A Wizard’s Forge
Book One of the Woern Saga
by A. M. Justice
Scholar. Slave. Warrior. Wizard.
On a planet far from Earth, descendants of marooned space travelers fight a decades-long war. Shy scholar Victoria knows nothing of this conflict until pirates kidnap and sell her to the sadistic tyrant behind it. He keeps her naked and locked in a tower, subjecting her to months of psychological torture. After seizing an opportunity to escape, Vic joins the fight against her former captor and begins walking a bloody path toward revenge.
As the Blade, Vic gains glory raiding her enemy’s forces, but the ordeal in his tower haunts her. Bitter memories keep her from returning the love of the kindhearted Prince Ashel, whose family has fended off the tyrant’s invading army for a generation. When enemy soldiers capture Ashel, Vic embarks on a quest to rescue him and, on the journey, discovers a source of spectacular power. With wizardry, Vic can rescue the prince, end the war, and wreak the vengeance she craves, but she might also destroy her only chance for peace.
I read this book sometime around October/November last year. I should have written the review as soon as I finished, but distractions side-tracked me. So here we are.
This is the story of a girl named Vic, who is proud of her accomplishment as the youngest Logkeeper ever. But when she’s wrenched away from everything she considered home and true, she’s forced to reevaluate. The first few chapters weren’t particularly hooking. I was at least ten chapters deep before I felt the familiar urge to leave the world behind and immerse myself in the book.
I’m by no means any expert on novels that deal with abuse, but I feel the way it was handled in this one was incredibly realistic. Even if something isn’t traumatic, it can be difficult to let go. Psychological abuse becomes embedded in our very beings, in our trains of thought, in our every tiny act. Resolving to go above something like that is, of course, no small feat, but actually succeeding is on a whole different level. Vic’s struggle to overcome the fears caused by her captive days, I feel, is incredibly realistic. I still struggle to not be swayed by my past, (although it’s nowhere near the stuff she goes through).
A Wizard’s Forge is heavy on background plots, complicated characters and unexpected twists. You’ll feel like you’re getting used to something, only to have it go through a drastic change that makes it unrecognizable. That’s a different sort of fun in its own merit.
I’ll give this a four stars. Would definitely read the next book.
I received an advance readers’ copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The advance reciept did not affect my review in any way.