Review: A Wizard's Forge by A.M. Justice
Victoria believes she'll live a scholar's quiet life until the tyrant Lornk Korng rips away everything she knows and loves. Forging herself into a warrior known as Vic the Blade, she strikes fear into her enemies, but she cannot escape Lornk's obsession. A legendary power may be her only chance to destroy him, if it doesn't kill her first.
4 of 5 stars
A.M. Justice has created a unique and interesting world. The origin is that humans crash landed on the planet thousands of years ago and settled in. By now, some cultures keep the history, even though they were unable to preserve the technology, and in some cultures it's morphed into a religion that worships the Landing as that of a god and the origin of their people.
The science fiction element is in the framework of the history—the setting of Vic's life is heavily fantasy in nature. It's mainly low fantasy at that. Her use of magic develops late in the story. Wizardry is actually a nearly extinct art.
Victoria of Ourtown, or Vic the Blade as she comes to be known, is a smart and determined woman. Her bright future full of potential is stolen from her when she's captured into slavery and sold as a "mistress", which is basically a personal sex slave to a Lord. Trapped in a hopeless situation, she eventually finds allies and a way to rebuild her self-esteem and her future.
There are at times other point of view characters to fill in more plot developments, but it's very much Vic's story. She's haunted by her experiences as a slave and fights not only to survive but thrive. Heroic at times and tormented at others, Vic is a complex character who struggles to empower herself, sometimes with success and sometimes at a cost.
I really felt like I was in this world; the experience was quite immersive for me. Vic didn't always do what I wanted her to do but I found her easy to root for. So many complications arise during the main conflict, even at it's climax, and I'm interested to see where the series goes.
You can find it here on Amazon or here on Goodreads.
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