Kyra's Star Ratings:
Characters: * * * *
Story: * * * *
Storytelling: * * * * *
Writing mechanics: * *
In the Muldovene Empire, slaves suffer in bondage to their cruel owners and dream of a prophesied land where they can be free. After suffering a tragic personal loss, the young slave blacksmith Aurovin sets out to find this mythical land of freedom. Before he gets too far, though, he finds himself caught up in a plot to expand the Empire into the independent lands which surround it. Surrounded by loyal companions, scheming criminals, kings both noble and evil, plotting noblemen, a brave princess, a mysterious shaman, and even a pirate (Captain Scabro - best pirate name ever!), Aurovin plays an increasingly important role in the struggle of the lands threatened by the Muldovene Empire to preserve their freedom.
The story is intricately plotted and filled with surprising twists and turns. The settings are vividly described, and the characters, both good and evil, are well-rounded and engaging. There are a number of exciting battle scenes, including a battle at sea, and for the most part the action is clearly described and easy to follow. A Blacksmith's Quest is book 1 of a series, and while the immediate battle ends, there's a lot more story left to come.
The novel is pretty well written, with a few tangled sentences and word usage problems that could easily be cleaned up in an edit. Of more concern is the lack of standard paragraphing, especially dialogue paragraphing and punctuation. This makes the book harder to read than it should be, and could also be easily cleaned up with an edit. But the story was entertaining enough that I was glad I kept reading in spite of those problems.
Overall, despite a few technical problems which could easily be fixed with an edit, A Blacksmith's Quest is an entertaining, engaging, exciting, and well-told saga with lots of promise for the rest of the series.