Review: Reforged by Seth Haddon
Since time immemorial the warriors of the Paladin Order have harnessed arcane powers to protect their rulers. For Balen, who has given up his chance at love and fought his way to the top of the Paladin Order, there can be no greater honor than to serve his king. But when assassins annihilate the royal family, Balen suddenly finds himself sworn to serve the very man he abandoned.
Now with their nation threatened by enemies both within and outside the kingdom, Balen must fight hidden traitors and unnatural assassins, while also contending with the biting wit and dangerous charm of young King Zavrius. To save themselves and their nation they will have to put aside their past and reforge that trust they lost so long ago.
I think that before I go any further with this review, I have to clarify something. I glanced at several reviews before I purchased this book. I try very hard not to do so if I am buying the book I wanted to review, but occasionally it happens and I really regret that I did that. Why you ask? Because several reviewers listed it as one of their issues with the book that the main characters made foolish choices throughout the story.
I certainly criticized characters in the books I reviewed for making foolish choices and I am sure will do so again. And even though everyone has their own criteria as to which choices they consider foolish, I still went in with some extra nervousness, even though for me content very much matters as to whether I think that characters are not drawn well, when they do stupid things. I am sure that no matter how hard I try, some part of my own experiences comes in when I want to scream at the character and say “Oh man, you are stupid and what you are doing is not enjoyable for me to read about” BUT more often than not I am attempting to think about characters’ choices as whether it fits the narrative or not and whether characters just make sense or not. They don’t need to always make smart choices to make sense for me.
Bottom line – I have had no problems with the choices either Ballen or Zavrius made. I remember reading in the review that the king, Zavrius, kept secrets from his Palladin. I mean, how stupid king can be to keep secrets from the one person whose duty is to protect the King and die for him if necessary? Well, let me put this way, one actual pretty BIG secret Zavrius kept made perfect sense to me considering what was happening around him and how he had to constantly look over his shoulder for traitors.
I loved, loved how well the world building was done, especially how the information which made the world clearer and clearer was fed to the reader in the small doses throughout the book. It is as if the author gave me a chance to try to figure out stuff on my own, but then left me more and more clues where world building was concerned. I always say that I prefer when I am thrown out into the new world when I am reading a fantasy book rather than reading a long info dump disguised as prologue, but I also don’t like when I am still confused how this imaginary world works after I finished the book and I certainly was not confused here when I was done. The magic involved in the story was not particularly ground breaking and if you are a fantasy fan, you have seen the basic elements in other books, but author’s take on it and specifics involved made it fun for me to read about.
In my opinion the book is first and foremost a fantasy, but it also has romantic storyline with happy ending. I was about to say that it is not a Romance because it does not build a relationship per se, but in a way Zavrius and Balen finding their way back to each other amongst all the danger and intrigue (from the blurb you can see that they had been lovers but broke up before) is a story that can be pictured as pure Romance too? Maybe it is both? I liked both men, they certainly were not perfect and were not always making the best choices but as I said to me their characterizations and their choices made sense.
One real annoyance, and that was a pretty big annoyance, in the whole book for me was one of the villains. I am struggling to explain why without spoilers, so I hope this will be sufficiently vague. The author tried really hard to
The problem for me was that
But overall I am very happy that I have read this one.
Sirius started reading books when she was four and reading and discussing books is still her favorite hobby. One of her very favorite gay romances is Tamara Allen’s Whistling in the Dark. In fact, she loves every book written by Tamara Allen. Amongst her other favorite romance writers are Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, Josephine Myles, Taylor V. Donovan and many others. Sirius’ other favorite genres are scifi, mystery and Russian classics. Sirius also loves travelling, watching movies and long slow walks.→ Sirius