Title: “A Wizard’s Forge”
Author: A. M. Justice
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Number of Pages: 326
Scholar. Slave. Warrior. Wizard.
On a planet far from Earth, descendants of marooned space travelers fight a decades-long war. Shy scholar Victoria knows nothing of this conflict until pirates kidnap and sell her to the sadistic tyrant behind it. He keeps her naked and locked in a tower, subjecting her to months of psychological torture. After seizing an opportunity to escape, Vic joins the fight against her former captor and begins walking a bloody path toward revenge.
As the Blade, Vic gains glory raiding her enemy’s forces, but the ordeal in his tower haunts her. Bitter memories keep her from returning the love of the kindhearted Prince Ashel, whose family has fended off the tyrant’s invading army for a generation. When enemy soldiers capture Ashel, Vic embarks on a quest to rescue him and, on the journey, discovers a source of spectacular power. With wizardry, Vic can rescue the prince, end the war, and wreak the vengeance she craves, but she might also destroy her only chance for peace.
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
My Opinion (spoiler-free):
The first chapters of this book didn’t particularly hook me, but while reading, I got somehow attached to the story and the characters.
A. M . Justice created an amazing world, with different countries, cultures and languages, exotic names and lifestyles and curious characters. The worldbuilding was highly detailed and the author’s writing allowed us to get to know the characters and places even better! The book has 326 pages, but it seems much longer. While reading the last chapters, I remembered what happened in the first pages and it all seemed far far away, like it belonged to another book. I can justify this reaction with the fact that a lot of years passed in this story: Vic was fifteen/sixteen when it all started, but finished the book with more or less twenty years old.
The plot is very simple: basically, something bad happened, and Vic needs to deal with it, in her own way, at the same time she deals with other things that just show up in her life. But I kind of liked it, not the plot itself, but how the author worked with it. Vic had a goal, worked for it, and in the book she got there, but we don’t have much more after that, so I’m hoping the next book will start from there. Also, talking about the next book, I really expect it to deal more with wizardry, as the title had wizard in it, and we get to know History and details about the past, but not much about the present.
It was hard to understand our main character, Vic. She got through all that hard stuff, and I can understand that it changed her, especially because after she was kidnapped, her Master created a whole new person from her, and Kara – as he named her – was always fighting against Vic. However, I don’t understand how could Vic take some of her decisions – in my opinion, there’s lack of detail about what happened while she was Kara, because we only have some “flashes” throughout the book, and maybe if we had everything before, I could better understand what she was feeling. But this book is also about the whole thing of being yourself and embracing who you are, and thankfully, that’s what Vic did. She grew up (there’s an evident change from the first pages, but I still think Vic is not on point yet) and embraced all the things she is – “Scholar. Slave. Warrior. Wizard.”. I really hope she can make it on the next book!
The character I think that grew up the most was Bethniel, Ashel’s sister and princess of Latha (and Heir, by the way). She first reminded me of a typical teen princess, with her love for pretty dresses, but when the thing she wanted most was taken from her, she fought for it, and became one of my favorite characters. I’m really excited to see what happens to her!
(I want to warn you that in the next paragraph, there might be a spoiler! It’s nothing really important in my opinion, but read only of you want)
And as I’m talking about more characters besides the main ones, I want to just random ramble about side characters. In this book we get to know new characters as much as we say goodbye to them! Okay, I understand that life happens – people die or they just follow their own way, and at least, most of people that went away had an important role, but what about Samson??? He just showed up in the first pages, explained a couple of things to Vic, and a little after that we just say goodbye to him! I thought he would show up again eventually!
(Okay, you can read again)
Last, the romance. It was good (kind of), but nothing memorable. Vic was extremely confused! We had quite a few love interests here: one very unhealthy that she tried to fight back; one that didn’t even last a day (at least, from her) and other that I could say it’s the canon one. Those last two started very abruptly, just like someone said “And now they’re in love”, and I didn’t like it, but I decided to ignore and keep reading. It were the boys who fell in love first, and to be honest the romance isn’t that great because Vic didn’t like neither of them until the thing was right under her nose! Again, I think that things will be better in the next book.
And I feel that I’m just saying bad things about this book and hoping that the next book will be better, while in reality I really liked this book and I totally recommend it. 🙂
This book comes out on September 19th, you can pre-order it here 🙂