This is the second book in this series and if the third book is anything like this one, I am looking forward to this series review. This series is going to be split into two weeks of reviews like Wicked. The first three books this week and the last two, plus the series review, next week. Here is the second book!
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell
Synopsis From The Book
A failed mage turned outlaw must use guile and a handful of spells to challenge a dangerous rival in the second book of an exciting adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.
Forced to live as an outlaw, Kellen relies on his wits and his allies to survive the unforgiving borderlands.
When he meets a young woman cursed with a deadly plague, he feels compelled to help. But her secrets draw powerful enemies and it’s not long before Kellen is entangled in a conspiracy of blackmail, magic, and murder. As the bodies begin to pile up, Kellen fears he’s next.
The second novel in a compelling six-book series, bursting with tricks, humor, and a whole new way to look at magic.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
Book one was really good and I have high hopes for two. I really have no clue which direction this book series is going to go but Kellen, Ferius, and Reichis are a wonderful trio. Hopefully the second book lives up and expands on the first.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
This book most certainly lived up to the first one. It took the first one and expanded further, which was only nice in my eyes. Are all the secrets answered? No. Did I expect them to be? Nope! I like the answers we did get. They were fascinating to watch play out and left questions in the end based on their results.
Kellen, Ferius, and Reichis have been traveling for four months. Kellen has tracked down a charm that will hide him from the bounty hunters but he is scammed out of it, and ends up in a fight. Because of the fight, bounty hunters are drawn to him and through it he meets The Path of Thorns and Roses (Rosie) and Seneira. Rosie is another Argosi like Ferius (who is called The Path of the Wild Daisy). The two talk and Kellen finds out Seneira has the shadowblack like he does.
The five travel to Seneira’s home, The Academy, where they learn her brother has been afflicted. They meet a spellslinger named Dexan who says he can help, but not them, since the one who hurt them is more powerful than he is. Kellen and Ferius investigate and Ferius teaches Kellen more Argosi teachings (but he’s a bit to dense to realize that she is). Through his act, he meets Seneira’s fiance Revian.
The group learns more, Dexan offers Kellen the chance to leave with him. Kellen learns more about the path and in it a part of himself. Seneria is captured by Revian, who is under the influence of the shadowblack. Upon arriving at Revian’s home, they find Revian about to kill everyone, and he does die but Seneria is saved. Through his death it becomes clear that the shadowblack is fake. Seneria’s brother also dies.
Dexan is the culprit and the group find out, from attacking him, that he is using worms to create a link between himself and some bracelets. Its all for the Lord Magi of Kellen’s clan. They attack him a second time, and get the better of him and destroy the bracelets. However a few are missing, having been sent to the masterminds. With another, more dangerous, breaking technique (other than smashing the bracelets) they are able to save Seneria.
Kellen, Ferius, and Reichis leave the Academy and go searching for the other afflicted kids.
What I Liked:
Shalla; I didn’t mention her in specific for the first one. However, I felt it necessary to call her out now. She may be ambitious, and self centered, and pompous as all hell but if she’s loyal and loyal to a fault. This girl creates and uses a spell to talk to her brother a country away, simply because she wants to make sure he is safe. I adore her.
Seneira; It looks like we are going to get a different female lead each time, and if they are all as well developed as our girl here, I’ll be happy. She’s strong, independent, but also feminine and charming. She’s smart, fierce, and completely her own or tries to be, even when the fake shadowblack is affecting her. She ran away from home to save her family, and fought back against the mind control. She’s great.
The path of the Argosi; This sort of lifestyle is fascinating and leaves me with more questions than answers in this book. (mostly in regards to communication because their life style purposes make an insane amount of sense). I can’t wait to see Kellen learn more. The lessons that Ferius teaches Kellen are fascinating and really great life lessons in being charming in general.
Expansion; We got expansion of magic, culture, history, the world. It was nice to see as well as nice to see how the different elements of this world interact with each other. I really like this development.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
IDK RN, I liked how this book turned out.
Time Taken To Read
“Listen to those eyes as if they’re the most fascinating storytellers you’ve ever met.” – Ferius pg 154