Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4 stars Series: yes - 3rd book
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for SPELLSLINGER and SHADOWBLACK*
I was getting almost as good at running away from enemies as I was at making them in the first place. Turns out, I wasn’t running nearly fast enough.
Kellen has begun to master his spellslinging and the Argosi tricks for staying alive, and he and Reichis have found a career that suits them both: taking down mercenary mages who make people’s lives miserable. But Ferius is concerned they are courting disaster when their path takes them to Cantabria, home of brilliant inventors, who might have created something that heralds war . . .
Synopsis adapted from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
A fun third entry to the series, that definitely feels like the book that’s readying to launch a more intense second half.
In this book, I like Ferius managed to supplant Reichis as my favourite character (haha, spelt them right, if only because they’re in the synopsis and I copied that in first). This books delves into her psyche more than the others, with the addition of two new Agosi for her to play off, and have a complicated relationship with. The interaction between her and them in the wood is probably my favourite interaction in the whole book. You’ll know what I mean when you get to it!
Unlike the others, this book’s structure felt different. The others felt like the story was a straight line from beginning to end, with lots of hurdles in the way to the end goal. This book, however, felt like lots of smaller paths to smaller goals, and then an external event happened to push them onto another path once they’d reached the end. This difference wasn’t bad, just different – and took a bit of time to adjust to the what felt like shifting story a little. It all ties up in the end, though.
The synopsis above is useless, I’m afraid. I adapted it a teensy little bit, and wanted to give a proper synopsis, but this afternoon was a weird one in terms of what I felt I could mentally handle. In short, it’s more about the contraptions and how that plays into machinations of war across the continent than Kellen and Reichis helping people.
The ending is one that both feels right but is very noooooo, why? With any luck, Kellen’s choice will be reversed by the other characters at some point in the next book because I don’t want the consequence of the choice to hold true for the other three entries. And, on which, note I am going to start the fourth audiobook and hope Kellen’s self-sacrificing, noble idiocy doesn’t get him killed.
Read my reviews of other books by Sebastien de Castell:
Argosi (chronologically before this series):
- WAY OF THE ARGOSI (#1)
- FALL OF THE ARGOSI (#2)
Spellslinger (this series):
- SPELLSLINGER (#1)
- SHADOWBLACK (#2)
- SOULBINDER (#4)
- QUEENSLAYER (#5)
- CROWNBREAKER (#6)