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Forged in Fire and Stars (Loresmith #1)

[A quick note: I love the cover of this book. I couldnโ€™t resist doing spraying the edges. I had a bit of motivation to try ombrรฉ edges. Being my first time, I think it came out great. This book is even prettier now. And great news, the second book comes out this month! So if youโ€™re someone who hates waiting, you can dive right in after reading this one.]

โ€œ๐—”๐˜ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜. ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—บ ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ. ๐—•๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—น๐˜†๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—บ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€.โ€โ€”Andrea Robertson

Ara was still in her motherโ€™s womb when her kingdom fell. And the twin heirs to the throne disappeared, their lives purchased by the sacrifice of Araโ€™s father. With his death, so too died the last Loresmith of Saetlund. The Loresmith became nothing more than a myth. Fifteen years later, when the twin heirs appear in Araโ€™s obscure little town, claiming that sheโ€™s the key to regaining the kingdom. Sheโ€™s the heir to the Loresmith title by blood. The time for hiding is over. She has a choice to make, seek her destiny or let the tyrants continue. But to take up her birthright, she must set out on a quest to seek the gods and gain their favor, or all will be lost.

This story grew on me, page by page. Filled with quests, an awesome book map, gods, lore, and a fight to regain a kingdom, it had a Viking-esk feel that captured my attention. There were a few timeless tropes like lost heirs, earned birthright, coming of age, betrayal, and found family that I really enjoyed. The characters were each unique and I especially loved Teth and Fox. While this book was a little slow, repetitive, and bloated in the beginning for world building purposes, it was a pleasant light-hearted read. And the second half moved faster.

First and foremost, this was a coming of age. Heirs to a kingdom unite with a legendary figure from lore who must also come into her own birthright. Together they go on a quest across the kingdom, hiding from enemies and facing tests. There wasnโ€™t a whole lot of โ€œnewnessโ€ here. But it was still fun. However, I was a little disappointed. Hereโ€™s why:

Marketed as Game of Thrones meets An Ember in the Ashes, I expected a bit more. The action wasnโ€™t as high-stakes as I was led to believe. Even for a YA. This might have been a marketing mistake. If I had gone in blind, it wouldโ€™ve been fine. The story was written for a much younger YA audience (15-year-olds vs an older later teens). But it was sweet and didnโ€™t fill me with anxiety like some edge-of-your-seat books tend to do. And Iโ€™m definitely looking forward to the next book coming out in a few weeks! Iโ€™ve come to really like the characters.

โ€œ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ. ๐—œ๐˜โ€™๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ป. ๐——๐—ผ๐—ปโ€™๐˜ ๐˜€๐˜„๐—ถ๐—บ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ. ๐—ง๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—บ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ.โ€โ€”Andrea Robertson

I do want to highlight a couple of things I especially enjoyed. Firstly, the idea of the Loresmith and Loreknights. Iโ€™ve never seen a book with a female blacksmith who has the power to forge legendary weapons. In this sense, it defied gender roles and I appreciate that. Secondly, there was also a hint of queer representation. I liked that too. And finally, I appreciated that Araโ€™s abilities were tied to a few key personality traits, and that her power was limited to one important rule: she was never allowed to lift her hand against someone unless in defense. This would insure that she would never misuse her power.

Overall, this is a lovely read for adults who enjoy YA fantasy and are looking for something low-key and enjoyable. That makes it the perfect read for the end of a stressful day. And it will absolutely appeal to the general YA audience it was intended for.

๐— ๐—ฌ ๐—ฅ๐—”๐—ง๐—œ๐—ก๐—š: ๐Ÿฐ/๐Ÿฑโญ๏ธ


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