Author: Sebastien de Castell
Series: Spellslinger #5
Kellen and Reichis have just finished fighting a duel in the desert when Kellen inadvertently smears blood on the Daroman flag – an act of treason for which the Marshals have no choice but to arrest him. Just before he’s put before the Queen to be executed, Kellen is given a strange piece of advice from one of his fellow prisoners: kill the Queen and he’ll be given clemency by those who take power. But when Kellen comes face-to-face with the eleven year-old monarch, he realises she’s vastly smarter than he expected – and in a great deal more danger.
Young Adult, Gore: I have checked on Goodreads to see if this book is still considered Young Adult by most people. In the first book, the author walked the limit between the Young Adult Epic Fantasy and Epic Fantasy. With each story, that line has been getting blurrier to the point where some parents could disapprove of their kids reading this story. Let’s say this saga has the same development as its main character.
Weak: Even though is a logical development, Kellen has become too rough and disenchanted with the world. Besides, the characters that could balance the bad aspects of his life are nowhere to be seen; so a character that was pretty fun to read has become a tedious kid with an scary predisposition to resolve his problems by killing anyone in his path. Yes, I know all of that is factored in the story, but in my opnion the author has sacrificed almost everything that made Kellen such a blast to follow in order to roughen his life… I miss the good old days, I guess.
Mystery: The best part of the book is the wonderful court intrigue in Darome. This time the story doesn’t rely on quick fights and crazy plans. It’s all about a hefty cast of characters with hidden agendas and sharper tongues and minds than swords. It is a chess match, where Kellen will have to play his part even though he doesn’t want to. This book is a bit harder to read because of that, but as a reward we are presented with several good twists that will keep the reader engaged.
The saga ends with the next book. I have no idea how the author is going to resolve everything in less than 500 pages. I hope he focuses all the energy into putting the cherry on the Jan’Tep plot. And making Shalla suffer. I have decided I don’t like her at all.