*I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book for an honest review.
A Wizard’s Forge (The Woern Saga Book 1) by A. M. Justice
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Price: $4.99 (Kindle Edition)
Review: I’m just going to start this review by saying that this book was amazing!
It had a little bit of everything that I crave in a fantasy novel. There was adventure, betrayal, romance, magic, a strong female lead and we also got to witness that same leading female overcame some very tough challenges.
This book conjured up some very intense emotions because a lot of the content that’s present is very gripping and intense. A Wizard’s Forge definitely isn’t for the faint of heart and, just as a warning, violence; mental and sexual abuse; and physical torture are all present. These things are, at times, explained in detail, so you might want to prepare yourselves.
A Wizard’s Forge is set in a fictional world, called Knownearth, and our leading lady, Victoria of Ourtown, is a Logkeeper in one of the many towns that exist on Knownearth. As a Logkeeper, it’s her job to, first, learn and remember her ancestor’s travel logs and to, second, travel to different towns on Knownearth to spread that knowledge around. It’s up to her to make sure that that knowledge is never forgotten, but on one of her stops, she runs into some trouble. She and a dozen other young adults are all taken by pirates and sold into slavery.
The whole slavery selection/examination process reminded me of a scene that I saw in “12 Years a Slave.” The way that Vic and the others were examined was very disgusting and degrading. They had them strip down so that they could rummage through their hair, feel all in their mouths and they even examined their bone structure. It was like they were animals and they were looking for lice or some type of disease, but Vic’s examination was the worse.
They completely felt her up. She was nude, which is humiliating enough on its own, but the examiner had her hands all over Vic. She even took it upon herself to openly grope and test the sensitivity of a certain area of Vic’s body. I felt so bad for her while reading this. That scene alone would’ve did me in, but she made it through only to have to endure so much worse.
Vic ends up being sold as a sex slave to a very prominent man in another part of Knownearth. His name is Lornk Korng and he is the Lord of Relm (Relm being the city that he rules). That man was the very definition of a monster and he did a number on Vic. I had never really read too many books that involved abuse, but this book was intense. He really messed her head up to the point that I struggled following her thought process.
She, eventually, escapes and ends up in the hands of another royal family, but even though she wasn’t physically with Lornk, he still stuck with her.
If I’m being completely honest, their relationship confused me. I didn’t understand her position because there would be times when she’d crave his touch, but then she would snap out of it and hate him again. She was fighting with the person that she was and the person that he tried to turn her into. She spent the whole book doing that and, if I’m understanding everything right, it was the abuse that she endured by him that made her crave his touch. His influence almost took root and she spent a lot of time trying to keep it from completely taking over.
Vic did make a huge 180 degree turn from the person that she started out as. In the beginning, she was very meek and quiet. She was teased a lot, so she didn’t really have any friends, but by the end of the book, she made an incredible transformation and I don’t think it would’ve happened without the royal family of Latha. They made her into a legend and even though I know the queen had her own motives for doing what she did, she still helped Vic discover her own identity. Speaking of the queen, I’m skeptical about her and her motives as well because I think she has a hidden agenda. Nothing was revealed in this installment, but I’m sure, if there’s something to reveal, it’ll come out eventually.
There was also quite a bit of secondary characters (Bethniel, Ashel, etc.) and I think they assisted her, physically and mentally, throughout the duration of this novel. In a way, they acted as her family and she wouldn’t have made it too far without them.
There was some romance between Vic and two other guys, but it was only a couple scenes and they didn’t get very far. But, by this being the first book of the series, I think it’s just meant to start everything off, so I hope we’ll be seeing more romance between Vic and her chosen beau in later books.
I also want to point out that the concept of love in this book was a little confusing because each race had a different way of dealing with love and, at times, it was a little hard to keep up. They also had different ways of communicating, but I think I did pretty good with keeping up with that.
Ms. Justice presented a lot of detail in this book about Knownearth and its citizens, so I sometimes suffered from information overload, but I just couldn’t stop reading. I would just re-read the paragraph and keep going. The different views on love; the different ways of communication; the different species and their characteristics; and the different powers that the citizens could process was a lot to handle at times, but if you keep pushing through, it’ll all stick.
Overall, this book was really good and I highly recommend it. Even though I had to re-read a couple paragraphs to fully understand what was going on, I still enjoyed the adventure that this novel took me on.
I thought that Vic was a worthy hero. She definitely had a lot of things that she needed (or needs) to take care of, but I can’t wait to see where Ms. Justice takes her and her friends in the next book. This book flowed very well and it kept me interested. I enjoyed all the characters (yes, even the villain) and I can’t wait to read book 2.
And, for those of you who are interested, this book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it is obvious that there is another book coming. The next book is called Wizard’s Sacrifice and I’ll let you all know through Twitter when it’s set to release.
A Wizard’s Forge isn’t set to release for a little over a month, but it is currently available for pre-order.
If you do decide to purchase it, please come back and let me know your thoughts on Vic and her journey. Also, at the end of this book, there are some book club questions and I thought that it would be fun for us to answer them together.
If you want, you can pick a question that you’d like to touch on, answer it in the comment section and I’ll be sure to post my response. Hopefully others will comment as well, so that we can get a nice discussion going.