Young Adult Reviews

Review: Charmcaster by Sebastien DeCastell



While Ferius is a master of trickery, and Rechis is two furry feet of sharp teeth, claws and a total disregard for the consequences of violence, I’ve got one and only one skill that matters in a situation like this: a piece of breath magic that relies on quick hands and the twin powders I keep in the pouches on either side of my belt. 

(Charmcaster by Sebastien De Castell. P10.) 



Kellen, Ferius and Rechis are back for their third adventure. They make their way to Gitabria, a city of inventors and innovators, where a mechanical bird is about to cause huge problems. 

Both Kellen and Ferius are confronted with old faces from the past, and all word of the Jan’Tep indicates war. 



Spellslinger is my favourite fantasy series. It follows a band of outlaws who have fallen on the wrong side of a magical dictatorship. Kellen, Ferius, and Rechis are back for their third adventure. This time they meet an old friend, visit a city of innovation and go on the hunt of a mechanical bird which might change the fate of the world. 

Charmcaster was an unputdownable as books one and two. I was pleased to see Neph return. In book one she was a side-character with little agency, but in Charmcaster she has a voice of her own, and she is something of a legend. I love the characters are developing across the series. Ferius’s backstory is an interesting strand, and I was pleased to learn more about her life and about the Argosi way. 

Now we are three books in, and war is on the horizon. We are learning more about the different cultures in the world, and about their motives and plans. The Jan’Tep are gaining power, but their society is built on flawed values. I’m not certain from the ending of book 3 where the next story is going, but that is one of the things I love about this series. De Castell is brilliant at setting up an adventure whilst throwing the reader completely off-trail.

My favourite thing about the series is the main characters. They are the kind of characters who remain in the reader’s head beyond the story. Now we are three books in, the bond between the key characters has been established. I love the dynamic between Ferius, Kellen, and Rechis. Although they are not sentimental about each other on the surface, they have each other’s backs. 

Witty, fast-paced and slightly subversive. Like the best YA books, these question the status-quo. The characters may not be successful by the conventions of their society, but they follow their own path and live good lives. 

These are must-reads. The countdown to book four begins. 


Thanks to ReadersFirst and Hot Key Books for my copy of Charmcaster. Opinions my own.

Louise Nettleton

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