Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell
Being a member of a race that like to call themselves The Jan’Tep, which means ‘The People Of True Magic’, you might just hazard a guess that magic means just about everything to them. From their social status to their house legacy, your magic ability is the practically the only thing in their lives that carries any value. So when fifteen year old Kellen Ke’heops realises that his magic ability has completely disappeared, with his mage trials literally on the horizon, it’s safe to say Kellen feels his life as he knows it is as secure as a water in a sieve! The Mage Trials, which require all members of The Jan’Tep to take part, are on a basic level, to discern whether or not they have the ability to wield magic or not. Those unfortunate enough not to display any such ability essentially become The Jan’Tep’s slaves for life and are give the tital Sha’Tep. So you see why Kellen might feel as he does when he decides to challenge, arguably the most powerful student taking the trials at the time, to a duel as part of the trials. Which if he won would mean his passing of the first test, trial by combat. The only problem being, how is Kellen supposed to win a duel which is fought by two people (key words) with magic, without any magic to fight with. This would be proof enough to an outsider that Kellen’s brain has essentially stopped working and he’s asking for a death sentence, were it not for the fact that Kellen has a plan, all be it not a very good plan but, a plan none the less. His plan is to use his opponent’s power against him, so he’d end up fighting himself. The only problem is, if Kellen isn’t as good at general deception, in particular lying and bluffing as he thinks he might be, then it’s bye bye to his plan and maybe more importantly his life.
Teen Rating: A welcome change from the Classic, ‘chosen one versus the dark evil’, which usually populate this genre and pared with the fact that this book contains many challenges which everyday teens are themselves likely to face. Makes for an enjoyable read. 4.6/5 13+