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Captain Merros Dulver is the first in many lifetimes to find a path beyond the great mountains known as the Seven Forges and encounter, at last, the half-forgotten race who live there. And it would appear that they were expecting him. As he returns home, bringing an entourage of strangers with him, he starts to wonder whether his discovery has been such a good thing. For the gods of this lost race are the gods of war, and their memories of that far-off cataclysm have not faded.

The people of Fellein have lived with legends for many centuries. To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and impassable, but that doesn’t stop the occasional expedition into their fringes in search of any trace of the ancients who had once lived there… and oft-rumored riches.

-Goodreads

Book Information

  • Title: Seven Forges
  • Series: Seven Forges #1
  • Author: James A. Moore
  • Page Count: 398
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 4.0/5.0
  • Date Read: June 3rd, 2024

Opening Thoughts

Seven Forges by James A. Moore was our group buddy read for June. I didn’t know much about this story or this author going into this one. This is one of the great things about being part of a group where titles are nominated or suggested that I might not come across otherwise. I will admit that the cover was really cool and intriguing.

Pacing

I would certainly label this one as fast pace. Now, I did opt for the audiobook narrated by David de Vries, whom I thought did a great job with brining the story to life. I’ve mentioned before that new to me authors can be hit or miss and this was my first exposure to David’s narration work that I am aware of. There are a good amount of characters to keep straight in this one but again between the author’s writing and the narrators presentation seemed to work well for me in keeping up with what was going on and who was in which scene.

I did feel the first half of the book was a bit meh as we were just getting the story and characters up and running. Things got much better for what I enjoy in a book in the second half though. So just keep in mind if you begin this adventure, this is book one of a series so there does need to be some setup.

World Building

I also felt that the world building was nicely done in Seven Forges. The world itself seemed rather large with several scenes of traveling which take days, weeks or even months to get to and from. There certainly seemed like there is a solid lore foundation setup in book one here for the series. There also seemed a good mix of martial warriors as well as magic and religion type of mystic to this world. There is also a good amount of faction and political intrigue as well as military strategy making up this world.

Character Development

The character development was good. I never really connected with any of this characters. I’m not sure if that was due to the audio narration versus taking this read on as a visual or not. The first quarter of the book when things were being laid out for the reader did seem a bit convenient in some of the timing of things. But at the same time, unless this book was much longer, there wasn’t a lot of time to give us a lot of back story to some characters at the start of this one. There are some solid characters with some decent arcs to be had in Seven Forges. I just didn’t grow too attached to any of them. And I will say, if you are planning on reading this book, you might not want to either. Keep those characters as arms length. This is a harsh world and story to say the least.

I will add that in our buddy read group there were a couple of friends that pointed out they weren’t pleased with the overall portrayal of female characters in the first half of this book. I really didn’t notice or focus on this much personally so I can’t really say whether that seemed to get better in the second half or not.

Roundup & Recommendation

All in all I did end up having a good time with this one. I did struggle a bit in that first half but I stuck with it and am happy that I did. I’ll keep this one on my open series being read as I know there are several others available currently. I don’t know if this is a finished series at the time of writing up this review or not.

Scoring

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Character Development 4/5

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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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