Tuesday, July 26, 2022

#Review - Master of Iron (Bladesmith #2) by Tricia Levenseller #YA #Fantasy

Series: Bladesmith (#2)
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Release Date:  July 26th 2022
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

In the conclusion of Tricia Levenseller's exciting Bladesmith YA fantasy duology, a magically gifted blacksmith with social anxiety must race against the clock to save her beloved sister and stop a devastating war.

Eighteen-year-old Ziva may have defeated a deadly warlord, but the price was almost too much. Ziva is forced into a breakneck race to a nearby city with the handsome mercenary, Kellyn, and the young scholar, Petrik, to find a powerful magical healer who can save her sister’s life.

When the events that follow lead to Ziva and Kellyn’s capture by an ambitious prince, Ziva is forced into the very situation she’s been dreading: magicking dangerous weapons meant for world domination.

The forge has always been Ziva’s safe space, a place to avoid society and the anxiety it causes her, but now it is her prison, and she’s not sure just how much of herself she’ll have to sacrifice to save Kellyn and take center stage in the very war she’s been trying to stop.


Master of Iron is the final installment in author Tricia Levenseller's Bladesmith duology. The story begins shortly after the ending of Blade of Secrets. With her sister Temra's life hanging in the balance after a dangerous encounter with the Warlord Kymora who is now their captive, Ziva Tellion (Bladesmith), Kellyn Derinor (Mercenary), and Petrik Avedin (Scholar) race to find a healer who might be able to save Temra's life. Kymora wanted Ziva alive because she has the ability to use magic in her weapons to make them nearly indestructible. 

With Temra close to death, Petrik suggests that they head for Prince Skiro's castle where there's supposedly a healer who can heal almost anything. Skiro just happens to be Petrik's brother. Unfortunately, said healer, Serutha, has been a hostage of Skiro's elder brother Revis and the only way to get to his castle, is by magical portals made of paintings. Revis can be called the villain of this story since it is his mission to take Ghadra for himself even if his brothers and sisters have any objections to reuniting the country. 

After rescuing Serutha, Ziva and Kellyn find themselves unwilling guests of Revis who learns that Ziva has a gift of making weapons using her unique magic. She's incredibly gifted with the ability to magic any items she blacksmiths, and of course, powerful people have decided that she could be used for their military benefit. The Forge, once her sanctuary from outside forces, has now become her prison from which she fears she may never leave unless she finds a solution to free herself and Kellyn. 

While others might prefer the simmering romance that has developed between Ziva and Kellyn, I absolutely love the action scenes and wanted more. While Ziva hates making weapons of war, and she hates the thought of killing anyone for the sake of killing, she's now just going to sit back and watch her friends and her sister become lambs to the slaughter. One of the most unique aspects of this series has been Ziva herself. Yes, she's a helluva bladesmith. Yes, she's a helluva fighter when she's protecting her own, including her sister after losing her parents to Kymora. 

But it is the socially awkward, panic attacks that make Ziva one of the more distinct characters in all of the YA Fantasy Genre. Her struggles with anxiety are so real and hard. These lead her to decisions that might cause people to question her sanity. Yet, when all is said and done, Ziva is more than a socially awkward blacksmith with major anxiety issues. She's someone who loves hard and protects what's hers with her life, if necessary. This is a much more expansive story than the first installment. The world has gotten bigger, the cast has gotten larger, and you will meet a great case of villains and heroes. 

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