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    Interesting

    I liked the story, but I felt some of the characters were a little forced. Good read though.
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    Jan'Tep or Sha'Tep

    Kellen is on the threshold of perhaps the most important milestone in the life of a young Jan'Tep. A few days from his 16th Birthday he is due to start his Mage Trials; once through this rite of passage he will receive his Mage name and begin more formal Mage training. There's only one problem and it is rather a large problem - Kellen doesn't really have any magic to speak of. He knows that failing these tests he will let down the whole of the Ke clan and will become a virtual slave as part of the Sha'Tep. Just as things start to get interesting at the first Mage Trial Ferius Parfax seemingly appears from nowhere. Is she a Draoman Spy? Maybe she is an Argosi. Nobody seems able to decide but the Lord Magi definitely don't trust her. Spellslinger is full of rich characters and right form the outset we know so much about the characters of Panahsi, Tennat, Shalla and Nephania and can juxtapose them very easily against Kellen. With a few broad strokes the author has conjured up a living, breathing fantasy world that it is so easy to fall full length in to it. Although I would say this is really more for a teen audience I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed this descent into the glorious fantasy realm created by Sebastian De Castell. This is clearly the pre-cursor to a series of novels and I am hopeful that we will learn more about the other nations inhabiting this realm just as we have learnt so much about the Jan'Tep and the Sha'Tep. Away from the fantasy story there are clear parables being told about family life, societal pressures and the revisionist nature of history. These could prove great ways of opening up dialogue for younger readers or simply just let them enjoy a rip-roaring read. If you are aged outside the target demographic but love fantasy tales then this is a great book so please don't dismiss it because you feel you are too old.
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