Here we go! This is the series review that has been a long time in the coming. I’m not entirely sure that I got everything I wanted to with this review. I will do my best, however. So let’s go!
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.
The Spellslinger Series by Sebastien De Castell
Series Rating: 4.5/5
What I Liked:
Kellen; Alright, so watching Kellen grow up was so great. He went from being a kid who wanted magic more than anything, to the most skilled assassin on the continent. He has a few good skills, a sharp mind, and the teachings of multiple people. He’s the Path of Endless Stars. His path is to learn more, to be more, and to become more. I adore him and everything he has learned. He learned to love himself and the world, and for that I will always respect him. Maybe one day he’ll get his magic back. Who knows. There are a lot of stars in the sky.
Shalla; I won’t like. At first, I was annoyed with how often she showed up. She just would not leave her brother alone, who wanted nothing to do with her. However, I really did grow to care for her. The fact that she had to make the final decision on what would change their people and the continent, hit me a lot. I hope she is happy in her future. I really hope that she is.
Reichis; This squirrel cat is hilarious. I love him.
Ferius; Whaaa what a great mentor character. Through her I fell in love with one of the best parts of the books. She was the perfect sort of western cowboy character. There is a lot that I would say about her, but she remains one of the greatest mysteries to me. I learned so much about her, and yet I feel like I know so little. Just like Kellen.
Nepheina; She’s so perfect. I hope that her path leads her to a road that makes her happy too. She and Kellen were cute, but their paths were separate.
Cultures; Each book was riddled with different cultures. We learned about a new one with each book, and honestly I loved this. Learning more about each book, of past cultures, or new cultures, was interesting. The world and continent was vast, so learning how all the people on the continent worked, was very entertaining. I think, this was one of my favorite parts of the books, because each one was in a new place, with a new plot, learning new things. We learned with Kellen about all these cultures, and I think that really drew me in.
Magic; The magic of the Ja’Tep is so interesting and intricate. The elements are not the standard magic types, nor is the way it is used. There are bands tattooed to the body, and one has to spark the band in order to activate it. I wish that we got more on the magic specifically, but that was more just within the first book. However the Ja’Tep magic is not the only magic. There was the magic of so many other people. This magic of the world was so soft and wondrous, with multiple types. Kellen learned of a different type with each book. However, while I love the Ja’Tep magic, two types stick out to me more.
The Shadowblack; The first magic type that sticks out to me the most is the evil, or so called evil, magic of the series. The shadowblack is feared, and hated. It corrupts the soul, and by the end of the series it is still a mystery, but a mystery that Kellen is able to control to a certain degree. We are asked whether the magic is truly evil or not, and I am in the camp that it is not. The magic is a type of magic that acts differently than others, and it is harder to understand and control. It, like others, corrupts others. We have seen how all the other magics of the world can be evil or corrupt, this is no different. It was just scapegoated, I feel. I wish I learned more about it, however the mystery of it, made it that much more alluring.
The Argosi; Arta forteize (resilience, trust), Arta valar (swagger), Arta loquit (eloquence), Arta eres (dancing, fighting), Arta precis (perception), Arta siva (persuasion), Arta tuco (subtlety). These seven principals are what make up the Argosi. The Way of Water, The Way of Thunder, The Way of Stones, The Way of Wind. These are the four ways of the Argosi. I’ve written on this order already. However, I suppose I should go into it a bit more for this review. The Argosi have paths, each path is determined by the individual person. No two paths are the same, unless two people are walking the same path together. There are teachers and students, the seven principals, four ways and the way that they communicate with each other. They know thousands of card games, but one in particular is done with their playing cards. They tell stories and histories of the continent as they saw them. They have red cards they give to people for debts, and special cards that depict changing points in the world. Their job is to keep the continent from imploding on itself. At some point, I think I might do a big deep dive into the magic system, and everything about the Argosi, because of how much I love this order and the fundamental ideal of it.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
The Argosi; I need more about them. I want more scenes with them. I need more.
Why You Should Read:
This series, although it may not seem like it, is about adaptation and finding one’s own path. I know that the first people leads people astray, with the idea of a person who will fake that he has magic, when in reality he has none. I think the synopsis of the first book is a bit off, and it’s for that reason I say preserver. The Argosi are worth it. Even if Kellen annoys you, he does get better, or the changing story lines confuse you (which I think the changing cultures are worth it, on our path to learn more), the Argosi… I think they are worth it all. Their path, their motto, their order. They are what made me love this series so much. I’d rate it as a 5/5 for this order alone, if I could. I know that might be hyping them up to much, but I just love them.