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This third book falls under the fun category Okay at first, episodic, action filled, with quirky dialogue, but it really picks up later when the stakes get a lot higher I really like the magic system in these books and figuring out the meanings of the cards is pretty delightful Heroes journey and all It s always good Especially when you re the most horrible traitor to your own people and all We learn a lot about his particular kind of magical skills, too, but the focus is mostly on preventing war and saving friends What else Well, the writing is FUN I really can t stress that enough I think I liked the first one best and the second was pretty okay, but this one improved things quite a bit So much so that I broke down and got the fourth book and started it right away. Za tek byl pln peckovn a Reichis je po d topka ekala jsem, e m ty jeho kecy o poj d n o n ch bulv a trh n u u p estanou bavit, ale ne Celkov to nebylo pln epick , ale p b h je fajn akce, nov postavy a tajemstv Kellen se dost posunul, l b se mi jak postupn p id v nov triky a za n b t celkem badass, i kdy asto tak trochu omylem. As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek won a copy of this book through Readers First.Starting six months after the ending of the previous book, Shadowblack which you really need to have read Charmcaster finds Kellen, Reichis and Ferius traversing a desert on their way to Gitabria However, as is often the case for Kellen and crew things aren t going according to plan and they are running from a mage induced lightning storm.After stopping to stand and fight, the mage who they initially thought was hunting them continues on past the trio, unaware and uncaring It turns out that the mage isn t hunting them but is being hunted themselves and is running from a group of Berabesq Faithful religious zealots.Doing the right thing, the trio go and attempt to rescue the mage but in the ensuing battle, Ferius is badly injured After holing up in a Traveller s Saloon on the Gitabrian border to allow Ferius s injuries to be treated, yes, to the Argosi booze and gambling are wondrous medicines.After a while, the intrepid trio, now accompanied by the rescued mage and their familiar, at the behest of an Argosi discordance card depicting a small mechanical bird leave the saloon and resume their journey finding themselves once again heading towards Gitabria and its Capital, Cazaran for the Grand Exhibition.The image on the discordance card, the small, lifelike, magical and innocuous mechanical bird is the highlight of the aforementioned Gitabrian Grand Exhibition wowing everyone in attendance But, its invention also has disastrous consequences as the representatives from the other nations all vying to purchase the bird Something so beautiful and innocent could, in the wrong hands if they are able to unlock the secrets behind its creation be turned into something ugly and as the discordance cards suggest used to start a war.Kellen an outlaw spellslinger , Ferius, an Argosi wanderer and Reichis Kellen s talking though only Kellen can understand him squirrel cat companion business partner are at the core of the tale told in Charmcaster but the rest of the characters we meet both the good and the bad, some of whom you ll like, some you ll dislike, some old and some new each have their roles to play and all add to the overall story too.One such character has a familiar with them, a Hyena named Ishak This leads to some absolutely fantastic exchanges between Reichis and Ishak and their respective business partners especially as Reichis being Reichis an oh so funny but oh so bad influence leads Ishak astray.Reichis adds the humour to Charmcaster, he is a fabulous creation who steals every page that he appears on obviously, not literally a murderous and thieving squirrel cat with a bad attitude for reference think Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy who likes baths, butter biscuits, eyeballs and murdering Ferius is her usual often mysterious and obtuse self we do get a deeper look at her while Kellen continues to show development and growth.For Kellen, as the main character though I m reluctant to ignore Reichis and Ferius in that statement as I feel that they too deserve equal billing as main characters as they really are a tremendous trio who all contribute so much to the series and in Charmcaster itself, all three are given the opportunity to shine he still has a tendency to both make mistakes and be naive at times But, in the capable hands of de Castell he has come on leaps and bounds, now owning up to and learning from his errors, realising that actions have consequences not just for himself but for others too and maturing due to the various hardships that he has suffered and adventures he has endured.The Argosi are a mysterious people akin to wanderers We know a bit about them and the various paths that they travel from the previous books but not much However, with Charmcaster, de Castell, for me, pulls back the veil and just like with Ferius gives us a deeper look at the Argosi and their ways We also get some glimpses at the wider picture and the motivations of the various other nations.The world continues to grow too with Charmcaster predominantly taking place in another new setting and culture Cazaran, the capital city of Gitabria comes to life on the pages The city is split in two by a massive gorge with eight bridges The Cazaran Arches spanning the gorge and connecting the two parts of the capital The Gitabrians are a nation of inventors who craft and create a plethora of wondrous inventions.De Castell s adult fantasy series, The Greatcoats is one of my favourite fantasy series and with Spellslinger, his YA fantasy series he has another winner on his hands too Generally speaking, I m not a YA reader and prefer the darker and grittier grimdark style of fantasy over the YA style However, I m a huge fan of the Spellslinger series and I feel that whilst labelled as YA, for me, it definitely bridges the divide between YA and adult and that readers of both will be huge fans of the Spellslinger series.If you ve read anything by de Castell before then you ll know what to expect from him and his work He consistently delivers and his books feature emotion, humour, banter between characters that comes right out the top drawer, fabulous characters, high quality world building and a damn good story full of twists and turns that is written with gusto and Charmcaster is no exception continuing his trend of delivering captivating, fun filled and adventurous reads.All in all, Charmcaster is a roller coaster of a book and an outstanding continuation of the Spellslinger series. 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum , we join our protagonists the exiled mage Kellen, his Argosi mentor Ferius, and the unhinged squirrel cat Reichis on a road trip to their next destination in this third installment of the Spellslinger series Building upon the events of the first two books, Charmcaster takes us out of the desert and into the land of Gitabria, where our characters are hoping to track down and help the first of many victims targeted by a Jan Tep conspiracy However, being a wanted man himself, Kellen finds his every step dogged by mercenaries But then in a twist of fate, his latest confrontation with a group of bounty hunters leads him to rescue another mage on the run, who turns out to be none other Nephenia, an old friend and secret crush from his life before exile.After a brief recuperation, our characters continue to make their way to the capital, where they get the chance to witness the unveiling of a miraculous new invention While most of the crowd is blown away by the spectacle, only a few, including Ferius, are aware of the threat this could spell for the entire world if this technology were to fall into the wrong hands Unfortunately, it appears that dangerous factions have already caught wind of the groundbreaking innovations happening in Gitabria, for the inventor s daughter turns out to be one of their targets After experiencing first hand the devastating results of his enemies methods in the last book, Kellen is determined to do whatever it takes to free the girl from their evil influence.Following the trend established by Shadowblack, we are introduced to a new setting, new cultures, and new side characters in this next chapter of Kellen s journey That said, the format feels very episodic in that each volume features a self contained adventure, but together they make up an overarching series plot As such, it is still imperative to start from the beginning and read the books in order.That said, I am starting to notice a few repetitive patterns in the storytelling The introduction paralleled the opening chapters in the previous book, which begins with an attack that our heroes barely manage to thwart and ends with them getting a new addition to their party, but for some reason I felt it took things in Charmcaster a lot longer to take off On the bright side though, I did delight in seeing Nephenia again, despite her character being much changed from the girl Kellen used to know A significant part of this book deals with the fallout of what has happened back home while our protagonist has been on the run, and some of this involves why Nephenia has become so different In fact, I would say the strength of this novel is in the character and relationship building, because although we see the overall plot moving forward, it s admittedly not by much.Still, I am enjoying myself Like its two predecessors, Charmcaster is fun, lively, and well, charming Sebastien de Castell continues to expand his world building, adding even detail and intrigue to this already rich setting In Gitabria, our characters encounter a new land with different culture, politics, and traditions They meet new people who teach them and us new things Case in point, one of my favorite encounters in this book allowed both Kellen and the reader a glimpse into Ferius mysterious past, revealing that she too was a very different person in her youth And of course, Reichis was his usual crass self, delivering most of the comic relief As for Kellen, there were several interesting developments for his character too, mainly focusing on the deteriorating effects of the shadowblack and what this means for his mental capacities and how others treat him In addition, Kellen is forced to face the harsh truth about his family and come to terms with the fact they are not the people he once thought they were Needless to say, this book sees our protagonist growing up fast, whether he likes it or not.But therein lies the beauty of this series Kellen began this whole thing as a na ve and sheltered boy of fifteen, but gradually he is becoming a man Every adventure is a learning experience for him, and with each book, the lessons are getting harder Compared to the first two books, I felt that Charmcaster was slightly darker in tone, presenting Kellen with problems that are complicated and disturbing Still, our protagonist has retained the essence of who he is, the goodness that allows him to make the right decisions, and for that I am grateful to the author.All told, every step of this journey has been great so far, and even though Charmcaster didn t quite command my attention the way Spellslinger and Shadowblack did, I felt the book s strengths came through in different ways I can t wait to see what s next. [ FREE ] ♄ Charmcaster ♸ The Third Book In The Page Turning Spellslinger Fantasy Series I Was Getting Almost As Good At Running Away From Enemies As I Was At Making Them In The First Place Turns Out, I Wasn T Running Nearly Fast Enough Kellen Has Begun To Master His Spellslinging And The Argosi Tricks For Staying Alive, And He And Reichis Have Found A Career That Suits Them Both Taking Down Mercenary Mages Who Make People S Lives Miserable But Ferius Is Concerned That Kellen Is Courting DisasterPerfect For Fans Of The Dark Tower, Firefly, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Terry Pratchett, Ben Aaronovitch And Jim Butcher Who d have thought you could become so fond of a thieving, foul mouthed squirrel cat To the point where theres a bit of dust in the corner of my eye definitely not getting emotional The series gets better edition to editiom and holds no punches.And the ending is crazy S ka d m d lem m d l lep , tohle byla fakt dokonalost Je tu humor, z pletky, antihrdina co vyhr v sp n hodou a ko kovever k Prost si to v ichni p e t te a j jdu ps t l nek, proto e tohle je jasn ch 5 5 Deset d vod , pro v m tehle s rie nesm uniknout, najdete tady. Sebastien de Castell did it again.I flew through this It only took me 3 sessions of a couple hours at a time A perfect way to spend a couple of days off. 3.5 stars rounded up for ReichisI don t even know where I m going, but I know it s going to be someplace bad I can t You reckon there s going to be danger he asked Definitely Dark and powerful mages Probably Maybe even a few demons Because I haven t murdered any demons yet, and I really think it s time I gave it a try, don t you This is by far the best work in this series.I absolutely loved it and Sebastien de Castell just became one of my favorite author, right along with legends of this genre.