This second book in Sebastien de Castell’s Spellslinger series was one I am hotly anticipating the publication of. I hugely enjoyed the first book, giving it five stars, and was delighted to see that the second installment in the series was following hot on its heels.
I received a copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
The second book in the page-turning SPELLSLINGER series for all teen, YA, adult and fantasy readers.
It’s a few months since Kellen left his people behind. Now aged sixteen, Kellen is an outlaw, relying on his wits to keep him alive in the land of the Seven Sands. He misses home, he misses family and more than anything, he misses Nephenia, the girl he left behind.
Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn’t blind, and who carries a secret that’s all too familiar to Kellen. Kellen and Ferius resolve to help – but the stakes are far higher than they realise. A Shadowblack plague is taking hold – and Kellen can’t help but suspect his own people may even be behind it.
Perfect for fans of The Dark Tower, Firefly, The Hunger Games and Guardians of the Galaxy
I really, really enjoyed this followup to this the first Spellslinger novel.. Shadowblack follows Kellen as he begins his life as an outcast and an apprentice to Argosi wanderer Ferius Parfax, and wandering the borderlands with his business partner, the sarcastic, bloodthirsty, thieving squirrel cat Reichis. Still one of my my favourite sidekicks ever.
This second adventure was definitely worth the wait, as it’s more wit, more danger, more of Kellen being surprisingly useless and yet managing to bumble his way through somehow. The introduction of a second Argosi wanderer, known as Rosie (much to her chagrin) and more sufferers of the Shadowblack plague made for a hugely interesting adventure. Although this book was a little slower to start than the first in the series, and I found myself reluctant to pick it up at first, once it got going, it was almost as enjoyable as its predecessor.
On another note, the cover art is spectacular. Carrying on the card theme that the first book’s art had, and kicking it up a notch, with Kellen on the top, and Seneira on the bottom, it’s even easy to tell which order the books are supposed to go in, because a 2 is flawlessly integrated with the design. I love this cover art, and bet they’ll look spectacular together on a shelf – it’s just a pity that my copy was a NetGalley one!
I have only one major complaint, and it’s a huge spoiler, so I’ll try to say it in the vaguest terms I can. So once the origin of the Shadowblack plague in the borderlands is revealed, it’s never explained how those infected didn’t feel the pain which was obvious when we saw the infection happening first-hand. I don’t understand how the plague could have gotten into so many people without them noticing immediately. That was my only real complaint, and the rest of the book was a rip-roaring adventure, with top-notch action, humour, and magic sequences. I can’t wait for the third in this series!