*I received this book as an eARC from Angry Robot on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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Title: Seven Forges
Author: James A. Moore
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: Captain Merros Dulver is the first in many lifetimes to find a path beyond the great mountains known as the Seven Forges and encounter, at last, the half-forgotten race who live there. And it would appear that they were expecting him. As he returns home, bringing an entourage of strangers with him, he starts to wonder whether his discovery has been such a good thing. For the gods of this lost race are the gods of war, and their memories of that far-off cataclysm have not faded.
The people of Fellein have live with legends for many centuries. To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and impassable, but that doesn't stop the occasional expedition into their fringes in search of any trace of the ancients who had once lived there... and oft-rumored riches.
Review: Seven Forges is a digestible Game of Thrones. It has all the intrigue and high fantasy, but packaged in a Lunchable instead of an eighteen course feast.
There are a lot of characters, but they all are interesting and complex, having their own goals and motives. Within each chapter the character perspective may change multiple times. I found this hard to follow at first, but I quickly got used to it.
The world of Fellein is an interesting and complex world. There is an emperor with kings under him ruling different countries. At the start of this novel, a new people are discovered in an area thought to be inhospitable. The book follows the changes these people's appearance bring to the world.
The mythology and religion of all the different cultures are very interesting. There are just enough details given that are relevant to the current situation and overall story. In A Song of Fire and Ice, there are so many details that aren't necessarily relevant to the plot at that time. Seven Forges gives you just enough information, leaving you hungry for more.
I liked how magic was portrayed with the emperor's aid, Desh Krohan. Magic always has a price and its not very common. I thought the silver hands were really cool and I thought the story might dip its feet into sci-fi territory, but it didn't in this book. Maybe it will lead that direction in sequels.
The royal intrigue is also present. There are characters from all walks of life, from a homeless teenage boy to the emperor himself.
I keep comparing this to George R.R. Martin's series, but that is only because its one of the most popular fantasy series out there right now. Seven Forges didn't feel as epic. Many of the high intensity moments fell a little flat to me. I wanted more to happen. I wanted things to get more complicated. And toward the end they did. And I want more!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I want more. I am now invested in this world and want to know more about it. I will definitely be looking for a sequel. If you are having Game of Thrones withdrawal or want to read something more manageable, I suggest this book. I give this book a 4/5!