Book Title: Charmcaster
Author: Sebastian de Castell
Series: Spellslinger #3
Date Started: April 26th 2018
Date Completed: May 1st 2018
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Action
Quality Rating: Three Stars
Enjoyment Rating: Four Stars
Final Rating: Three stars
◆ Thanks to NetGalley and Hot Key Books for this ebook for review ◆
These books are still fun, but it's the world rather than the action that keeps bringing me back.
Each story in this series has its own plot, sure, but they do feel quite repetitive. But that's also where the world-building really shines through because despite it being predictable it's still really engaging. I feel like an attempt was made at the end of Charmcaster to raise the stakes by just adding a couple more climaxes, but they kind of cancelled each other out. I'd rather than longer climaxes with a bit more magic, but that's just me. Undeniably, though, this is a series that benefits from its desire to wander; you just want to keep exploring and discovering and the best thing about these books is that it is more than happy to take you on that adventure.
I like how the relationships still feel like they're growing. Again, it's an aspect of the world-building, but it's pulled off well. The Argosi and how their culture is rubbing off on Kellen especially. Deus ex Argosi is arguably in play, but you can see how far our protagonist has learnt from it. Again, it is something that is changing even if the structure isn't, so it's definitely worth coming back to these for me. I just can't help the feeling that I'm waiting to be given a twist I didn't see coming.
In theory, these female characters are awesome, but Castell just cannot write their personalities in the scenes themselves. Past Ferius, they're flat and typical and it's so frustrating because they're varied and powerful! I mean the representation alone is wonderful; genuinely, so many characters are female it's a joy to read. And they're in positions of power, positions of courage, positions of intellect. But damn, their dialogue does not reflect it unless they're playing the bad guy.
Still enjoying the series, still coming back to it, but I'm waiting for the big twist.