Queenslayer

Spellslinger, Book 5
Narrated by: Joe Jameson
Series: Spellslinger, Book 5
Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (178 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 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, 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 skill 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 than to show us that the MC is still acting like a child and have him use the bloody coins for once!

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Solid Entry

The Spellslinger series continues. Kellen's story is compelling and addictive, but I feel like the writing has slacked off a good bit. The story seems to struggle to connect plot points at times, and in Queenslayer takes new turns that exclude major characters and plot points. There are times when it kind of feels like a side quest. But, a good side quest nonetheless. Hopefully the plot will get back on track and Kellen will finally rid the world of his annoying family

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perfect mix

Sebastian de Castell keeps turning out swashbuckling action, engaging characters, delightful twists of plot to keep you smiling from beginning to end. Squirrel cat puts it over the top. Thank you

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wow

just wow, binged this for the past couple weeks and if that ending means what I think it means I'm excited, I do hope Kelen gets control of his shadow black oflr at least trains with his coins a bit more in the upcoming books

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Up there with the greats

Another great installment to a great series from Sebastien de Castell. Kudos to Joe Jameson for an outstanding performance as the narrator. The only negative thing I can say is that I have to wait quite some time for the next and last book.

1 person found this helpful