The Blacksmith Queen
Writing - 8/10
Development - 8/10
Overall - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Review – The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken
Do you ever get tired of seeing the same story told again and again? With the same type of characters being the focal point? If so, then The Blacksmith Queen will be a refreshing change of pace. Here we have atypical characters resolving a mess that may seem very familiar, but with a few twists along the way.
Keeley Smythe is a blacksmith, and she loves her job. Unfortunately, a strange twist of fate may just be forcing her to change her career path. Now she’s stuck in a family feud for the kingdom, all in hopes of keeping her family safe.
The Blacksmith Queen is the first novel in a new series by G.A. Aiken. I probably should mention that it is connection to Aiken’s Dragon Kin series. Both series happen in the same world – but you don’t have to have read one in order to understand the other.
G.A. Aiken managed to bring a lot of common tropes together and turn it into something entirely new and unique in the Blacksmith Queen. This novel was honestly a lot of fun to read. It had action, family drama/dynamics, fantasy elements, political moments, and a good sense of humor about the whole situation.
The novel was fun and charming – Keeley herself doesn’t exactly fit the stereotypical mold for a queen-to-be, but that just made her all the more interesting in my book. Actually, there were a lot of characters in this novel, but they all seemed fleshed out on the whole. And all were very unique in their own ways.
As mentioned above, The Blacksmith Queen did have its amusing moments. These moments were perfectly placed to balance out the heavier tones within the story. Aiken made use of repetition and the familiar to add a sense of humor without requiring a whole lot of setup. It was very effective.
The repetition also gave a sense of order to the world. I’m sure that fans of Aiken’s other series will have a better sense of the world shown here. But this one novel did show quite a large chunk of world-building as it went. It’ll be interesting to see if the two series end up weaving together at a later point.
The Blacksmith Queen was an exceptionally fast-paced read. It seemed like every moment something was either happening or about to happen. The end result was a book that readers won’t want to put down. Personally, I ended up reading this book in one sitting. It was simply too entertaining to do anything less.
The plot itself started out slightly slow, taking it’s time to introduce all of the characters involved. But once that was done, it progressed very rapidly. There were a few subplots to support and entertain along the way, but that’s probably a given, considering how large the cast is.
The storytelling techniques in this novel were interesting. While the plot mostly focused on Keeley’s perspective, every now and then it would shift. This allowed us to have a better idea of what was happening in the world at large. It also set up for some larger moments within the story itself – warning us of things to come.
The Blacksmith Queen was a quirky and brilliant read. It was full of fun and exciting moments, fascinating characters, and even more interesting battles. G.A. Aiken clearly had a lot of fun twisting all of these tropes around. But the end result made it all worth it.
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