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Title: Seven Forges (Seven Forges #1)
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: I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. I had a little bit of trouble getting into it for the first couple of pages, but after that I devoured it in pretty much one sitting. I took a couple breaks to do the necessary things like eat, but that was about it. I could not learn enough about Fellein and the Seven Forges.
The world-building in this book is absolutely phenomenal. We discover the world as Merros and the other characters do, and learn about the Blasted Lands and the Seven Forges through stories told to Merros. Nobody has ever made it as far as Merros and his group, and I think that just added to the excitement of discovering a new land. The people and the creatures are just as interesting as the world, and I can't wait to find out more about them.
I also really enjoyed that this book is told in third-person, but switches characters fairly often. At first, it was a little disorienting, but after the first chapter or so it was easy to recognize when we were moving to another character in another location. We get to see things from the perspectives of a soldier, an Emperor, a sorcerer, an apprentice, an assassin, and several other interesting characters. I think it really added to the depth of the world and the story without becoming too convoluted.
The next book will be really interesting after that ending, and I can't wait to see how things will play out. Potential allies are now enemies, the emperor is dead, part of the prophecy Merros received has come true, and there's so much more to find out about the Blasted Lands and the people who live there!
I would 100% recommend this book to any fans of high fantasy. Especially if you're looking for a more digestible fantasy series. I mean, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is great, but it's 14 huge book. George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series is wildly popular, but is a lot to tackle if you don't normal read epic fantasy books. Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series is the same way. But Seven Forges would be great for anyone looking to get into the genre. 5/5!