Series: The Scarred Earth Saga #1
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: YES
ABOUT: When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.
The Old King Is Dead
With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals.
Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …
The Blacksmith Queen quickly became an instant favorite long before I finished reading it. I loved this book and had a great reading experience.
What drew me to this story was the gorgeous cover and that the MC is a blacksmith. Blacksmiths are awesome!
The characters are so unapologetically real and true to themselves. Keeley is someone you’d want to be friends and/or family with. She loves her family so much – “family is everything” – and she is loyal to a fault. She is very passionate about blacksmithing and is loving and respectful to all animals/creatures – even evil demon wolves from hell with flames for eyes.
The Smythe women are a force to be reckoned with. They’re lovingly ruthless, even with each other. But they all love and care deeply for one another and their super close family ties is enviable.
The story begins with a gory mass murdering spree as soon as the Old King dies. It’s very sad and gruesome. The villains of the story – much like the protagonists – are also unapologetically true to their nature. Their characterization is great and pairs well with the rest of the story. But you won’t like them one bit – I sure didn’t. They’ll make you furious.
The world-building is simple but magical. There are humans, centaurs, wolves, elves, dwarves, barbarians. It’s fairly easy to understand how the world works and what kind of place the story takes place in.
The wry and bold humor is what sold me. I love Aiken’s brand of humor. She had me laughing out loud a lot. Humor is embedded deep within the story and flows freely from the characters in sometimes the most crude and crass way. Aiken has great comedic timing. It’s so fascinating and hilarious to watch the characters interact with each other.
The romance was sweet and beautifully built. Keeley and Caid’s growing relationship was wonderful to watch, especially since Caid is so antisocial and introverted.
This was quick but very enjoyable read for me. It’s imperative that book 2 comes out soon. I need to know what happens next! The Blacksmith Queen is a must read!