First of all, I already read the Greatcoats series, the first book series of Sebastien de Castell, and I absolutely adored it. That is why my expectations were a little too high for Spellslinger, even though I tried to begin reading with an open mind.
The plot was not as fast-paced as I had hoped, but it was still well written. Sometimes I felt like there was no direction, no clear goal. Most times I had to let myself be rushed along by the story to see where we would end up. Otherwise the story was excellently executed, I was highly entertained.
About the main characters: Kellen, the protagonist, is a sixteen-year-old boy, who is supposed to be extra clever, at least able to outsmart the average of his clan members. I didn't always get that vibe, especially not that cunning tricking that I had been hoping for, but at least he was a believable character that I could relate to. Also, plus points for sassy-ness. His companion, the squirrel cat Reichis, came in way too late in the book (at least in my opinion). While he was like the extra pinch of salt that turned the book from good to better, he was still a character with a family and backstory and everything. That impressed me a lot, since he is a talking animal with a habit of insulting everyone and everything. My third favorite character was obviously Ferius Parfax, whose first action in this book was to save Kellen's life. She ist the kind of strong female character I'm always looking for and she didn't open only Kellen's eyes to a world beyond the Jan'tep, she enabled me as a reader to see beyond. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of her in the sequel.
To conclude, I have to admit that there weren't nearly as many con-game-duels as I had hoped (only one) and the rest was almost always non-magic-action, but those are just my personal preferences. I still loved the book and I'm definitely going to continue reading this series!