Thank you so much to Storytellers On Tour for having me on the tour for A Wizard’s Forge! Please check out the links at the bottom for the giveaway and other tour hosts! While this was published in 2016, we are featuring the book to generate buzz for the upcoming sequel, A Wizard’s Sacrifice, coming on October 6th
- Title: A Wizard’s Forge
- Series: The Woern Saga, #1
- Author: A.M. Justice
- Published: Wise Ink Creative Publishing – September 2016
- Length: 326 pages
- Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟 with caution
Here is the synopsis:
Wizards are forged, not born.
Victoria of Ourtown lived through a nightmare to become the ruthless soldier known as Vic the Blade. Once she wished to explore the world settled by her spacefaring ancestors; now she thinks only of revenge.
Prince Ashel’s carefree days are filled with music, revels, and dreams of a life with Vic. Those hopes die when the thrust of an assassin’s knife drives him to war.
The target of Vic’s and Ashel’s wrath is Lornk Korng, a tyrant whose schemes stretch across a continent and a lifetime.
A mysterious alien race holds the key to a legendary—and lethal—power. Whoever possesses this power will hold the world in their hands. Will they save it, or doom it?
A gripping tale of empowerment and revenge plays out against a breathtaking backdrop of dark fantasy and science fiction.
I have strong mixed feelings about the book but ended up at a 3 star rating. Let me talk about the good things and then come back to the bad things, and end on a good note again.
I liked the plot in general quite a bit. A girl is captured as a young teen and sent to be essentially a sex slave to a realm lord. She ends up escaped and in the hands of the Royal family of his enemy country, then in the military, and eventually obviously discovers magical prowess. Whatever other misgivings I had, the book stayed interesting.
The only power that seems to exist in the land is mind speech and Listening, which is frustrating for those who don’t have it and interesting if not complicated for those who do. Other than this telekinesis, only the wizard(s) have any magical prowess involving air/matter manipulation and the ability is guarded by a strange race of desert people.
The characters are a true mixed bag but there were a few highlights, including the manipulative Queen Elekia, Prince Ashel, and quite a few of the soldiers within Vic’s military circle.
The world building is pretty well done including religious descriptions that differ but are all based off of the Legend (or reality depending on who you ask) of the space ship Elesendar that originally brought humans to the world.
And now I branch into my many digressions. I feel like the space ship had to be real because you can’t just create warp drives and captains logs, but it’s totally irrelevant to the entire story, world, book, etc. One other sci-fi element exists but the world denizens don’t even have electricity or firearms or anything, it’s very much a world of horses and swords WHERE a random network teleportation device exists. Ummm…?
As far as content, Vic’s entire world rotates around her lasting feelings for her captor, who tortured and stripped and humiliated her while constantly assaulting her. Now Vic was only 14 at first so it’s like grooming a child but with torture. But then in the weirdest situations, even while intent on killing him years and years later she kept remembering his fingers doing things to her and getting aroused and there were some pretty graphic descriptions. Even with that she was just going to hop in bed with his son too. And she never gets past it, or seems very hard to try to. I thought this was written by a guy that has never interacted with a female and was a little surprised when I went back and reminded myself who was writing it.
Additionally, there were so many times where random names and places were thrown in and never mentioned before. Development between characters was hardly there – one minute they just met, then the book fast forwards and everyone is close friends without anything in between. This occurred with skills too, Vic became a pretty pro wizard in about ten minutes and then a day or two later was capable of huge feats. Plot forwarding is a plus but development in general is a hard no in this book. This is why I didn’t list any of the main characters as favorites, it was impossible to connect to them. There are also a huge number of times where characters jump out of character and their actions make little sense.
There is one stylistic thing that kept popping up where chapters or breaks would begin in the middle of action, then we had to backtrack to learn what was going on. To me this was just confusing and jarring every time because I thought I missed something, then learned to roll with it. The other thing related to this is that especially with major revelations or with action happening, I think the author was trying to connect dots in the readers head by being vague and cryptic but I frankly just didn’t get it at times and wish the information had been spelled out.
Also Woern, as far as I remember, was never mentioned so I’m curious about the name of the series.
Ok deep breath, let’s pull this back to the positives.
I read the entire thing without skimming, no matter how frustrating it got. I saw a LOT of really hard but sensible criticism for this book and I think the author probably took some of it into consideration for the next book, which I at least do want to read at some point.
Do I recommend this book? Honestly I have mixed feelings but the plot itself isn’t terrible and I think there are plenty of people who will enjoy it.
Thank you again to Storytellers On Tour for having me! Here is the schedule so that you guys can see what the others thought of the book:
Book info and Author links: