Release Date: July 17, 2018
There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.
Magic is a con game.
Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage’s duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi – a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She’s difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen’s only hope…
Spellslinger is one of those fantasy novels that doesn’t take itself very seriously making it a fun adventure sure to please novice and expert readers fantasy readers alike.
From the very first page of Spellslinger I got White Sand by Brandon Sanderson and The Black Prism by Brent Weeks vibes. Readers are thrust into a world where the main character, Kellen, is about to take his first of four magical trials to earn his rank as mage. Unfortunately for Kellen, his magic has all but disappeared. The White Sand comparison is obvious, but The Black Prism comparison comes from de Castell’s writing. It’s similar to Brents in that they’re both incredibly adept at writing complex fantasies while keeping the tone light and fun, even in the darkness.
While Spellslinger is a fun and witty story, it isn’t without its dark and serious moments. There are moments that left me breathless and surprised. de Castell has set up a rich and intricate world rooted in magic, but doesn’t rely on it heavily.
Overall, Spellslinger is a fun set up to what’s going to be a kickass series full of outlaws and magic!