I received a copy of this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken
Series: The Scarred Earth Saga #1
Published by Kensington on August 27, 2019
Amazon | Goodreads
Also by this author: A Tale of Two Dragons, Dragon on Top
When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.
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 …
Praise for The Dragon Who Loved Me
“A chest thumping, mead-hall rocking, enemy slaying brawl of a good book.”
—All Things Urban Fantasy
“Aiken aces another one.”
—RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
Oh my goodness! The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken was unlike anything I thought I would be reading after receiving news of it’s release and receiving it as an ARC. I’ll admit to thinking I would receive a story similar to her Dragon Kin series but I am so glad that this story and its series stands on it own and gives a whole new experience to the historical paranormal romance sub-genre.
I won’t say that you need to scrap everything the synopsis told you because I truly believe the synopsis was cleverly written – it did it’s job of intriguing readers and it left room for the story itself to keep the readers intrigued enough to keep them reading. Additionally, I won’t say that the start to The Blacksmith Queen was slow even though at the time of reading it I felt that it was – I hope that made sense. I was so impatient to get to the plot of the story that certain parts where we were getting to know the character via their dialogue I felt as if they were filler moments. The only explanation I have for this is that I didn’t refresh my memory of what the story would be about so I didn’t know who the main characters would be nor what the conflict would eventually be played out throughout these pages.
Everything I love about Shelly Laurenston’s (G.A. Aiken’s other pen name) ability to create characters that will stay with you long past the story’s last page and Aiken’s attention to detail were well-balanced within The Blacksmith Queen. There was never a time when I felt that I was left wanting or as if something was mentioned but never given the proper attention for further explanation or detail. The battle scenes, moments of sorrow, interactions amongst the main and supporting groups of characters, and the different perspectives were all beautifully done. The world building Aiken did with this series has me wanting to complete her Dragon Kin series in all haste along with hoping that she comes out with more stories and series.
To touch on the characters a little instead of just focusing on the plot and writing technique of G.A. Aiken, I have to say that I love the way this author writes her characters. Not only was the story itself spectacular but the characters complemented this story so well that I can’t see one without the other. The way everything progressed and the development of each character we were given ample page time from grew at such a natural and organic pace that I didn’t want the story to ever end. There wasn’t anything that I felt shouldn’t been worked through differently because each character had their purpose and individual sense about themselves.
Ugh, I loved this book so much that I really want to go back and re-read it again just so that I can jump right back into this world. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a story as much as I have The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken. I cannot wait to see what else this author comes with for this series and in the meantime I’ll jump back into her Dragon Kin series with a better sense of her writing style.