As I said in the review, if you like phenomenal, irreverent snark and humor layered into intensely grotesque battle scenes combined with a great story, this really should be on your TBR.
Author: G.A. Aiken
Book Name: The Blacksmith Queen
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Series: The Scarred Earth Saga
Overall SPA: 5 Stars
Blurb: The Old King Is Dead
With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals.
Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …
Main SPA Evaluation Areas:
Characters: 5/5 Stars
Believability: 5/5 Stars
Personal Opinion: 5/5 Stars
When I first saw this book was the start of a new series, I was a tiny bit concerned it wouldn’t follow what I’ve come to know and love about G.A. Aiken’s style. You never really know for sure what you’re getting into with a new series and the blurb doesn’t quite do this justice, falling on the more serious side. Fans of the Dragon Kin series will be happy to know this series is set in that same world. Though there isn’t any kind of crossover just yet, the potential is there for future books.
Everything I’ve always loved about a G.A. Aiken novel is in this one. All the over the top, effortlessly badass female characters. The phenomenal, irreverent snark and humor layered into those intensely grotesque battle scenes. I don’t know another author that can make me laugh so hard about someone getting their head smashed to a pulp. Those things really shouldn’t ever be funny, but because of the way she writes, I cannot read and drink anything at the same time.
I was really surprised this went the direction it did with Keeley’s and Beatrix’s relationship. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but I really did. It felt different for this author (unless I’ve forgotten something or missed a book in the past) to go that route.
Even though this is the same world as the Dragon Kin series and you get to see similar beings (dragons, centaurs), they are still unique to the part of the world this book is founded in. So, while similar in setting and general feel, it still has the sense of newness that I thoroughly enjoyed. The next book in this series cannot come soon enough.
For those new to G.A. Aiken, no need to worry. You won’t feel lost. If you love a little magic, a wide range of interesting types of characters, battle scenes and lots of humor (the kind that gets everyone looking at you funny when you snort, choke or belt out your most embarrassing laugh), you absolutely should be putting this one on your TBR.
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
If it gets a little too quiet, it’s because I’m busy gobbling this lovely little ARC to bits even though the email approval hasn’t even cooled yet.
The bare bones of my August TBR list, as always, I’ll probably read way more than this, but this is what is waiting to be read:
Shadow’s Bane – Dorna Basarab #4 (yes, this one is a hold over from last month)
August’s Anxiously Awaiting Release:
Comes out August 27th
Requested via NetGalley
On Hold At The Library (should be in for this month’s TBR):
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Blurb: War makes strange bedfellows.
I, Gaius Domitus, one-eyed rebel dragon king of the Provinces, know that better than most, since I have to fight off half my ungrateful family on a regular basis to keep law and order here in my lands. But I never expected to have to consort with a barbarian human woman.
Kachka is beautiful, if you like them fierce–and of course I do. But she keeps complaining about how spoiled and decadent I am, and how a feared Daughter of the Steppes has no time for foolish dragons. I think she likes my eye patch, though. It is quite dashing. With death always at our tails, we take our passion like we take our allies. As they say, love the barbarian you’re with…
Review: G.A. Aiken, who also writes as Shelly Laurenston, has suck a knack for writing these crazy, ridiculous and insanely hilarious characters that, no matter how awful they may seem, you can’t help but love them. I never laugh so much as when I read one of her books. Feel the Burn is no exception.
Kachka is an absolute riot. The female dominated culture she comes from, just adds yet another element to her insane personality in the way she and her companions, especially Zoya, view and treat men. Seriously loved Zoya and a couple of the other new additions to the series.
After reading this one, and getting the reminder of how much I do love these books, I’m adding these to my “must purchase upon release” list.