Early Review: The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken (Scarred Earth Sage #1)

The Blacksmith Queen by GA Aiken // VBC Review

The Blacksmith Queen (Scarred Earth Sage #1)
G.A. Aiken
Published: August 27, 2019 (Kensington)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for and honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

The Old King is dead. With his death comes a prophecy that a queen shall rise to the throne. However, this also doesn’t stop the Old King’s sons from fighting for their place.

When it comes to light that Keeley Smyth’s sister is the prophesized queen, she’ll stop at nothing to ensure her—and the rest of her family’s—survival. She won’t be going into the fight alone. She’ll be aided by a bevy of mystical creatures including the Amichai, a clan of centaurs sent to aid the new queen in claiming her throne. But not all is as it seems and the group will be faced with trials, tribulations, and quests that will challenge their skills and prove who is truly meant to rule.

The Blacksmith Queen is the first book by G.A. Aiken that I’ve read. Although I’ve recently become more familiar with her writings as Shelly Laurenston, I thought this first book in a new series would be a perfect time to start. I’ll admit I was a little hesitant as I wasn’t sure how the well-known Laurenston humor would translate to a fantasy series, which typically lean toward serious.

I have to say, however, that I absolutely loved it! The Blacksmith Queen was like a breath of fresh air. Balancing the seriousness of the situations our characters find themselves in with heaps of humor, and moments of action. It all worked so well.

Keeley is such a force to be reckoned with. I absolutely loved her kind disposition. Always thinking of others before herself. She’s kind of always held the mantle of caregiver to her younger siblings, so there’s no question when her sister is named as Queen that she’ll step in to ensure she takes the throne safely. Keeley and her other sister Gemma clash quite frequently throughout, but the dynamic between them felt so real, and provided much of the levity throughout. The incessant fighting, but then turning on a dime to protect just shows how deep the bonds of sisterhood run.

It’s these interactions that make the story much more focused on family than on romance. Don’t get me wrong, romance is there and in some cases it’s quietly brewing beneath the surface, but all the twists and turns revolve around family. From the brothers and half-brother fighting for their father’s throne to Keeley and her sisters fulfilling a prophecy.

The whole questing portion of the book kind of sneaks up on you. One moment our group is headed to the Amichai Mountains and the next thing you know we’re dealing with dwarves and elves, and other such mythological creatures trying to secure loyalties as an undeniable battle looms on the horizon. However, oftentimes the building up of the world slows the pacing. I felt like the balance between the stunning and surprising actions scenes and the slower developing story was skewed just a bit and it lagged in a few places, but I understand that this is just the first installment in a series. Things have barely come to a head by the end.

It’s a particularly treacherous betrayal about a fourth of the way through that sets the stage for what I think we can expect for where the series will ultimately take us. Despite being rather heartbreaking, I’m very interested in the implications that arise.

If you’re looking for a new fantasy series that balances the funny and serious, you won’t be disappointed with The Blacksmith Queen.

Sexual Content: sex, implied instances of sexual abuse

4 Responses to “Early Review: The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken (Scarred Earth Sage #1)”

  1. Doris Zumik says:

    If this is like her other series it will be a HOOT! To me her books are keepers on my shelf. I can see this will be joining them. Congrats Ms. Aiken on another awesome book.

  2. I can’t wait for my copy to arrive. Thank’s for the review!

  3. I had never read G.A. Aiken before either and this book was just an absolute riot! I was laughing out loud in public way too much reading it 😀

    • AmyM says:

      That’s great to hear! I feel like I haven’t had a lot of laughing out loud with my books lately so that right there will get an automatic read recommendation from me 🙂

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