Fall of the Argosi

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Pub Date 14 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 14 Apr 2022
Bonnier Books UK, Hot Key Books

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The second stunning prequel to the SPELLSLINGER series following WAY OF THE ARGOSI - an intoxicating blend of high adventure and rivetting philosophical quest.

New to the ways of the Argosi, the tribe of wandering philosophers who seek to defeat evil by wit and guile, Ferius Parfax encounters a hideous plague - the Red Scream.

Highly contagious, caught by the hearing of a deadly verse, it turns its victims into mindless monsters that destroy all human life they come into contact with.

With the help of a deaf boy whom she has saved from two horrifying victims of the plague, she sets out to find the source of the Red Scream and overcome it's terrifying power.

Along the way she is joined by another Argosi, Rosie, who purports to be so much wiser and more adept than Ferius, but who turns out to have her own dark secrets...

The second stunning prequel to the SPELLSLINGER series following WAY OF THE ARGOSI - an intoxicating blend of high adventure and rivetting philosophical quest.

New to the ways of the Argosi, the tribe...

A Note From the Publisher

A dramatic tale of tricks, traps, duels, romance and magic. Perfect for fans of THE DARK TOWER, FIREFLY, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, TERRY PRATCHETT, BEN AARONOVITCH and JIM BUTCHER.

A dramatic tale of tricks, traps, duels, romance and magic. Perfect for fans of THE DARK TOWER, FIREFLY, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, TERRY PRATCHETT, BEN AARONOVITCH and JIM BUTCHER.

Advance Praise

Praise for the Spellslinger series...

"The world de Castell conjures is strange and fascinating, but he laces it through with genuine emotional power. Exotic, original and gripping from the get-go." - Jonathan Stroud

"Hugely enjoyable - fast-paced, compassionate, wise and with terrific characters... I love the humour and the thoughtfulness as well as the plot." - Amanda Craig

"It has cliff hangers, pace, humour, life lessons, and a memorably feisty squirrel cat." - Sunday Times

"There's room for wit and playfulness amid the high-stakes duels and death matches." - The Observer

"This is one of the best young-adult novels I've seen in a long time - larky, clever and slick." - The Literary Review

"Packed with wise cracking humour, larger than life colourful characters and non-stop action." - School Library Journal

Praise for the Spellslinger series...

"The world de Castell conjures is strange and fascinating, but he laces it through with genuine emotional power. Exotic, original and gripping from the get-go." -...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781471410581
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Received arc from Bonnier Books and Netgalley for honest read and review.
As you all know, I am a huge fan of Sebastian and this addition to Spellsinger series does not disappoint.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish and I cannot wait to read more from this series.Absolutely loved it.

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I loved the Way of The Argosi that made discover this series and loved the Fall of the Argosi.
It's a compelling, gripping and highly entertaining fantasy novel and I couldn't stop reading.
There's a lot of action and humour, great characters and an interesting world building.
It's an excellent story that I strongly recommend.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Fans of the Spellslinger series will love the prequels about everyone's favourite Argosi, Ferius. Whilst the first prequel, Way of the Argosi, followed Ferius very early on in her life, in this one you can see her developing into the Ferius we know and love. The plot is dramatic and dark, with peril around every corner, which keeps it moving at a rapid pace. Full of humour and adventure, I highly recommend this to any Spellslinger fans.

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This is a book about the power of words, turned into violent weapons. Though the Red Verses are more obviously violent and brutal than is possible, thankfully, they are still a really powerful metaphor to explore prejudice and hatred, and how words can destroy and define.

FALL OF THE ARGOSI, as far as I can tell, is the final prequel book about Ferius Parfax, Kellen's enigmatic teacher in the main SPELLSLINGER series. We see her end up firmly on the path that will lead her to Kellen in many years time. (I am not 100% confident, but I think the Jan'Tep mage who tormented her so in book 1 and she sees at the end of this book is Kellen's father.)

Seeing her transform from guilty and still controlled by some of the fear lingering from events in from the first book into the powerful woman of the main series was so much fun. (Yes, that fear is not entirely gone, but it doesn't control her actions in the same way by the end.)

Also slowly watching the swagger and drawl enter her voice across the book was so nice. I imagine that a talented audiobook reader would have pulled that out into something even more powerful (I may end up listening to this prequel duology at some point, as I loved the audiobooks of the main series so much.)

Another part I really enjoyed was getting a better understanding of Rosie, who is a very stern Argosi who doesn't agree with Ferius' methods in the main series, but they clearly have a history. This book is a large part of that history (though I suspect much happens between them between the two series. There is certainly space for Rosie to go from where she ends in this book and where she is in that main series.

Overall, this was another really enjoyable entry to the series.

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I’ve enjoyed every single one of Sebastien de Castell’s Spellslinger books, and this one was no exception. Picking up form where book 1 left on, we follow Ferrius on the next step of her journey. Fans of the first Spellslinger series will have enjoyed meeting ‘Rosie’ again, and I found her developing relationship with Ferrius to be fascinating.

Add to the mix an orphaned death mute, and de Castell managed to somehow mix the comedy and light heartedness of his writing, with a depth of sorrow that delves quite deep into the human psyche. The writing is gripping, and flows effortlessly.

I loved this book, and as ever cant wait for whatever the author releases next.

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Thank you to Netgalley, Hot Key Books and Sebastien De Castell for my arc of Fall of the Argosi in exchange for an honest review.

Out now!

Fall of the Argosi is the sequel to Way of the Argosi a spin off series from one of my favourite ever series’ The Spellslinger series. For those who read and loved the series Way and Fall Follow the main Argosi character in the main books: Ferius Parfax and are in essence her origin story.

I read the two books back to back and enjoyed both immensely. Fall Shows how Ferius branches out as an Argosi in her own right having her first Argosi mission and we meet some other characters from the main series and get their back story too.

The writing as always with this series is wonderful, the world building excellent and the story interesting and fast paced. What’s not to love?!

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It turns out that I’ve missed out on the first book charting Ferius’s adventures – Way of the Argosi – something I’ll need to rectify soon, as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the Spellslinger novels so far. But I didn’t flounder too much as Ferius is an old friend. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of reading the Spellingslinger books, I don’t really think it matters. As this adventure takes place well before Kellen comes onto the scene, you certainly won’t have any trouble working out what is going on. And for those of you who do know the series, then there are all sorts of little gifts along the way – mostly to do with Ferius’s mannerisms that drive her pupil crazy a lot later on.

Back to this adventure – I absolutely loved it. The author knows the protagonist inside and out and it shows. There is a heady mix of major danger, huge emotional stakes and snarky humorous dialogue to lighten the load. I also enjoyed the constant references to the principles of the Argosi way of life, as well as the difficulty in attaining them. It provided an interesting philosophical backdrop to the ongoing drama – where someone who thinks they’re doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, up until they fall off a moral ledge and plunge into terrible evil. Given the stakes, I enjoyed the ongoing discussion throughout the book as to what is the right way to cope with evil.

I’m conscious that I may have given the impression that this book gets caught up in major questions of Right and Wrong – but there’s so much more going on. The story cracks along at a fair pace, so that I kept waiting for the action to ease up a tad, allowing me to put it down and get some sleep. And I didn’t… One of the main reasons why this book is such a page turner, is that we don’t just have one strong female character, but two. Given what a vivid, arresting personality Ferius is, I was also impressed at just how much Rose jumped off the page. She could so easily have been a thoroughly wicked character, instead of the interestingly nuanced, flawed personality that was depicted. Add to the cast list a mute child who only signs in an archaic language, and a stubborn horse – and the adventure has the same quirky humour that I’d come to expect from de Castell’s Spellslinger series, despite the very high body count and bloody action.

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Ferius and learning more about this infuriating, enigmatic character who dominated so much of the early Spellslinger books. And whether you’ve read them or not – this fantasy adventure comes highly recommended. While I obtained the arc of Fall of the Argosi from the publisher via NetGalley, this has in no way influenced my unbiased review.

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I first fell in love with the character of Ferius Parfax in Sebastien de Castell's Spellslinger series where we meet her as a wise, no nonsense and surprisingly funny mentor to Kellan, a young mage who is living in exile with his life under constant threat. If you have not already read that series, I highly recommend them, but reading them is not essential for your enjoyment of this book and its predecessor, Way of the Argosi.
In de Castell's world, the Argosi are wise and mysterious, and a lot of their charm as characters lies in their unique ways of viewing the world and its challenges, so I was keen to see how these books, which tell the story of how Ferius embarked on her path, would explain the teachings of the Argosi ways, and I was not disappointed.
This was an absolute page turner of a book, not just because of my love for Ferius as a character, but also because of how chilling and devastating the threat she faces is. Forced to leave her home following a terrible tragedy, Ferius soon encounters a threat that could destroy the entire world- the Red Scream, a contagious plague of madness that is spread by hearing a specific combination of words and phrases. She knows she must stop the spread, and so is forced into a desperate chase , racing against time to prevent the spread of the sickness.
This is a genuinely dark and disturbing book, much darker in tone than the others in the series, but it does still have some of the author's trademark moments of humour, It was fun to see some familiar faces , and get more of the backgrounds of some of the characters from the original series.
This is yet another very strong entry for one of my favourite series of recent years , and I certainly recommend it for those who enjoyed the Spelllslinger books.
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.

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FALL OF THE ARGOSI is the second book in the prequel series to SPELLSLINGER. The prequels reward long-time fans whilst also luring new fans into this fantastic world. The Argosi were always one of the most fascinating elements of the original series so learning more about their philosophical ways and the development of Ferius Parfax is wonderful.

This is a beautiful book questioning the world and encouraging the reader to face up to their truth. Ferius is a bundle of shame, guilt and rage, which makes her an intriguing character and one the reader can't help but root for. Witnessing her journey to the woman she becomes in the later series feels like a privilege.

The plot revolves around a plague called the Scarlet Verses which destroy a person's humanity and unleashes the Red Scream. There are some particularly gory scenes and descriptions of graphic violence so I'd categorise this as at the upper end of YA. The author has a playful and witty writing style and there are plenty of twists and fast-paced action scenes. If you're looking for a new fantasy series with rich world-building and complex characters, then I'd definitely recommend this book.

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Is this the darkest 'Spellslinger' book so far? I would say probably - it's certainly the most graphic and the most overtly 'horror' of the series so far.
I went into Fall of the Argosi with medium to high expectations, having adored the original Spellslinger books and having been so-so on the first prequel.
I will say that of the prequels this is definitely the stronger one, it was nice to see more of the formation of Ferius' adult character as opposed to just reading about her past, long since dealt with in the original series.
While the story does fall afoul of the curse of prequels - we know most of how this will end because we've already seen where things end up - it did manage to fill in a lot of gaps about both Ferius' life and the life of the Argosi in general, while still maintaining their mystique.
I mentioned the horror aspect, while this isn't a scary book I would suggest those that aren't fans of zombies or more graphic violence might want to stay away from this one, equally if you're avoiding any kind of plague fiction after the last couple of years. While this isn't a virus there is nonetheless the fear of infection which you would be well within your rights to decide to leave for the time being.
I found this book solved a lot of the problems I had had with the previous prequel, even amongst all that darkness and sadness and disturbing moments this book brings back some of the humour that made the Spellslinger series really shine. Again I think that comes down to the age and confidence of our protagonist.
And as someone who has been reading Ferius as at the very least a little bit attracted to women I have to say I was very pleased to have that confirmed!
I'd recommend this to those who have loved the series so far and I would urge those who weren't such big fans of the Way of the Argosi to give this book a chance, it feels much more like the Ferius spin-off we all deserve.
My rating: 4/5 stars
I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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