Three things earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second, to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is to reach sixteen. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.
Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage's duel. There's just one problem: his magic is gone. As his birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning to avoid total disgrace. 

Spellslinger was nothing like what I had expected, and I was completely hooked.  This book is a masterpiece full of kickass characters, twists I never saw coming and one compelling storyline.

Kellen’s magic has disappeared and with it, all hope of winning his first mage’s duel and beginning the trials that will make him a spellcaster.  With his sixteenth birthday fast approaching, Kellen scrambles to avoid the disgrace of failure and turns to con games.  Close to death and having disgraced his family, the arrival of a daring stranger challenges Kellen to consider a different path for himself.  Ferius Parfax may be his only hope.  

Tangled in a new game of truth and lies, magic and trickery, and love and hate, Kellen finds himself an outcast among his own people and a stranger to even his family.  But nothing is ever as it seems.  Kellen has a lot of uncovering to do to restore his magic and become the hero he always dreamed of being.

That plot was unlike anything I’ve ever read.  I can’t even explain how awesome and unique the world of Jan'Tep and Shadowblack was and, while the writing was a little lacking, I can easily put that aside for the extraordinary storyline.  I never wanted to let this book go, it was such a riveting read.  

Kellen was a brilliant main character.  I loved that he had his faults, that he wasn’t brimming with courage, wasn’t a macho-tough guy ready to face the world head on but a boy, working hard to hide his neverending fear.  Nothing ever came easily for him, he had to work his entire life, he did everything just right, and still got very little in return.  Kellen is a super relatable, sweet guy with the complete inability to control his tongue.  He is just a boy, he gets defensive and acts nonchalant in the face of rejection or disappointment and wants to do everything he can for his sister but admits he doesn’t know how to help.  I think these are some of the most rare traits for any character to have and yet, they happen to be their most relatable qualities.  I always love a good human reader.

As for the other characters, a few of them felt a little forced.  Ferius, this snarky, sarcastic woman who never takes no for the answers, was possibly the only other interesting character.  Kellen’s sister, who’s name I don’t remember, was smart and talented but had this selfish and conceited sense of justice which meant she couldn’t move past her pride in order to consider any other person.  The love interest was a little pathetic in my eyes and all other character were useless brutes who only wished to further themselves.

I did like the way this book talks about the potential of women if they were given the chance to prove themselves.  Kellen recognises that women are held back from kicking some major ass simply because the men fear being overrun.  My only issue was that most females in this novel seemed rather fickle.  The first strong female character is proud and disloyal to her family and the second a brash and abrasive drunk, scorned by the people and emitting distrustful vibes.  But that was really my only issue with this book.

Despite not being a little weak in the writing and characterisation, Spellslinger was a fantastic book that I would recommend to anyone.  One killer main character, a riveting plot filled with twists, and a world that feels both vibrant and magical, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in this series.

Rating: 4/5

Pick up this fantastic book from Amazon or Book Depository, it's worth it.