Audiobook Review: Blade of Secrets (Bladesmith #1)

Published May 4th 2021

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Narrator: Emily Ellet

Audiobook Length: 8 hours 53 minutes

A teenage blacksmith with social anxiety accepts a commission from the wrong person and is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she’s ever made.

Eighteen-year-old Ziva prefers metal to people. She spends her days tucked away in her forge, safe from society and the anxiety it causes her, using her magical gift to craft unique weapons imbued with power.

Then Ziva receives a commission from a powerful warlord, and the result is a sword capable of stealing its victims’ secrets. A sword that can cut far deeper than the length of its blade. A sword with the strength to topple kingdoms. When Ziva learns of the warlord’s intentions to use the weapon to enslave all the world under her rule, she takes her sister and flees.

Joined by a distractingly handsome mercenary and a young scholar with extensive knowledge of the world’s known magics, Ziva and her sister set out on a quest to keep the sword safe until they can find a worthy wielder or a way to destroy it entirely.

Tricia Levenseller has definitely become a go-to author for me as each story is unique yet still has a certain flair that you know generally what to expect with the author’s signature style. Blade of Secrets is an excellent start to the Bladesmith duology. My only regret is that now that I have read it, I now have to wait a whole year to figure out what will happen next. For those who have some patience, I would agree that this is worth a read now. For those with none, I would suggest waiting as there is a cliffhanger ending as the book sets itself up for the conclusion.

The story follows Ziva, an eighteen year old magic blade smith, who has the ability to infuse magic into the weapons she creates. Ziva has social anxiety that affects her day to day life. She constantly wishes that she was like her younger sister, Temra, and relies on her a lot to get by in society. The two sisters, even with their two year age gap, have an almost equal relationship where at moments Ziva takes the big sister role and Temra takes it at other times. Ziva’s anxiety is handled very well in this story as you see her internal struggle where she realizes that it might not seem logical to be anxious in some situations, but she cannot help how she feels.

Ziva’s talent is well-known throughout the land and she attracts the attention of a warlord who commissions a new weapon. Ziva ends up making an indestructible long-range sword that reveals secrets when it cuts someone and could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. By accident, Ziva learns the secret plan of the warlord and decides the best option is to not hand over the sword. She runs away with her sister, a mercenary named Kellyn, and a scholar named Petrick. All four characters create a rag tag group that must survive as they travel to a hopefully safe destination.

I loved all four characters in this novel and honestly it was difficult to choose a favorite at times. As the story is told through Ziva’s perspective, you connect with her a little more than the others and sympathize with her character. There are some love connections in this story that are explored a little, but they are not the main focus of the story. Instead, the relationship focus is mainly on the two sisters and then the others, Kellyn and Petrick, become part of their almost found family since they become closer as they travel around together.

Overall, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered in the next novel, so it will be very difficult to wait for the next one to be released. The writing itself does not disappoint as I knew what to expect with the author. While the world building is not extremely in-depth, like in other novels, there is just enough to give the reader the feel about what is going on and the general world surrounding the story. The characters are great and I cannot wait to see what happens between the main four and how everything turns out with the warlord in the end!

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