Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller — ARC Review

Blade of Secrets by Tricia LevensellerSummary:

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.

Review: 4 Stars

When I saw that Tricia Levenseller had another book coming out I requested an ARC right away. I have read nearly all of her books and loved each one. I wound up reading Blade of Secrets super early because after reading an intricate fantasy novel I wanted something fast paced, but I still wanted a fantasy. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t love Blade of Secrets because it looked pretty different from everything else by Tricia Levenseller that I’ve read, but I shouldn’t have worried for a second.

Blade of Secrets was a fast paced YA fantasy filled with characters that I really loved. The main character Kiva struggles with social anxiety and I think it is represented extremely well.  As a reader you get to see how social anxiety affects every aspect of Kiva’s life and you really get a sense of what it is like to live with social anxiety. I really loved that the story was told through Kiva’s point of view because you got to experience the world through the eyes of someone who really struggled with anxiety. I think it is so important for mental health to be represented accurately in books, but also across genres, and it’s not too often I find mental health representation in a fantasy novel.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Kiva and her sister Temra. They were both there for each other and supported each other, despite their differences. I also enjoyed both of the romances in the book. I loved Kellyn from the start, but what really endeared him to me is the way he accepted Kiva the way she was and didn’t try to change her, he just tried to understand her. The budding romance between Petrik and Temra was also incredibly sweet. All of these characters were fully fleshed out with individual personalities and quirks and I loved each of them.

The writing was fast paced and fresh, making it easy to read this book and hard to set it down. I finished the book in less than 24 hours. The plot was pretty interesting, but I do wish there was a bit more world building. The history of the world is just touched upon and you don’t learn much about the politics of society or even magic. The story focuses on the journey that the characters go on and their relationships with one another instead.

Tricia Levenseller has never disappointed me. While this book had less banter than her previous boks I still found it extremely entertaining. She does a fantastic job creating characters that I love and always keeps the plot moving. If you’re looking for a fast and fun fantasy I highly recommend picking up any of her books. The only issue I have is that since I read this book super early I have to wait even longer for the sequel. I still have one unread book by Tricia Levenseller on my TBR though, so hopefully that can tide me over while I wait for the next book in this series.

6 thoughts on “Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller — ARC Review

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    1. Tricia Levenseller writes what I refer to as “light” fantasy. All her books are fast and entertaining and she’s been my go to when I’ve been feeling slumpy. Unfortunately I’ve read almost all her books now!


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