Review Detail

enthralling and atmospheric YA fantasy
Overall rating
Writing Style
FORGED IN FIRE AND STARS is an engaging YA fantasy/adventure. The book begins in the past, when Saetlund was under siege by Vokkans. The Loresmith gives his life to save the royal twins and his own child who has not yet been born. We then travel to the future to meet Ara, his then unborn daughter. She is now a teenager, who has known that her legacy is that of the Loresmith. However, this legacy is typically passed down through teachings. As her father was unable to teach her, she does not possess the full powers of the Loresmith.

When she is captured by the royal twins who escaped, Nimhea and Eamon, she learns that she must petition the gods for their favor to become what she is destined to be. Together, they embark on a quest to find the gods and allow Ara to fulfill her destiny as the Loresmith, with the ultimate goal of taking back the kingdom.

What I loved: The world-building here is incredible. We get backstory on the legends, mythology, and the world as it is in the past and now. There are also some interesting discussions about religion, power/ethics, and governments that arise throughout. The characters are fully realized, and the core group that travels together are all incredibly three-dimensional and people that I really began to love during the novel. This story is beautifully woven throughout the book.

This first novel is really about the quest, and through it, the world around is completed. Their journey is not only action/adventure, but a lot of character-building and ethical discussions that make this a really engaging read.

Also, I would highly recommend going back to the start of the book once you get to the end, because it gives new meaning to some of those (I'm being vague to avoid spoilers). This was a book I wanted to go through again immediately after reading.

What left me wanting more: Although I really loved the book overall, as a small point, there are some places where the plot gets a little slow, and I would have liked a faster pace. These may be ironed out more in the final version of the book.

Final verdict: Enthralling, atmospheric, and beautifully woven, FORGED IN FIRE AND STARS is a YA fantasy that asks interesting questions and introduces great characters in a new series. Highly recommend for fans of Adrienne Young, Sabaa Tahir, and Claire Legrand.
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