t think you should cheat yourself of the pleasure of reading it from the start.  Also, part of the love of this series is the way the characters are being allowed to grow and that’s definitely something that you’ll miss if you don’t start at the beginning.

A different kind of review for me with this one.  It’s going to be more a list of what I like and a couple of minor niggles.

The reason I’m loving this series is primarily the characters.  I find myself just really liking them all which I think is a rare achievement.  Kellen is the main character and each new installment sees another layer added to his persona.  He’s growing up and learning what he’s capable of.  To be honest, a good deal of the time he feels very young and vulnerable and has barely more than a simple bag of tricks to arm himself in a world which for the most part seems pitched against him.  But, he certainly has something about him that makes you like him and seems to see him gather stalwart friends.  Ferius is another amazing character – I love her to pieces and could happily read a book of her adventures.  And of course we have the crazy squirrel-cat Reichis.  I love that pesky varmint, I really do.  Strangely enough, his character reminds me a little of my own dog – Dude.   He has this ‘don’t-even-try-to-cuddle-or-pet-me’ thing going on which feels so familiar and he brings a certain something with his antics and butter-biscuit loving ways.  Yes, I found myself smiling aplenty whilst reading this and in fact laughing out loud at some (okay many) points.

This story returns to us a character from the first book – Nephenia.  I can’t really say too much about how she ends up finding herself once again in the company of Kellen as that will lead to the land of spoilers but I enjoyed her role here very much and thought she was a great addition to the story.  That is all – I hope I’ve intrigued you a little with that particular teaser.

The other thing that I love about this series is the writing.  DeCastell just has a way with words that makes it so easy for readers to find themselves transported.  There’s no heavy handedness here.  On top of that although this has a comic book feel to it underneath the surface are some much more serious issues – of course, I’m saying that with the added benefit of already having read No.4 but it surprises and really pleases me to see the overarching plot here and to notice the way that the series is becoming more serious and a little darker with each addition.  Maybe that’s because the central character is growing up and as readers we’re getting to watch him as he changes.  I guess in that respect, and although the two are not alike in terms of storyline, this reminds me a little of the Harry Potter series.  The two of them share a character who over the course of the book is maturing – obviously Kellen is much older than Harry when his story beings but even so this seems to me to have successfully captured that element where readers become attached to a younger protagonist and then continue to read about him as he comes of age.  It’s a great hook and one that keeps you coming back for more.

In terms of criticisms, I think the only thing I would mention is that this has a little bit of a bridging book feel, although, again, in fairness I’m not quite sure whether I’m feeling that way because I’ve already read No.4 – it’s difficult to say now because obviously I can’t ‘unknow’ what I now ‘know’.  I guess the best way to clarify would be to say that this story has a familiarity to it that, whilst it didn’t stop me from flying through the pages, did lead me to reach conclusions ahead of the game a little.

Overall, and insignificant niggles set to one side, this series is just excellent.  It’s fun, it’s creative, it has loveable characters and crazy adventures against the odds.  It’s a series that frankly gives me a lot of enjoyment every time I pick up the latest instalment and makes me feel a little bereft when I complete the journey and find myself waiting, not so patiently, for more.

I would highly recommend this.

Where I got my copy: bought

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12 Responses to “Charmcaster (Spellslinger #3) by Sebastien de Castell”

  1. Tammy

    I’m feeling guilty because I’m behind😐 And not sure how to catch up. The pressure! Glad you loved it!

    • @lynnsbooks

      And, No.4 is so good. I loved No4 I think the best so far. You’ve got a lot of good reading to look forward to with this series.
      Lynn 😀

  2. sjhigbee

    This is a really great review, Lynn, and huge kudos for not giving any spoilers… Yes – I really enjoyed this one. I loved the coins with this one – and Kellen’s stubborn sense of loyalty and fair play. This series has certainly become one of my alltime favourites.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It feels like Kellen is adding to his bag of tricks – which is good really as he needs a few more edges if he’s going to stay alive.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        Oh absolutely – he needs every trick that’s going AND some given what is thrown at him in Soulbinder…

      • @lynnsbooks

        Yup 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I absolutely NEED to fit this series into my reading queue: everywhere I turn I see nothing but positive review and my curiosity keeps growing…
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I don’t think I’ve read anything negative for this series yet – I’m just loving it, plain and simple.
      Lynn 😀

  4. waytoofantasy

    Ok, you’ve convinced me, I’m ordering these now. Guess I’ll just have to be in the middle of this series and The Greatcoats at the same time, lol. Great review, Lynn!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks – these books are so good, I think you’ll breeze through them in short order.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Yeah, this one definitely sits perfectly in the “bridge book” position, but it was no less fun. I felt this one mirrored the previous book too much, but hopefully the next one will change things up!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It definitely changes in the next book. I’d already read book 4 when I wrote this so that aspect was even clearer to me. The next book is much darker 😄

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