The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith

The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith
Age Range
Release Date
January 02, 2024
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Challenged by a secret society of metalworkers, Eden must do all she can to save the only family she has left in this fantasy adventure.

When Eden Smith moves into the beautiful and bizarre old mansion housing her grandfather, she discovers a strange society of elderly metalworkers whose mastery verges on the magical. Deadly mechanical birds, a cavernous chamber full of dirty dishes, a highly dangerous game of Machinist BINGO–life at the guild is not only strange, it’s also dangerous.

Eden’s grandfather, Vulcan Smith, the most gifted of all the metalsmiths in the mansion, has just been sentenced to live out the rest of his days locked in a tiny basement room for rebelling against the guild. To save him, Eden will have to complete The Five Impossible Tasks, a series of deadly feats that have already killed off many of Eden and Vulcan’s ancestors. With the help of her new friend Nathaniel and a cast of eccentric old silversmiths, blacksmiths, and inventive machinists, Eden sets out to do the impossible before her newfound grandfather is lost to her forever.

In The Five Impossible Tasks of Eden Smith, Tom Llewellyn has crafted a wholly original world of wild contraptions, roguish characters, and perilous feats perfect for fans of Karuna Riazi, Laura Ruby, and Lemony Snicket.

Editor review

1 review
Saving Grandfather
Overall rating
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What worked:
Eden and her grandfather Vulcan make an unusual pair of relatives. It’s unanimously known that Vulcan is a grumpy, old coot who doesn’t get along with anyone. He’s by far the greatest smith in the guild, maybe ever, but he has no problem breaking the rules and doing things his own way. He doesn’t show any warmth toward Eden when she shows up. Eden’s been in foster care for years so she’s looking forward to living with family. She’s stubborn like her grandfather but she’s also cunning like her mother was. She’s not afraid to shake things up in the guild and that includes forcing her grandfather to get up and take action to free himself from his imprisonment.
Subjects of prejudice and equal opportunities are parts of the plot as the Guildhall is divided into Smiths and Joneses. Smiths are the only people permitted to do smithing while those named Jones do everything else. The Smiths are subdivided based on the types of metal they use and the things they create. The Joneses cook, clean, work the elevator, and perform other tasks but the Smiths won’t allow them to work with metal. This situation creates an underlying problem since many of the Joneses dream of having a chance to try smithing. They just want the freedom to choose. It turns out that Eden’s presence in the Guildhall will certainly shake things up which will create further conflicts due to a resistance to change.
As the synopsis says, Eden’s only hope of freeing her grandfather is to complete five tasks inside the Guildhall. Unfortunately, several of her ancestors have died trying and Vulcan lost half of his leg assisting his father. He comes across as a gruff, unpleasant man but the trauma of this experience has slowly taken a mental toll on him. A man named Pewtersmith is behind Vulcan’s charges and it seems Pewtersmith’s have been behind all of the past charges against Eden’s family. He’s also conspiring to find ways of sabotaging her efforts to solve the impossible tasks. Eden’s eyepatch on the book’s cover is the result of one of his dastardly deeds.
What didn’t work as well:
The story is set in the modern-day United States, near Tacoma, but it’s really not necessary. Most of the plot takes place inside the Guildhall of master metalworkers which is very different from any outside reality. References to the real world to create connections aren’t needed, and for me, they were more of a distraction.
The final verdict:
The idea of a story focusing on metalwork isn’t immediately engaging but the world inside the Guildhall has ample drama to carry the plot. Featuring an orphan, a lost grandfather, and a clear, manipulative antagonist is a smart decision, and the countdown of the five tasks and a time limit help to generate suspense. Overall, the story is innovative and entertaining and I recommend you give it a shot!
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