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(Spellslinger #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  8,534 ratings  ·  1,378 reviews
Kelen, 16 ans, est l'héritier d'une des grandes familles qui se disputent le trône de la cité. Il prépare son premier duel pour devenir mage. Mais ses pouvoirs ont disparu. Il doit ruser... ou tricher, quitte à risquer l'exil, voire pire.
Ses seuls soutiens, deux acolytes explosifs: Furia, la vagabonde imprévisible et Rakis, un chacureuil féroce et acerbe.
La saga d'un
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published May 17th 2018 by Gallimard Jeunesse (first published May 4th 2017)
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Popular Answered Questions
Sebastien Castell Excellent question. In fact, it is in the same universe as the Greatcoats but on a different continent. The lands of Spellslinger are more akin to the…moreExcellent question. In fact, it is in the same universe as the Greatcoats but on a different continent. The lands of Spellslinger are more akin to the American frontier.(less)
Sebastien Castell Yes, I always endeavour to make each book a complete novel even when it's part of a series. That holds true with each volume of Spellslinger as well.

Yes, I always endeavour to make each book a complete novel even when it's part of a series. That holds true with each volume of Spellslinger as well.


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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  8,534 ratings  ·  1,378 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Reread 2018

I freaking loved this book!

I am so glad this is book one of a trilogy/duology/series, whatever because it rocked my little world!

Kellen (Kel) is a boy who is trying to get his magic to work. If he doesn't get his magic to work by his 16 bday and win in the trials, then he's up the creek without a paddle so to speak.

Kel's parents are a high powered family and Kel is just there so to speak. He gets into trouble a lot but I love him. Then he meets Ferius Parfax who just happens to save
Helena of Eretz ✰
Well, this was nonstop fun and action! It’s been a while since I’ve read such a fast-paced book!

When I picked up The Magicians by Lev Grossman years ago...THIS is what I was expecting: a magical system with hand motions and spoken spells. This also has a younger-YA, almost Percy Jackson-esque, narrator. I am HERE for the sass!

Also, I need to get myself a sarcastic squirrel cat of my own ASAP. Anyone know how to hook me up with one? I would be much obliged. ;)

I have to start off this review by letting you all know that Sebastien de Castell is my favorite author, hands down. His writing is so beautiful, his banter leaves my sides hurting from laughter, his characters always find a way to weasel themselves into my heart, and his fantasy stories are a tier above anything else out there right now. He is such a clever and witty writer, and his books are exactly what I want and look for in my fantasy. Oh, and I get a little fangirly when I talk about him ...more
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, magic, witches
You know how you often read about these characters that have incredible powers offered to them on a silver platter so that they can save the world and become the heroes and heroines not only of their own story, but of everyone else's as well?

That’s not Kellen.

He’s no hero. In a world where magic is praised and valued more than anything else, this kiddo really doesn’t fit in, especially considering how his father, mother and sister can wield magic like it’s nobody’s business… and he can’t.

Chaima ✨ شيماء
You know when the cover is so pretty but then you read the book and you realize that you've been catfished??

I consider that a good example of true evil at work

I have no feelings for this book except maybe that gritted teeth emoji. I'm convinced this was just the universe deciding to aggravate me harder than usual. I can't believe I actually managed to read this entire thing and still somehow remain conscious for at least half of it?? but y'all know what they say: you gotta celebrate your
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
*04 October 2017* - A quick reread before Shadowblack

Reread is done and that was once again, a lot of fun!
Oh, and have I mentioned how gorgeous this book is?


4.5 Stars

Normally when I see a promising sounding book and notice that it is YA, I immediately lower my expectations for it as I have not always had the best experience with the genre. I might be starting to sound like a broken record on that point though. Quite a few great YA books nowadays. Anyways. When Spellslinger quietly showed up
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Actual Rating: 3.75 stars

“First thing you learn wandering the long roads, kid. Everyone thinks they’re the hero of their own story.”

This is the first book I read by De Castell and definitely not the last. I have been interested in his Greatcoats series but wanted to start this one first because I heard that one was better and I wanted to see how he writes for different audiences.

The writing is easy to follow, I think it fits perfectly for a YA book.
On sale for $1.99 on US Kindle March 16, 2019!

Spellslinger is a book that will make you cheer and laugh - and also occasionally be tempted to smash against the wall.

Kellen is training to be a mage, only he isn’t very good at magic. He can barely do little wimpy breath spells. He is almost sixteen, at which point, if he doesn’t pass his Jan’Tep trials, he will become Sha’Tep. The people without magic who do the manual labor and serve the mages. It’s a very judgy and tyrannical society.

Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, audiobook
I honestly don’t think this book is terrible, it was a fairly average read for me and I probably would’ve given it a 3 if i hadn’t been so uncomfortable with the scenes of animal abuse. Many times animals were injured or tortured or killed and it was actually very hard for me to read. If it’s easier for you to read those then I would recommend this! The politics can be interesting and I thought it was an interesting take on magic and what it can do to people
Good lord. Sebastien de Castell is kinda a god among writers. I have not read a single one of his novels that I haven't loved.

It's really hard to say what I love the most. The characters have such bright and vivid voices, the magic is both interesting and well fleshed-out with wonderful rules and consequences, and the plots are snappy.

This may be a YA novel but that hardly matters to me at all. The reckoning is coming, the buildup and reveals perfect, and the humor sharp and delightful and
TS Chan
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-owned
Spellslinger is delightfully fun and engaging read with some serious themes that fit the young adult genre.

I would probably sound like a broken record, but I reiterate that I'm generally not a reader of YA books. So far, the ones that I've enjoyed are those written by authors who've already carved a name for themselves writing adult fantasy books. One of these authors is Sebastien de Castell; his adult fantasy series, Greatcoats, was one which I loved. In Greatcoats, he balanced a dark and
✨    jamieson   ✨
“First thing you learn wandering the long roads, kid. Everyone thinks they're the hero of their own story"

This is gonna be a messy incoherent long kinds review containing untagged spoilers you've been warned

Well this was incredibly disappointing. I have limits to how many times I can feel annoyed in a book and this really surpassed my limits. I'm only giving it three stars because despite how aggravated I was for the second half, I did enjoy the worldbuilding in the first half.

May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, 2017-read
I had literally never heard of this book before until I went into Dymocks the other day and bought it because I fell in love with the cover. I thought I knew what I was in for when I read the blurb, but I was wrong.

This book was definitely not what I expected and I actually loved it. We follow Kellen who is about to enter into a set of trials that will determine whether he is a Jan'Tep (someone with magic) or a Sha'Tep (someone without magic). However, nothing is as it seems and literally
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, magic, childrns
Many thanks to Netgalley who provided me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Fun, action-packed adventure! I would say middle-grade rather than YA. This book seems to be setting up what will be a new series. Kellen finds out that all is not as it seems in the world in which he has been raised. He is betrayed by those around him and has to find his own way as an outcast. Along the way he befriends a feisty squirrel cat and a mentor who help him to overcome the odds and ...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

3.5 stars.Albeit not perfect, Spellslinger was just so effortlessly readable. So much that I was genuinely surprised when I checked the number of pages and saw that the story was 400 pages long : never once did I feel their weight.

'First thing you learn wandering the long roads, kid. Everyone thinks they're the hero of their own story.'

The world created by De Castell, while somewhat devoid of strong originality - a world shared by magicians, tricksters, and warriors - still introduces a few
Patricia Crowther
Advanced copy received via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

Initially I was going to rate this down to 4.5* but I've decided to keep it at the whole 5 stars. I just think that the one single issue I had with it was really minor and overall didn't really have any impact on how much I enjoyed it in the end. That issue was the slight lack of world building at the start. I was a little unclear as to what kind of setting the story was based in and the type of infrastructure I was supposed to
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I loved this! I have wanted to read it ever since finishing de Castell’s Greatcoats series, but it hasn’t been published in the US prior to July. Lucky me, I don’t have to wait for the next books to be written, only published.

The fact that it is YA made me a little suspicious I’ll admit, but I shouldn’t have worried. It’s the characters that sold me on the Greatcoats, and I think, if anything there’s more to love about this band of misfits. You have Kellen, the magicless mage, disappointment to
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
This was a super fun read! I highly recommend to people who are just getting into the adult fantasy genre. It’s very light and fast paced with a touch of grit.

This is my first book by this author and I definitely see him becoming a favorite. It has me more excited to read Traitors Blade since that’ll probably be more up my alley.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Sebastien de Castell is the real deal, and if I still had any lingering doubts about that…well, then Spellslinger just laid them all to rest. While I’m a huge fan of his Greatcoats series, as we all know, it’s no small thing whenever an author decides to leap genres or go from writing books for adults to writing YA. De Castell, however, brilliantly navigates the traditions and expectations of the genre without a hitch,
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I loved this book!!! I was worried due to the mixed reviews it might not be my cup of tea but I was wrong.
Here we meet Kellen. A poor boy about to be outcast because he doesn’t really have any magic. We also have a flying angry squirrel, a badass heroine and a huge conspiracy to uncover.
When you can’t do magic by your 16th year, you are second class to the Mages in this town. It’s very political and happy to rewrite history - as we all soon learn in this book.
I loved the very witty writing in
"Tricks are all I have." I said. "Clever. The boy always seeks to be clever."

* * * * .5
4.5 / 5

Kellen is supposed to be earning his mage name; on the cusp of turning sixteen, if he doesn't pass the four trials he'll be relegated to the life of a servant. The problem? He doesn't have any magic any more. It doesn't help that his father is the most powerful mage of their people and his sister, barely thirteen, is already passing all of her trials. This is an absolutely wonderful book that grabbed me
☙ percy ❧
i think i'm turning into That Guy Who Hates Everything Everyone Else Loves and that sucks!! what am i missing that everyone else sees!! i want to like things, dammit!

the main plotline was pretty intriguing, with the Jan'Tep and the shadowblack and things. that was pretty cool. but everything was just... boring? the writing was pretty lacklustre, and the occasional humorous line was not enough to save the overall dullness, i'm afraid. the squirrel-cats struck me as... out of place and a bit
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sebastien de Castell's 'Greatcoats' series was one of the big surprises for me of the last couple years - funny, well-written, exciting, heart-wrenching, and just an incredible read with incredible characters. I quickly fell in love with his writing style and choices, and certainly marked him as one of my new favorite authors.

Spellslinger is not a book I was aware was coming, or even knew that it had come out. I follow Sebastien on social media and never really saw even him mention it, and I
Jade Ratley
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite all the mixed reviews I’ve seen about this book, I can truly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters were enjoyable, the plot was intriguing, the politics had me drawn in. The magic was fascinating, and the squirrel cat was fabulous.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
"There's no amount of magic in the world that's worth the price of a man's conscience"

Kellen is about to turn 16, the age when Jan'Tep prove their magical abilities or become a Sha'Tep for the remainder of their lives, serving those who are true mages. As each day gets closer to his birthday, he seems to be loosing more and more magic. It isn't until Ferius Parfax shows up that Kellen starts to realize that a life of servitude isn't the only option.

The Story-Spellslinger was unique enough to
সালমান হক
Kellen is about to face the wizarding duel that will decide his future as a mage. There is only one problem: His magic has disappeared.

In a society where being a magician is everything (and if you do not pass the trials, you'll end up being a servant of them) it is very difficult to accept not having magic. Especially if your father is one of the best mages in the town. That is Kellen's big problem, for some reason his magic does not work as it should and every time he is closer to the test
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An action-packed coming of age fantasy story that attempts to pull off a gunfighter-Western aesthetic. I'm not sure it's 100% successful at that, but the result is very entertaining.

The Jan'Tep are mages. If they're not mages then they become Sha'Tep, literally second class citizens whose lives are heavily proscribed by their mage overclass. Before their sixteenth birthday every child must take the test that will determine their status for the rest of their lives. Kellen is fifteen and none of
Darcy (Daydreamingofbookdragons)

You don't understand, I actually really loved that. I am in awe. There is potential for me to come back in a few days and give it 5 stars and put it on my favourites shelf.

(I have already successfully coerced convinced 2 and a half friends to buy this book. The half is cause two friends bought it but one of them has a twin and they share a bookshelf sooo.....)

"Squirrel cats, it turns out, are sarcastic assholes."

As if that line is not enough reason to pick up this
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Kel is a young magician approaching his trial day, he is desperate to fulfil his father’s wishes and join him in leading their people. The only thing is Kel doesn’t have any power, not even a whisper of air magic despite everyone else in his family being extraordinarily strong. He has succeeded to this point like a wasp in a bee hive, accepted out of assumption that if he was not one of them he would not be there, but he’s about to be called into action.

Pushed to explore more of the world he
Mellie Antoinette
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy Squirrel Cats that was awesome!

Kellen is a young mage trying out to become adult mage. But the magic coveted by his Jan’Tep people keeps eluding him. Unfortunately, for young Kellster (my nickname, de Castell would never deign to nickname so!), this is a magic exclusive kind of society - read: no magic, no workee! Or so says his sister Shalla who quickly exposes his intelligence for weakness.

I have to say this hero/antihero concept was a bit refreshing. Right off the bat, we are surviving
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Hi Folks!

My tenth novel, CROWNBREAKER is in stores in around the world.

You can get a pair of free stories here.

The best way to stay up to date is at, but I'm also on that Facebook thing. Also that Twitter thing. One day I'll even remember to get on that Instagram thing.

As to who I am? Well . . .

Sebastien de Castell had just finished a degree in Archaeology when he started work

Other books in the series

Spellslinger (6 books)
  • Shadowblack (Spellslinger #2)
  • Charmcaster (Spellslinger #3)
  • Soulbinder (Spellslinger, #4)
  • Queenslayer (Spellslinger #5)
  • Crownbreaker (Spellslinger, #6)
“I’m a woman, kid. You probably haven’t met one before, coming as you do from this backward place, but it’s like a man only smarter and with bigger balls.” 26 likes
“First thing you learn wandering the long roads, kid. Everyone thinks they're the hero of their own story.
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