Review // Charmcaster

Title: Charmcaster (Spellslinger #3)
Author: Sebastien de Castell
Published: August 2018
Publisher: Hotkey (Bonnier)
Readership: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★
RRP: $19.99 AUD

I received a copy of Charmcaster from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The third book in the rich, compelling and laugh-out-loud series for all teen, YA, adult and fantasy readers. Perfect for fans of The Dark Tower, Firefly, The Hunger Games and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Kellen, Reichis and Ferius are on their way to Gitabria, a city where amazing inventions are dreamed up and sold across the land of the Seven Sands.

But when the three of them stumble across a tiny mechanical bird, magically brought to life, they quickly realise all is not as it appears.

Meanwhile two strange Argosi appear, carrying secrets from Ferius’ past, together with an unlikely Jan’Tep ally.

And as time ticks on, all the cards in Ferius’ deck point to the emerging tides of war…

I have to admit to being just a tiny bit thrilled when I received my review copy of Charmcaster. (Okay, maybe a LOT thrilled!) The Spellslinger series (including Spellslinger and Shadowblack) has easily become a series that I simply enjoy reading. It’s fun, adventurous and there’s magic systems that don’t appear to be your average type of magic and it’s wonderful.

Being the third book in the series, it’s difficult to talk plot without spoiling a lot of details, but Kellen, Reichis and Ferius are headed to Gitabria – a city where inventions are dreamed up and made reality. Once they arrive, their attention – and the attention of every person from every community – is on a tiny mechanical bird that captures the imagination. This mystery slides in neatly to the over-arching series plot of Kellen escaping his homeland and finding his place in the world, and it’s so neat and wonderful that I can’t help but wonder at the imagination of author Sebastien de Castell.

At its’ core, the characters are what drive this series for me. Kellen is the reluctant hero, considered an outcast by his own people and struggling to understand his place in the wider world. He’s still trying to understand his own brand of magic and whether he’s strong enough to walk the path he’s chosen. Charmcaster is really where we see him develop and start to become his own person, no longer defined by what other people have always told him to be and it was just wonderful to read. We also learnt more about Ferius, with characters emerging that unpack her history and why she is the way she is.

And then there’s Reichis, the squirrel cat. Everyone needs a murderous, thieving, squirrel cat in their lives – he’s certainly the character that brings out the dark humour in this book so well.

This is a wonderful series and I eagerly await Kellen’s next adventure. If you’re a fan of YA fantasy, it’s well-worth checking out.

I gave Charmcaster 4 out of 5 stars.

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