Apr 26, 2021

ARC Review--Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

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.


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Tricia Levenseller returns with a new fantasy duology following a bladesmith with a magic touch. Blade of Secrets follows Ziva, a renowned bladesmith social anxiety who has to overcome her fears in order to save her sister, save herself, and save the world.

Let it be said that Tricia Levenseller rocks the fantasy world, because oh my wow! I told myself it would be best to wait out 2021 and read this duology back to back in 2022, but I couldn't resist the offer to review it early! This fantasy is so incredibly well-paced, it blew my mind! I kept wondering where the gigantic cliffhanger would happen, knowing it was going to be in the thick of things just when it gets dire and exciting! And I'll touch on that in a bit, but let's move onto the story!

Ziva is a world famous bladesmith. She creates magical weapons that make the wielder near unstoppable. She is gifted with magic to make the weapons be so powerful. She has been able to keep herself and her younger sister, Temra, well off with her talents. And it is because of her special talents that brings the warlord, Kymora to her door. Kymora is the all-mighty warlord of the world and has come to Ziva wanting a weapon that will make her enemies crumble. It's when Ziva does her job too well and creates a weapon that can attack without even needing to touch its victim, she realizes the mistake she has made. For not only is the weapon powerful, but when blood falls onto the blade, the wielder can hear the injured's thoughts.

Ziva and Temra then must escape into the night to escape Kymora. They hire a mercenary, Kellyn for protection against anyone and everything, and then Petrik, a scholar joins wanting to "interview" Ziva regarding her magic for the book he is writing. Plus he offers other skills that could help them out. The unlikely quartet soon begin a perilous journey trying to find a safe harbor to weather out the storm. Ziva and Temra think they might be safest with their father's family in Thersa, but it's a long and rocky journey to get there.

Let me say it again, WOW! Tricia has yet again written another fantasy novel that is just so mind-blowingly awesome that I was left speechless at its end! The story is one of the most exciting ones that I've read in awhile, and I read a lot of fantasy these days! Blade of Secrets has the epic quest vibe going for it coupled with characters that are sure to burrow their way into your hearts! I have to admit, I loved Ziva the most! She is gripped by a social anxiety that makes her seize up in any social situation. She pretty much can only handle talking to her sister and, oh my goodness, I soooo related to this girl. While I'd say my social anxiety is not as extreme as hers was, I so related to her feelings of talking to new people, being crippled with fear of all sorts of minuscule thoughts that lead to greater bursts of fear. While trying to talk with Kellyn at multiple moments and not quite getting there because of her social fears I could not relate more to this girl, because I have thought many of the same things she has when trying to have a conversation with someone. Sadly, I was never put in front of Kellyn type. 

That being said, the romance is definitely one of the most sweetest kinds I've read about! Kellyn was a surprising character and I absolutely adored him! The romance was most definitely the slow buildup sort that even then has a slow burn once ignited. Not to be outdone with just one romance, there is some heavy flirting going on with Temra and Petrik, though Petrik will prove to be a bigger challenge than Temra has ever faced before.

There was a good many secrets be built up and explored in this book as well. I don't want to get too into those details, but there's definitely a mystical mystery that builds up that results in many a surprise! The pacing was absolutely ideal too! Blade of Secrets was quite the page-turner! Just as the quartet overcomes one challenge and you think they might be closer to their goal, they are thrown a curve ball and bounced off course again and again! It was an exhilarating and breathtaking kind of read!

Blade of Secrets is the start to yet another amazing Tricia Levenseller duology! You can expect there to be a cliffhanger of sorts at the end of this one, but I can say it is at least in a good place. Yes, things are still dire and uncertain...I mean it wouldn't be a cliffhanger if things were in a good place. There's a lot of questions left hanging and there's a thick tension in the air. It will still be a trying wait until next year when we can join Ziva on the rest of her journey. If you start any fantasy series this year, let it be Blade of Secrets, it's a read that is sure to enthrall you with its magic, characters, and story at heart!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Blade of Secrets releases May 4, 2021





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