'An intoxicating mix of weird magic and high adventure . . . gripping from the get-go, Spellslinger is a must-read.' Jonathan Stroud, bestselling author of Lockwood & Co. 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 . . . The first in a rich and compelling fantasy series bursting with tricks, traps and a devious talking squirrel cat. Perfect for fans of THE DARK TOWER, FIREFLY, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, TERRY PRATCHETT, BEN AARONOVITCH and JIM BUTCHER.
Spellslinger Press Reviews
It has cliff hangers, pace, humour, life lessons, and a memorably feisty squirrel cat * Sunday Times * Magic with a wild west flavour, served with flair * Financial Times * On the basis of this first instalment, which introduces a fascinating society, some strong themes and a bunch of characters we want to spend more time with, we can confidently say that De Castell's new series has hit the ground running. Or perhaps we should say that it's quick on the draw? * Starburst Magazine * Hugely enjoyable - fast-paced, compassionate, wise and with terrific characters... I love the humour and the thoughtfulness as well as the plot -- Amanda Craig Spellslinger is a unique YA book, there's a complex layer of magic, mystery and mythology all wrapped up in this fantastic story. I also must say how much I love that cover, it's absolutely stunning. The world building in this book is superb, and I really felt sucked into the story. My only complaint is that now I have to wait so long to find out what happens to Kellen next. Spellslinger is one fantastic book, and is already one of the front runners for my favourite book of 2017. * The Bibliophile Chronicles * Excellent, page-turnery reading * Blue Book Balloon * Spellslinger was an enjoyable read, perhaps particularly good for male readers who enjoy Pratchett or Stephen King's The Dark Tower books. * Adventures With Words * This story is so unique, the writing is so superb, and the message of this story is so very important. Accepting who you are is sometimes the hardest battle we will fight in this life, and seeing Kellen become who he is and not what others expect him to, whether it's his family or the world, is something so beautiful that I don't have words for. * Mel to the Any * an enjoyable read, with magic, mayhem, myth and intrigue...and a very cocky talking squirrel cat. * Askews * the first book in a beautifully refreshing young adult series...Sebastien de Castell treats the reader to short punchy chapters that make it easy to read 'just one more' time after time...there is a clever message here which hopefully will strike a chord. * SciFiNow * I really, really enjoyed this book. I really enjoyed the variety and depth of not only characters, but also their reactions to situations and the moral and ethical dilemmas they faced. A vicious, sardonic, bloodthirsty talking squirrel cat with a filthy mouth and a resentful debt to pay, he is my aboslute favourite thing about this book. By turns funny and tragic, his exasperated and violent advice is almost never helpful but almost always adds nuance and humour to the book. My main complaint is that a) it hasn't even been published yet, which means b) it's going to be ages until Shadowblack, the second in the series, comes out! Five Stars and highly recommended. * Much Ado about Books * This is one of the best young-adult novels I've seen in a long time - larky, clever and slick. * The Literary Review * 'packed with wise cracking humour, larger than life colourful characters and non-stop action, this is the first in a highly enjoyable new fantasy series. A very promising beginning' * School Library Journal *