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Book Review: Seeds of War

Table of Contents

“‘He ran like the monster he was. And the smoke followed.’

GIMLORE is a single mother and war veteran turned crime boss set on protecting her family and her town.

ORBERESIS is a petty thief pretending to be God to protect a terrible secret.

REDNOW is the world’s most feared mercenary, but his best days are behind him and there’s one job left to do.

In a world of dangerous monsters and devastating smoke magic, the seeds of war are being planted. Allies must be treasured and enemies defeated.

The Smokesmiths is a gritty epic fantasy series with a harsh world of smoke magic, alien creatures and ancient secrets where characters do their best to come out on top. Peace will not last.”

Title: Seeds of War

Series: The Smokesmiths #1

Author: João F. Silva

Page Count: 588

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Date Read: March 22nd, 2024

My thirty-sixth SPFBO-9 person TBR read was Seeds of War by Joao F. Silva. This is one of those books that have been floating right on the edge of my month TBR for far too long. I’ve had a couple of friends who know what kind of books I really click with and knew I was going to enjoy this one. They were NOT wrong!
It’s been quite a while since I have had not one, but two reads that ended up five star ratings from me at the same time. Seeds of War was my visual read and my other was an audio which also landed very well with me. More on that book in it’s own review soon.
One thing I noticed with my current read struggles and now looking back at these two is I really do prefer stories that start off with characters that aren’t teenage or younger. I realize that the coming of age aspect allows authors to really build up those character arcs but it’s just difficult for me to relate to younger characters at this stage in my life. So, I can look back and notice this was a read that started off on the right foot already.
I felt that the pacing of Seeds of War was fairly smooth. It might lean a bit to the fast side of things but I didn’t feel like anything was rushed. I will point out that as I was watching my percentage read at the beginning I looked more than once to make sure I was seeing the page count correctly as I felt like I was getting through this book quicker than I thought I would have. I guess I’ll just chalk this up to the fact that I picked it up often and read a bit longer than normal each time. There is a lot going on with book one to keep up with but I didn’t feel overwhelmed and didn’t struggle with keeping the multiple characters and storylines straight. As usual, I’ll mention I didn’t have any real issues with names or editing issues tripping me up either.
The world building was excellent. I thought the magic system between the god power, the smokesmiths and the elixir using characters were all unique. The world itself was described very well too. I felt we had a good sense of the environments each scene was taking place in. From the palaces, the huge ships and the overly humid swampy new lands, each of them felt very believable. We also have several cultures and factions covered in book one alone. I’m excited to see where things go from here.
The character development was also very good. We certainly have some very interesting and memorable characters. The story starts out with basically three different points of view to follow along as things progress and come together later in the read. We have characters we might relate to, despise or at the very least annoyed with and of course those that may tug on the heartstrings a bit. I’ll mention that we do have one character loss in the second half that even though we don’t spend a lot of time with, I felt that one! And as I eluded to above I can’t help to be drawn to the old veteran Rednow. I loved his arc in book one. I’d love to talk more about these characters if anyone is interested. I just don’t want to give too many spoilers away in my review.
I’ve read 35 books so far in 2024 and the only other true 5-star read I’ve had was back in January. This past week I added two more. Seeds of War and one other. It was a really good week for stories to be enjoyed!
I’d recommend Seeds of War to fantasy reads who like a good amount of magic, solid characters and just a good story of people trying to survive a world full of struggle, evil and gods. I know I’ll be keeping my eye on this series. I know there is a novella available for this series that I will be looking to get my hands on soon and I believe book two Thorns of War is due out in May of this year.
Another bonus note, I love books that include glossaries in them. Seeds of War is one of those such books. They make things easier on me when looking back at my notes and piecing things together.

World Building 5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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