Forged in Fire and Stars

Philomel. May 2020. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780525954125.
Gr 7 Up–Although Ara grew up in a small village with her grandmother, the legend of the Loresmith was never far from her mind. Her father, the King’s final Loresmith, used his powers to forge magical weapons and gave his life so that the kingdom could rise again. When the lost prince and princess come to find her with a plan to ignite her hereditary powers, Ara begins a journey to discover who she is meant to be and to bring their people back from despair. Robertson crafts a classic tale of a group of strangers on a perilous journey. As they progress, the cast of characters increases, Teth and his fox being two of the standouts. The group begins to form bonds of friendship and maybe more, all while the stakes grow higher. This novel seems to be a set-up for further books in a series, with an appealing concept and relatable characters. If readers can stick with the slow-moving story until its completion, there is a successful payout that promises interesting things to come for Ara and her friends in future books.
VERDICT An epic and classic fantasy set in a bleak world with a journey to save it all. Purchase for libraries with fans of fantasies like Holly Black’s Cruel Prince and Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows.

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