Thursday, March 15, 2018

ARC #Review - The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco #YALIT #Fantasy

Series: The Bone Witch # 2
Format: ARC, 528 pages
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy

In this dark, engrossing sequel to The Bone Witch, Tea has mastered resurrection—now it’s time for revenge 

Tea, a bone witch who can resurrect the dead, is done with her self-imposed exile. She now possesses all seven bezoars she needs to revive the powerful daeva. With the help of these terrible monsters, she can finally enact her revenge against the royals who wronged her and took the life of her one true love.

Alliances and allegiances are shifting, and danger lurks in and out of the kingdom. But Tea's heart is set on vengeance, even if it turns her against her now-estranged brother, who supports her enemies. War is brewing, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

The Heart Forger is the second installment in author Rin Chupeco's The Bone Witch series. Rin Chupeco returns to the atmospheric and enchanting fantasy world she created that follows in the footsteps of the series starter, The Bone Witch. This captivating fantasy series features Persian and Asian influences, while focusing on witches, curses, and resurrection. The author once again explores protagonist Tea Pahlavi's past and present by alternating each chapter. While this can be confusing, there is the fact that Tea's future is told by a Bard, and not Tea herself.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family and other Asha as well. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch who is feared and ostracized in the kingdom because she may be the strongest Bone Witch to come along. Bone Witches are powerful. They have access to elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human realm. Tea's past slowly proceeds forward from where we left her in the first installment. 

We are nearly to the point where readers will finally discover why Tea was exiled from her friends, and her family, and has declared war on those responsible. We are also at the point where War is looming on the horizon, and there is a good chance it will spread out of control unless Tea can find the last of her enemies and pay them back for what they did to her. In the meantime, our fearless Bard has traveled a long way to discover Tea of the Embers and tell her remarkable story.

What he has found so far, is a powerful young woman on the brink of doing something either extraordinary brave, or remarkably stupid. She will either survive to have her revenge on her betrayers and the Faceless, or go down in flames in the most public way possible. Bard is in the forefront of everything that happens in the present to Asha, and her few allies who have struck around. He witnesses great betrayal, strange beasts, Asha who are attempting to stop Tea in her tracks, and a love affair between Tea and a Death seeker who was brought back from the dead. TMI?

One of the more curious aspects of this series is the use of Heartglass which can be forged by Heartforgers using the memories from a select variety of people, including Tea. In this case, Prince Khalid, the older son of the King, has the heartforging capability which is definitely needed in this story. In fact, I dare say that he is as important to this story as Tea, or Fox, or anyone else for that matter. Once again, the ending of the book damn near killed me. We get through a bunch of trials and tribulations while learning about Tea's banishment and then we are hit upside the head with a two ton heavy brick because now we have to wait an entire year to find out what the author has up her sleeve for Tea, Khalad, Fox, and Kalen.

Would I recommend this story & series? Yes, I would. First of all, I adore the Bard. He isn't the bravest person in this world, but his presence and his ability to tell Tea without learning too far in calling her a villain, or a hero, is remarkable. I adore the romance between Tea and another character I won't spoil. The odd mixture of past and present actually works for me and that in itself added another plus to my rating. I am still rooting for Tea to get her happy ending even with all that has happened. Has to be said, this story blew the first installment away. 

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