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Publisher's Summary

A failed mage learns that just because he's not the chosen one it doesn't mean he can't be a hero in the fifth book of an adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.

Kellen Argos is an outlaw spellslinger with a bad reputation, a long list of enemies, and zero luck. When he accidently smears blood on the Daroman flag, he's dragged before the queen to be executed for his act of treason. 

Face-to-face with the young monarch, Kellen is offered a chance to save himself. If he can defeat the queen at a game of cards, he'll walk free...if not, his life is forfeit. But what begins as a game reveals a conspiracy against the queen's life. And now, Kellen is not only playing for his own freedom, but also for the future of an empire. 

Spellslinger Series
Spellslinger
Shadowblack
Charmcaster
Soulbinder
Queenslayer

©2019 Sebastien de Castell (P)2019 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Queenslayer

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

What is this nonsense?

I have been listening to these books from the beginning and not once have I truly felt that the main character has grown. I thought that after all the training and events that he has been through that he just might grow up a little, also his sister is the most annoying character I have ever had to deal with.

I feel as if so many events are all just to push the plot in one way, before we had more characters to like and enjoy but now we have a ton of kids having tantrums over this and that like what the hell? I truly needed the MC to grow up a little after the several years he has lived as an outlaw but nope all that has gone away and he has trouble killing a snake?

I can't believe after all the "dancing" aka fighting the MC learned that he would have so much trouble against some of the things he encounters in this story and why does he have to always be treated like crap by everyone? I can not fathom why the author thought that making the MC lose all the useful knowledge and skills he had in the last book was a good idea, this was like having him lose all his memory but without any actual explanation as to why he no longer has any skills he learned in the past.

I hope the author can see this and can bring back the old kellen who could actually do more than just throw powder together, and for gods sake kill off his family they are just plot conflict and have no other reason to exist other than to show us that the MC is still acting like a child, and for gods sake have him use the bloody coins for once!

7 people found this helpful

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Writing quality took a nosedive: series low

I have major issues with the plot and writing in this book. Before I start my rant I'll say that the narration was great and helps to make the listening experience bearable.

Problem 1: Shadowblack abilities
This one is truly disappointing. Kellen's shadowblack abilities were never mentioned in the entire book. It's a huge missed opportunity for tons of character development and drama. The nature of the conflict being a mystery (who is behind the plot against the queen), Kellen could have been forced to use his ability to gain true insight by asking the "right questions". Are the stakes sufficient to justify possibly damaging his soul through the use of dark powers? Is saving a life worth damnation? Well apparently Kellen forgot he could do any of that. Oh well.

Problem 2: Coins
We don't know what most of the coins do yet, but Kellen never experiments with any of them. They never leave his pocket except when it's convenient for them to be taken away for plot reasons. There's one time where Kellen remarks "Oh that lock is too big" for his key coin to work... despite having used it to disassemble an electric soul-sucking trap in an earlier book. Maybe Kellen just forgot how to use the coins, too.

Problem 3: Kellen is a dunce
See my points above. For the most "cunning" outlaw-at-large he really doesn't impress. One of the more egregious example is when he "forgets" how to read a message written with cards... despite having learned that exact technique from his mentor. And then receiving another tutorial days before. From the very person who left the message using the cards! Very frustrating.

Problem 4: Kellen is "famous"?
People know too much about Kellen. It amounts to a sloppy way of suggesting that Kellen is gaining notoriety. This comes out in weird ways. For example, there are a multiple instances where the latest human domino Kellen ends up ventilating says something on the theme of "I've done research on you! I understand your abilities! You can't possibly accomplish X". It feels really fake.


I have other issues with this book, but I've written enough. Not optimistic for the rest of the series after this one.

7 people found this helpful

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Tried to stick with it, couldn’t

Listened from book one. At the end of each book up until now I was left with hope that the concepts presented would grow into something grand. Unfortunately every story seems to be a repeat of: -characters with no growth. Nearly predictable plot lines (although I’ll say the author manages to hit a good plot twist at least once or twice per story).
-The protagonist always being the underdog in every situation until it’s convenient and even then he continues to be a whining wimp to the point I struggle to root for him and even the victories are hard to celebrate.
-Every antagonist is written to seem like sociopathic. Really seems like in the writers mind that every book needed a new villain that was devoid of human emotion, it became very repetitive.
-The writing is full of dichotomy and characters contradicting themselves. It wasn’t even chapters apart. The story and characters would contradict themselves in the space of a few sentences, it was really bad.

Finally on the note of the production. I think the narrator is talented but the “southern twang” on every other character felt a bit forced.

I really liked the concept of the book, the author outlines at the end of every book it seems credit of his story being an amalgamation of many people close to him in his life. I think it would have been much more successful if he would have come up with the story by himself instead of letting so many chefs burn his soup.

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Quite intense!

I had to stop the audio book at times due to stressing out because of the dark peril in which the protagonist was caught. Like looking away from a scary scene in a movie, I needed a break. The story is full of twists and turns, and the violence and betrayal keep the listener engaged. It ends on a positive note, but there is still reason to continue the series.

The voice actor is amazing, and I love his characterizations and dramatic interpretation of scenes.

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still listening but disappointed

Since this is book 5, I will also listen to book 6. However I've never listed or read a series where after the first 5 books I could care less if the main character dies and the story continues with one of the other characters becoming the main focus. during too much of the story the line has driven in the fact that Kellen is a whinny little boy with a "poor me" mindset. One would think that after book 5 the reader would wish Kellen well as he moves ahead. instead, I'm indifferent at best.

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Out of character MC

Kellen is the son of a noble family in a realm entirely about exercising all forms of power. Then spent a two years being specifically tutored in social engineering well negotiating high level politics across the world. With the last booking ending with him out maneuvering his own master politician father. SO with ALL this we are expected to believable he is completely baffled and unprepared in the face basic court intrigues. Suddenly Kellen's go to reaction to EVERY challenge is to act like a stupid little thug. PLEASE.

Follow Up: Learned this was actually the frist book written in the series which explains why so much of Kellens skills and Experiences seemed to have Evaporated between books. Trying to shoehorn a fully developed Kellen in to a roll which was intented to be the introduction of a anti-hero style charater is so painfully awkward. Seriously Kellen going from facing down an Army of mages to save civilians to veiwing child murder as reasonable plan after less then a year of doing the same things he had already been doing before soulbinder is ridiculously jarring.

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Brilliant

This whole series is brilliant, and for people who love different stories of fantasy do not miss this series.

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Another Great book in the series!

Same great writing, Same Great Performance. and the next in the series is finally on audible.

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Kellen Argos versus Daromen Empire

Having followed Kellen & Reichis this far on their adventures "Queenslayer" did NOT disappoint. De Castell does a wonderful job with an incredibly intricate plot & introducing several new characters into the world. I felt it had a several Greatcoats moments with Daroman queen being an 11 year-old girl & the amount of court intrigue that was going on around her, it all felt very Tristian. There were several moments that had me feeling a little uncomfortable (white binder) while other scenes I wanted Kellen to be the badass he is suppose to be.
Kellen is struggling with who he wants to be through out this book still, is he a hero/villain? He's been on the the run for a couple of years & still seems to be just as naive as he was in the first book "Spellslinger". For a guy that is suppose to be a clever still seems to be led through the story. I also find it slightly annoying that his sister Shalla shows up wherever Kellen is. The ending felt emotionless & left me wondering why.
Overall I would still recommend this series to anyone that asked me & I have already pre-ordered book 6 for the finale of this series.

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Pragmatism!

The fifth book in the series seems to leave the Argosi behind. Kellen’s cynicism has grown quite a bit without the confounding influence of the path of the wild daisies!

I’m also finding the lack of exploration of the coins infuriating.

Despite this the story was still compelling and the characters interesting. Buy the audiobook and enjoy!

2 people found this helpful