Soulbinder (Spellslinger #4) by Sebastien de Castell

SoulbinderI’m absolutely loving Sebastien deCastell’s Spellslinger series and I think quite possibly Soulbinder is my favourite so far although there’s very little to call between them as I’ve enjoyed every book to date.

If you haven’t picked up this series yet then I would implore you to do so – are you afraid to be happily entertained?!  Seriously though if you’re planning on picking up these books then this review could possibly contain spoilers so beware.

The story this time around is decidedly darker, our outlawed boy Kellen and is wise cracking-butter-biscuit-loving squirrel cat are alone.  If you recall from book 3 they took off without their companions in a bid to save dragging people they care for into further danger. Kellen is still desperately seeking a cure and is still being relentlessly pursued by bounty hunters employed by his own people ever since he displayed signs of the Shadowblack.  There’s talk of an Ebony Abbey which Kellen thinks may offer some answers to his troubles.  He’s been searching relentlessly and trying to get answers any way he can, all whilst trying to stay alive.  It seems his search has drawn attention.

I really like what Castell did with this instalment.  He chucks Kellen into a situation where he can’t rely on others and it’s definitely a great way of making him grow as a character and whilst I missed the sass and wit that Ferius usually brings to the story I think this was a cunning plan and I’ll tell you why.  Just like Kellen himself, I was constantly expecting somebody to rescue him when he fell into any sort of danger and to be honest this shook me out of that comfortable lazy reverie and was frankly much needed.  With this book he has to start to rely more on himself – he also keeps thinking that somebody will come to his aid and with the sudden dawning of light that it isn’t going to happen he is forced to become self reliant.

I have to hand it to Kellen, he’s really coming on as a character.  There were a number of touching events that happen in this book, you observe him as he comes to realise that he’s left everything he knows behind, which is definitely a lonely feeling, you see him deal with loss, and come to a number of realisations about his own family.  Having found a bunch of other people also with the Shadowblack you have a moment of thinking that he may have found a place to settle down with similar people and then you watch him struggle to come to that moment of truth when he realises that he doesn’t really fit into either this Shadowblack camp or back home with his own people.  Here are two different camps, both so steadfast in their own beliefs and ways that they refuse to compromise.  Maybe Kellen will be the unexpected catalyst of change.  Difficult to say at the moment.

This book brings to us more insight into the Shadowblack – not everyone considers it to be evil although there is evidence here that it’s use can lead to madness and possession.  I really loved finding out the ways in which other people with the Shadowblack use it’s magic.  The fast travel was really intriguing and learning a little more of what Kellen is capable of.

I can’t really talk too much more about what happens in the book.  There’s a big old show down.  Kellen’s family become involved and as a result there are betrayals and revelations.  And the ending, well, I didn’t see that coming at all and it’s a very interesting development – well two interesting developments now I think about it.

I feel like this is a very brief review but I would point out that the length is not a reflection of my feelings for this series.  I read this and book number three within days of each other and if book five was available right now – oh yes, that bad boy would be in grubby little mitts right now.

This is a wonderfully entertaining, well written, creative series that is a great deal of fun to read.  It’s becoming much more involved as the tale progresses and the threats become a lot more deadly and I’m so attached to these characters now.  I hope Ferius has more involvement in the next book and Nephenia too for that matter.  They’re a great team and I care about them.  Which reminds me – *shakes fist* and side eyes author – you know why mister.  That is all.

I really hope this series gains the success it deserves.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, through Netgalley, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.