There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.
Magic is a con game.
Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage’s duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi – a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She’s difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen’s only hope…
I actually sort of want to give the book more than five stars, I enjoyed it that much!! Thoroughly un-put-down-able. I have to say it gets bonus points for not really having the protagonist be a special snowflake 😂 I really liked that he was considered a weakling and just used his mind to win his battles.
I can’t wait for the next one now, either! I want to learn more about Ferius, and see more of Reichis’s gloriously violent threats. I want to see if Shalla can learn to understand power isn’t all, and I hope we see Neph’aria teach her or become powerful enough to teach everyone.
I did see some of the twist, largely about the Sha’tep and Abydos, but they were very well done. I hope to see more of the politics of this world in the next book.
And I will definitely be going out and searching for more books by Sebastien De Castell, cause this was great.
Firstly, this is still my read of the year at this point, and I widely recommend it to anyone who stands still long enough! And second it does feel quite odd to be putting this review up AFTER the review for Shadowblack, the second in the series! But that was a pre-release review through Net Galley so needs must 😉 I have since gone and bought a signed copy of Shadowblack in hardback, and am massively exciting about the third book in the spring. 😀