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Cast in Secrets and Shadows (Loresmith #2)

[A quick note: Okay I’m a little ticked off. Not with the story, but with the book jacket. I guess publishers decided to change it to a gloss finish?? And so now my first book doesn’t perfectly match my second. And you know…as a book collector this annoys me! But…we can all admit to how STUNNING the cover is. I think gloss was the better choice. Just wish that had been decided early on. Also, if you haven’t read my review of Loresmith #1 you can do so HERE. This one is semi-spoiler free though.]

✨“𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐧 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭. 𝐈 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞.”—Andrea Robertson

Graced with a video game feel, the second Loresmith book is packed with tons of action and filled with quests. In fact, I loved it more than the first. It felt a bit more mature and it offered more POVs, which I appreciated. Each of Ara’s perilous pursuits of the gods was a trial. Each success unlocked the Loresmith forge, allowing Ara to craft new weapons and recruit new members into the band of Loreknights. I loved the way each achievement along Ara’s path taught her something new and valuable. But even that might not be enough to overthrow the Vokkans.

I love the queer representation. I love the characters. My favorites are, of course, Ara and Teth. But all the characters are each unique and offer something to the collective whole group. If you enjoy found family, this delivers. Also, this book introduced a couple of new POVs which added layers to the plot. I especially liked the addition of a wolf!! And I’m eager to see more of Dagger’s story because I love assassins.

The plot was really fun. This the first book I’ve read that really felt like I was playing a video game. Each quest for the gods felt like an opportunity to level up. Not only did these quests teach Ara and her companions valuable lessons, they made her stronger, and she always came out with something new for her Loreknights. I mean, how cool is that?! And on that note, the world building is filling out nicely. As Ara attends each quest, a bit more world is fleshed out.

The ending had a small cliff hanger and the epilogue was a bit sinister. I was soooo thrilled by the darker turn. The darkness foreshadowed for the next book has me waiting on the edge of my seat. This little hidden gem of a series has grown on me BIG TIME. I’m not sure how many books there will be, but I’m HERE for all of them! 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝟒.𝟓/𝟓⭐️


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