Review of KINDLE Ebook Crownbreaker – Book 6 of the Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell #Brainfluffbookreview #Crownbreakerbookreview

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This is a series that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed – here is my review of Spellslinger. For those of you who are interested, or have already read the series – here are my subsequent reviews for Shadowblack, Charmcaster, Soulbinder and Queenslayer.

BLURB: Once an outlaw spellslinger, Kellen Argos has made a life for himself as the Daroman Queen’s protector. A little magic and a handful of tricks are all it takes to deal with the constant threats to her reign. But when rumors of an empire-shattering war begin to stir, Kellen is asked to commit an unimaginable act to protect his queen.

To be honest, I have been putting this one off. I did have some issues with the previous book, Queenslayer, and given that Crownbreaker is the final book in the series. I was concerned in case de Castell didn’t bring this memorable series to a fitting conclusion. However, my worries were soon put to rest when I encountered that amazing opening to the book, signalling that de Castell was back to form. When he is at his best, there aren’t many who can rival his twisty plotting and the ingenious methods Kellen finds for getting out of difficult situations.

Of course, given that it is the last book in the series, there needs to be an even bigger threat to overcome and it is posed in the form of an incipient war. Everyone is keen for Kellen to step up and assassinate a key player on the grounds that this will prevent the political situation from escalating further. Kellen, despite having killed a string of people, is very reluctant to take on the job. While he has high-flown ideas about his refusal, I’ve noticed throughout the series that when someone requires him to undertake a task, he often finds reasons not to accede to their wishes – it’s called demand avoidance and it’s a trait teachers are only too aware of…

Despite the raised stakes, it’s striking that even in this final slice of an event filled, action-packed series, the tone hasn’t darkened appreciably since the first book, which is unusual. Normally several books down the line, everything is a whole lot more sombre – just think of the Harry Potter series, for instance. I appreciated the same chirpy interplay between Kellen and his murderous squirrel cat, which is largely responsible for keeping the tone lighter. The difficult relationship Kellen has with his family also comes to a head and is resolved in this book, in a totally unpredictable manner. I thought the ending worked well and all the plotpoints were tied up satisfactorily. And while I am sad that I will no longer be going on any more adventures with Kellen, I celebrate the fact that the whole series was safely brought home in a manner that does justice to such a quirky, enjoyable protagonist.
9/10


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17 responses »

  1. Thats great that the last book provided a great ending for the series, im always stressed when reading last books in a series thinking will it bring the series to a good and final end?

  2. I’m sad I haven’t kept up with this series, but it’s nice to know it’s overall very strong. One of these days I’ll take the plunge and finish it!

  3. I’m always happy to read a positive review of both and book and a series.
    I love the term ‘demand avoidance.’ I hadn’t heard the term before but I am very familiar with the concept because I work in a school too.

    • Yes – I thought the concept would ring bells with anyone who has worked in schools:)). It’s a real issue with children with a range of specific learning needs – and finding ways around it can be quite counter-intuitive. I wish I’d had more training regarding those problems when doing my teaching degree!

      • I wish I had training on it now! I’m a Guidance Counselor and parents ask me all the time and I really don’t have a clue other than the usual monitor more closely and take away wanted items

      • There is quite a lot of information online about PDA – Pathalogical Demand Avoidance, which is the extreme form and is rooted within some forms of autism as caused by social anxiety, rather than being awkward or naughty.

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