Hello and welcome to another review here on the Swordsmith blog. Westu hal to you, I hope that you are reading something awesome and staying safe.
I am bringing a review to you today of a book that was incredible to read! I was given an ARC of this one, I honestly this is a series to watch as it has everything this reader loves and guess what it is published today!
Welcome to my review of The Iron Crown by L L Mcrae!
Now before we go any further, I would like to say a big thank you to Lauren for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
So here we go here is the premise
Fenn’s first and only memory is finding himself in the middle of a forest, face to face with a dragon spirit mocking him, all knowledge gone apart from his own name.
Lost and confused, his only hope for answers is Calidra—a woman living on the edge of the world with her partner. Forced to return home when her father dies, Calidra has put off facing her estranged mother for seven years, and she begrudgingly helps Fenn, forging papers for him so he can avoid the Queen’s Inquisitors.
But her mother is the least of her worries when they discover an ancient enemy is rising again. It should be impossible with the Iron Crown in power—and Fenn is terrified he might unwittingly be playing a part in the war’s resurgence.
Surrounded by vengeful spirits and powerful magic, Fenn’s desperate attempt to find his way home might well alter the fate of Tassar, and every power in it.
If I could start with a word, and that word is amazing. This is one of the best crafted fantasy stories that I have read recently, it has so much to satisfy a reader that I powered through this book and here’s why. Firstly it is another stellar example of character driven fantasy, the urgency of Fenn’s quest is apparent from the beginning and it drives the story forwards only when it needs to. Lauren has masterfully woven her world building into this book and wow what a way this is done and you must read this to really see it. The world of Tassar was wonderful to see emerge through Lauren’s writing, it’s vibrant, it’s alive and it’s waiting for you.
Sorry I got carried away there, I was originally talking about characters. The characters were wonderful, well drawn and had real depth, I felt as if I really came to know them. Fenn, Calidra, Jisyel, Varlot, Selys are wonderful, and how could I forget Torsten and Apollo? Two men drawn into the story for very different reasons . Lauren is able to introduce them and then draw their characters out, sometimes via reputation but also through the characters talking. One final character point is that Calidra and Jisyel’s relationship was wonderful, it felt so real and passionate that I rooted for it throughout the book.
Lauren employs a POV style approach to the story, but she achieves something with this story making it episodic. While there are defined parts of this story, as in parts 1, 2 and 3, I really felt like I was reading through a well scripted tv series and I mean this with the highest of regards. While I said I powered through this, I enjoyed the pacing and the well put together story which twisted, turned and was thoroughly satisfying making this an excellent first book in a series. Now I enjoyed the magic system, which is interesting as it is linked to the land and the spirits that dwell there. Dragon Spirits are guardians of this world, but spirits can be bound, they can bless and they can curse and they are not to be insulted.
Lastly the ending really set the rest of the series up, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it wraps the first book up in a very satisfying way and I am excited about the rest of the series. This is easily a book that I will recommend you read, this feels fresh and new but it has classic fantasy vibes as well, it has an interesting magic system, Dragons, a classic quest and a menacing threat from across the borders. Populated by some fascinating characters and an incredible word is waiting for you to explore!
I understand that this is an entry in the SPFBO 7 this year, I wish it every success as it deserves it.
That’s all from me, thank you for sticking with me through my review. Westu hal, stay safe and hope that you are reading something awesome.