Review: Master of Iron by Tricia Levenseller

Master of Iron by Tricia Levenseller

Master of Iron (Bladesmith #2)
Tricia Levenseller
Feiwel & Friends
Published Jul 26, 2022

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Master of Iron

In MASTER OF IRON, the conclusion to Tricia Levenseller’s exciting Bladesmith YA fantasy duology, a magically gifted blacksmith with social anxiety must race against the clock to save her beloved sister and stop a devastating war.

Eighteen-year-old Ziva may have defeated a deadly warlord, but the price was almost too much. Ziva is forced into a breakneck race to a nearby city with the handsome mercenary, Kellyn, and the young scholar, Petrik, to find a powerful magical healer who can save her sister’s life.

When the events that follow lead to Ziva and Kellyn’s capture by an ambitious prince, Ziva is forced into the very situation she’s been dreading: magicking dangerous weapons meant for world domination.

The forge has always been Ziva’s safe space, a place to avoid society and the anxiety it causes her, but now it is her prison, and she’s not sure just how much of herself she’ll have to sacrifice to save Kellyn and take center stage in the very war she’s been trying to stop.

Master of Iron on Goodreads

My Review

I loved BLADE OF SECRETS, and specifically the way Ziva’s anxiety is described. She pulls you into her headspace, laying out her fears and worries in a frank thought train. I felt like that made her anxiety really present. It felt overwhelming to read sometimes, which made it that much more real to me.

MASTER OF IRON has the same quality to it, where Ziva draws us into her rigid thoughts and lets us feel caged in by them. That component of the story was done really well, as was the way she and Kellyn relate to one another. I liked that they had some frank conversations about their feelings and that he asked for her to verbalize her needs rather than assuming he knew what it is that would help her.

The story picks up immediately where BLADE OF SECRETS leaves off, with Temra injured and unconscious in the wagon and Ziva, Kellyn, and Petrik desperately rushing to a healer in an attempt to save her. From the very opening, there’s hardly a moment to draw breath. Crises leap out at every turn. Ziva rushes from one problem to the next, the stakes growing higher and her resolve against making weapons of war growing stronger.

I loved the way she explored the limits of her gift and how it could be used in less violent ways. I didn’t expect that to be a significant part of the story, but I’m really glad it was.

On the whole, I’m glad I read this second book in the duology. If you liked the first book, definitely read MASTER OF IRON.

Master of Iron on Bookshop

Content Notes

Battle violence and some scenes showing torture.

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Ziva has anxiety.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. References to sex. Ziva and Kellyn discuss having sex, but he wants to wait until he gets married.

Spiritual Content
Brief references to deities celebrated in Ziva’s world.

Violent Content
Battle violence. Descriptions of torture.

Drug Content

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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