Title: Blade of Secrets
Series: Bladesmith #1
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Tropes/Themes: Traveling Fantasy, Anxiety/Panic Rep
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 336 Pages
Thank you so much to Feiwel & Friends and Netgalley for providing an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review.
This was such a fun YA fantasy with really unique magic and an amazing misfit traveling crew. There were so many amazing aspects of this book as well as fantastic representation.
First of all – the main character is uniquely gifted in her ability to imbue weapons with magical abilities. This has made her somewhat famous and highly sought after. But at the same time, Ziva deals with an intense anxiety and a panic disorder – and I really loved the exploration of that juxtaposition. While not everyone will agree with the representation (it’s something that is wholly unique to everyone) I personally feel like the descriptions captured what it felt like to have a panic attack to perfection. I viscerally felt Ziva’s panic and I loved seeing that level of anxiety represented in a book – especially by a hero!!
Outside of the anxiety rep, I really loved the dynamic of the traveling group. All 4 of the main characters are vastly different and I loved watching them travel and interact. They’re dynamic was fascinating and I grew to love each of them in their own right – Ziva is complex and driven, Temra os strong and fearless, Petrick is bookish and clever, and Kellyn is a badass warrior whose actually a secret softy. The characters are so distinct and fully developed that you can’t help but fall in love with them.
While I adored the characters, I did think the plot itself was very straightforward. There weren’t a lot of surprises or twists and turns – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! At it’s core, this is a classic hero’s journey story with vastly better representation. I personally wanted just a little bit more. But I will say that I do love that the author took such a timeless plot/structure and gave it a modern twist. A lot of people will be able to see themselves in these heroes!
Overall this was a really engaging and addictive YA fantasy. Once you pick this us, you won’t ever want to put it down! Where this first book left off, has me desperate to get my hands on the sequel/conclusion as soon as I can. And Tricia Levenseller is quickly becoming an auto buy author for me. Her books consistently hook me and leave me desperate to read more!