Shadowblack – Sebastian De Castell


‘”This isn’t stealing,” I insisted, a little too loudly considering that the only person who could hear me was a two foot tall squirrel cat who was, at that moment, busily picking the combination lock that stood between us and the contents of the pawnshop’s glass display case.’

  20.40 - Shadowblack - The next book in a series you started

Four months after fleeing his own people, Kellen has discovered he’s an even worse outlaw than he was 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 get them caught up in a conspiracy of magic, blackmail and murder. Now Kellen must find the mage responsible before the entire frontier falls victim to the mystical plague known as the shadowblack.

What I thought:

The tone of this one is similar to the first in that it’s a fun read, a with a squirrel cat as the familiar to the main character it would be hard for it to not be. This book is much more about the world building than the first. Kel is now out of his small town and travelling through the desert with Ferious and Reichis unable to return home due to discovering what his parents have been hiding from him and also due to the bounty that has been put on his head.

In meeting Seneira he learns about the university that her father is trying to build and the attempts to make the different desert societies come together rather than fighting against each other. This causes Kel, and the reader, to learn about the different people in this world rather than just his town. He meets more Spellslingers, people with limited magic, and starts to learn the rules for the world and his role in it.

Seneira fighting against the world, her place in it, and the literal darkness that is trying to absorb her. By running from her family she is trying to keep them safe but it just makes her lonely and makes the fight against the Shadowblack harder. Kellen is intrigued by her more than anything, having never met a woman like her before. He thinks he’s found a friend and an alley but is still coming to terms with what life has thrown at him which means that even though he’d love to be more than her friend it might not be possible. Which allows for plenty of awkward teen moments that get thrown out the window under fits of darkness attempted possession. Once again Castell takes a troupe and turns it on its head.

Not only do we learn more about the desert land and the differnt people in it, we also learn more about Ferius’ past and the ways of the Argosi. The introduction of her sister ‘Rosie’ allows us to see just how different Ferius can be from everyone else which continues to mark Kel as an outsider. No matter how hard he tries he still doesn’t fit anywhere. This is something that a lot of people, including myself, can relate to even if we aren’t all literal outcasts.

Why I read it:

Because I loved the first one and wanted to know what happened next.

Final thoughts:

Both books have been great fun and I liked the where the first book set up magic this one sets up the world. Kellen’s awkward attempts to find his place in the world makes for a fun read, especially when a girl is thrown into the mix. Reichis turns out to not only be a kleptomaniac who wants to bit everyone but to also have a bit of an obsession with making explosions and cutting people’s ears off. Unfortunately no one apart from Kellen can hear his threats, which makes him more annoyed. He’s a very different kind of familiar to normal and I love it.

Would I recommend? I’m unsure how much this would work as a stand alone book. But would definitely recommend this series.


Popsugar: The next book in a series you’ve started 

Read Harder: A western

I’m really looking forward to the next book ‘Charmcaster’ coming out and have already pre-ordered it. Thanks again to my best friend for getting Spellslinger at last years YALC

Please let me know what you think of this series if you’ve read it, or if my review has made you interested.

I’ll be back in a couple of days at the latest with my next review

Ta Ta



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