REVIEW: Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell (Spellslinger #2)

ShadowblackTitle: Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell
Pages: 352
Published by: Hot Key Books
Publication date: 5th October 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardback
Amazon UKWaterstones

Synopsis: 

Four months after fleeing his own people, Kellen has discovered he’s an even worse outlaw than he was a mage. It doesn’t help that his only allies are a swaggering card player and a thieving squirrel cat.

Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn’t blind, and whose secrets pull them into a conspiracy of magic, blackmail and murder. Kellen must find the mage responsible before the entire frontier falls victim to the mystical plague known as the shadowblack.

My review:

I just want to applaud the author for writing such a compelling and fun series! I was entertained throughout and there was never a dull moment. It was a really great sequel and I’m absolutely thrilled with the characters!

Kellen is a very relatable character and I really like that about him. He’s surrounded by special and powerful people but he himself is just ordinary which leaves him at a disadvantage and he’s constantly fighting to survive. In this book he’s feeling very frustrated and fed up because he doesn’t know where he belongs now or what his path is. He’s constantly running from people who are hunting him down and he’s hated by his own people. He once thought he belonged with them and now he is very unsure of himself. I feel like a lot of people can relate to that, the struggle or not knowing who you are or what you’re going to do with your life. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story and I’m interested to see how it will progress throughout the series, mainly books 4, 5 and 6 as I’ve already read book 3.

Another thing I found relatable was his frustration towards the ever mysterious Ferius. He constantly asks her to teach him the ways of the Argosi but she refuses and he gets very annoyed with her. There have been countless times when I have asked someone what I should do because I have felt very lost and not had the slightest clue, I just wanted someone to decide for me and tell me what to do. I could definitely relate to Kellen’s anger and frustration because it sucks feeling lost and alone.

One thing I was expecting more of was this darkness inside of Kellen. As we found out in the first book, he has the shadowblack which is a deadly kind of magic as it drives people insane. However, we see very little of that in this book and there’s only a few scenes scattered throughout where the darkness claims him and he has to fight his way back to himself. I really enjoyed those scenes and definitely wanted more of them. Plus they aren’t explained very well so I was slightly confused as to what was happening. Nevertheless, it was still very good and I can’t wait to see how this progresses throughout the series.

I was really pleased to see Reichis was still his incredibly sassy self. He’s definitely the most entertaining character and I love how he still likes to thieve from people. I like how he always refers to Kellen as his “business partner” and nothing else, it was pretty funny. Every time you think they have a really cool bond/relationship he adamantly reminds you that Kellen is his business partner and that’s all. He’s also still very violent towards others and is constantly looking for a fight. I like how at times he will defend Kellen and fight attackers off, it gave me high hopes for a future friendship between them.

I thought the ending was rather sad because there was a brief moment when I thought Kellen and found somewhere to belong but that wasn’t the case. But the last line hinted that he was slowly but surely finding himself again and discovering his path in life. The book also hinted at what would happen in the future books and I thought that was pretty interesting. I’m definitely invested in this series now and curious to see where this series is going and if there’s any hope of Kellen finding a cure for the shadowblack.

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