Title // Spellslinger
Author // Sebastien de Castell
Publication Date // May 2017
Publisher // Hot Key (Bonnier)
Genre // Young Adult, Fantasy
Price // AUD $19.99
Rating // ✭✭✭✭
How do you survive a mage’s duel without magic? Kellen’s about to risk everything: His family, his home, even his own life…
When you’re a Jan’Tep initiate approaching your sixteenth birthday, you’d better be ready to prove your worth as a mage. Either that or have a miracle on the way. And Kellen isn’t counting on either. He knows he’ll need a few tricks up his sleeve to avoid disgracing his family and becoming a Sha’Tep servant. So when a sassy, straight-talking traveller arrives in town, Kellen is all ears. Ferius Parfax is jaded but worldly, an exile who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She can’t teach him to spark his bands and access the seven magics, but with the hand that Kellen’s been dealt, he knows he needs all the help he can get… A rich, compelling and laugh-out-loud new series for all teen, YA, adult and fantasy readers. Perfect for fans of The Dark Tower, Firefly, Hunger Gamesand Guardians of the Galaxy.
Spellslinger is a fun, action-packed adventure story that takes place in a world that feels like the frontier… with magic!
While it took a little while for the world of Spellslinger to become clear, what captured my attention from the very beginning with the main character, Kellan. The son of a well-known family known for the magical prowess, Kellan has yet to spark his bands – his own magic is weak and if it fails him completely he’ll be cast out of the Jan’Tep society and become little more than a servant. His path eventually crosses with that of Ferius Parfax, a mysterious and intriguing woman with a nose for danger.
The magical system in Spellslinger is not one I’ve seen before – levels of magic denoted by physical manifestations in the form of bands around the wrist. There’s a clear hierarchical system, too, and hints at society’s beyond that which Kellan himself knows. The Jan’Tep are very much an insular society, with many secrets and they are content to leave them that way, until events spiral and Kellan begins to unravel those mysteries.
The absolute highlight for me was the wonderfull sarcastic and snarky squirrel cat who becomes part of the plot, and provides some really wonderful humour. There’s a sense of ‘cast of misfits’ that are all likeable and engaging; you really want Kellan and his group of friends to succeed in spite of the odds.
Overall, I rated Spellslinger 4 out of stars.
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for sending me a copy of Spellslinger in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.