• Booktastically Amazing

Blade of Secrets

by Tricia Levenseller


Spoiler-Free Synopsis:


Eighteen-year-old Ziva prefers metal to people. She spends her days tucked away in her forge, safe from society and the anxiety it causes her, using her magical gift to craft unique weapons imbued with power.


Then Ziva receives a commission from a powerful warlord, and the result is a sword capable of stealing its victims' secrets. A sword that can cut far deeper than the length of its blade. A sword with the strength to topple kingdoms. When Ziva learns of the warlord’s intentions to use the weapon to enslave all the world under her rule, she takes her sister and flees.


Joined by a distractingly handsome mercenary and a young scholar with extensive knowledge of the world's known magics, Ziva and her sister set out on a quest to keep the sword safe until they can find a worthy wielder or a way to destroy it entirely.


A teenage blacksmith with social anxiety accepts a commission from the wrong person and is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she's ever made.


(still sounding slightly possessed)

*me talking to the mirror pretending it's the author*

Let's get something out of the way first. How dare you?

Seriously.

How. Dare. You.


You know what? You are selfish. Bring me to the abysm of heartbreak, go ahead and rip the life-giving elixir from my hands and say 'oh, I'll give it to you a year from now' and all that has the same energy as to what this did to me.

That's a huge no-no, ma'am. Don't make me go over there and beg. Yeah, you do NOT want to see me do that. And don't you wish for me to cry out of pain, because I already am, so haha! Jokes on you, hahaha.


I need a break from this.

I actually don't, but I'm writing this directly after finishing the book (which I never do) and my reviewing capacities have denigrated to a near-zero existence.

So, bonjour! This is going to be an epic disaster.


To be completely honest, I thought this book wouldn't gather such an extreme reaction from yours truly (considering this is a series, and I was aware of the fact that there may be a cliffhanger to keep me hooked. Alas, did I listen to reason? Why do that when you can get completely bamboozled and left for a carcass at the feet of Zeus?)


I could've probably finished this in a day, perhaps a few hours. (it being so fast-paced and all) But as we allll know, this chick started this book at 12 am. Meaning, what? She had to stop or dare to approach the life of the living dead in the morning hours. Trust me, they have nothing on me when I'm in that state. I should be casted or something- So yes, I postponed ending this book for a few hours. Woke up and ignored said book. Before, obviously, being forced to read the rest, therefore causing my potato life to be hindered. And I shall say that after all of that (missing) thought process, one thought ran rampant through my synapses, which was:


This was so freakishly cool.


Believe me, I tried to make that statement sound so much more eloquent, but I'm afraid that that slight part of my nervous system is non-existent for the time being.


The writing flowed extremely nice, considering I was not focused on it for the majority of the story. Sue me, I was not in the mindset of reviewer. *snort* I really liked how the whole book was written. Being in first person just made it so much better for me, since I like experiencing things firsthand and not third hand (hehe). It immersed me into the world I was reading about, nice imagery adding to the package, no 'I let go of a breath I didn't realize I was holding' crap, no over-enthusiastic poetic moments which would take away from the story. Maybe there were a few times where I skipped a monologue for being too long. But all in all, not bad. And I say this for the sole reason that this author's books have been a slight hit-and-miss for me these days. And I frankly can mention that I enjoyed it nonetheless. I just lowered my expectation a bit and all was well.


I would describe the plot as 'a short amount of pages that tried to accomplish a lot of things and which completed at least half of them'. Yes, that's exactly how I referred to it in my head. You know, it actually works sometimes. That conclusion jump-scared me too, don't worry. Because I'm still overly dramatically angry at how it ended (though I shouldn't be BUT COME ON, I NEED THE SECOND BOOK) I shall roast some small details that are maybe not that worthy of roasting. That being, the world in and of itself. Okay, *COUGH* I have no idea in which time this was set in. Like, none at all. It gave me the sass of the Knighthood era but then shoved the 'Modernized version of the world' down my esophagus. They used words that would be described in this day and age, whereas the clothing and sometime manner of speech sounded too old to be of this century. Let me explain, there were words such as 'school' and 'restaurants'. However, then there were words that literally fit in with the overall 'old esque' aspect. On those part I was all, wait- what? Where are we??? And maybe it's because my lazy behind didn't bother to read the whole map, or it's actually a valid reason to be peeved about. Now, I need to yell a little: THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF EVERY MAGICAL THINGY WAS SO ASTRONOMICALLY COOL, I CANNOT DEAL. Yes, that is it. It was confusingly nice, and I so look forward to knowing more of it. ( Like now. The book. Now)


If I could get out of the tomb of ghost hood and haunt the characters for the rest of my non-existent life, it would be worth it. They were so cinnamonic (that sounds like demonic but overlook that detail, please) I wanted to hug them and protect them from the world.

... minus the MC.


I'm sorry, you HAD to know I would rant against something in particular, so why not make it (once again) about the main character? It's so much fun to imitate people who probably think, BOOKSY JUST LIKE SOMETHING FOR ZEUS'S SAKE. And I want to say, I am tryiiinnnnnggggg. It's not my fault they're useless! Incredibly moronic! And dumb!


You would expect that a smithy with magical abilities would use a sword to defend herself more than once. But nooooo. Well, that's actually not entirely true, she used t for two strikes at the end- logic has no place here. Indeed, I found her personality incredibly relatable and THE SOCIAL ANXIETY REPRESENTATION WAS ASTOUNDING. I actually screamed at times because it made me so happy to see more books representing it. (I'm so sorry that I'm randomly screaming, I have to do exercise and I want to kill something) I liked how strong she was and how she was an amazing sister. Overall, even though I hated her being so weak at times (not mentally, I mean when in fights. Sword which she has in her hand? Useful? Nah, let' just try to talk it out) I'm looking for that character ARC that I'm expecting to blow my brains out and make soup with them.


The side characters such as the sister, the handsome mercenary, and the teddy bear-y scholar (he cried over books, ya'll. Forget everything, I loved him) were so well-developed and had such an abundance (less than my adoration level but more than most) of personality I could actually see myself inheriting. I need ammo for future arguments, and they were sarcastic enough and witty for spades to earn a place in the Donate Booksy Banter. Excuse you, I actually need it. I lived for every interaction between the sisters which left me feeling replenished and wiping my eyes because of the beauty.

The brewing relationship between the two love interests was too much for me to handle and 'the screech' was present more than once. I awaited patiently (not) for every dialogue and blooming bromance that at times, I caught myself hanging off the edge of my seat for the anticipated surprise. And it DELIVERED.


And with what? The romance (bromance). It will never cease to astonish my soul when two characters don't immediately start professing their love for each other after the fifth interaction because it has happened so many times. And this didn't do! Ahhhhh, okay. So. I really, really liked it. Sure the MC fell in the 'crush' zone after seeing the guy, however upon further investigation, he was to die for, so I completely understand. Their lovely banter and awkward moments were a balm to my heart and I squealed so many times I still have a tingly feeling resting against my throat. All in all, it seemed real, attainable, and best of all... actually useful.


I still think that the Love interest has a long way to go, priority-wise, but I hold it in my utmost custody the fact that he will become a future husband of mine. (or I'll wish him dead) For now, he shall rest beneath the pages that I threw in the metaphorical wind after the ending chapters. (yes, I am indeed still petty in regard to that)


On a closing note, if it wasn't yet completely obvious, I need the second book. Yesterday, more like. I left this review bubble in my subconsciousness after 5 beautiful hours of sleep, so I attribute all non ethically intelligent mumbling to that. (I cannot promise it won't happen again) The story was enriching in its unique premise, characters were lovely, sisterhood was out and shining (which I stanned. HARD), representation was much needed and very appreciated and the romance was not horrible (like in the previous book I had read from the author) so I would totally recommend just so y'all can suffer just like me. Or not, you may not like it, but hey, some books are just worth the read.


And the wait.

Ahahhahahahaha


2022


You thought-


Worth five stars though? Not exactly.


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • The subtle plot twists that made me stare at the void for about five minutes each.

  • The way I screamed at the last page out of outrage.

  • THE LOVE INTEREST AND HOW HE LITERALLY TOLD THE MC 'you're not that important, not everything occurs because of you'. I LOVED HIM.

  • The MC's sister is what I strive to be. Strong, passionate, and outspoken.


I get so happy when I actually like a book. Like, way more than it's supposed to be normal.