Title: Blade of Secrets
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Pub. Date: May 4, 2021
Pub: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
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.
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audio via Audible and omfg I loved this book. Like, really loved it. It left me desperate for more. It’s reading slump inducing for sure. I’m pretty sure this book is a huge reason why I didn’t enjoy my next read as much. All I wanted was to be back in this world, with these characters – I need to know what’s next. It’s only been a few days, and I’m already dying for the next one.
I’ve been a fan of Tricia’s books since I listened to Daughter of the Pirate King and fell in love. That’s still one of my all-time favorite dulogies – and I’m desperately overdue for a re-read. (You can check out my reviews – Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen.) If you haven’t yet checked out that series, you’re serisouly missing out, and you should rectify that immediately. Alosa and Riden are still stuck in my head, and it’s been years.
Then I read Warrior of the Wild – and really enjoyed it. But I found myself wishing it were longer. I felt like there wasn’t enough time spent with the characters to really get to know them, but once again Tricia transported me to a new world, and I fell for it. (You can check out my review for Warrior of the Wild.) I enjoyed Rasmira, I just ultimately wanted more.
Up next is The Shadows Between Us, and when I tell you I was super excited for this book – I’m not lying. But like with Warrior of the Wild – I was left wanting more. I wanted more world, more characters – just more. That’s not to say I didn’t love it, get sucked in by it, and then promptly die upon finishing it. I just wanted more. (You can check out my review for The Shadows Between Us.)
While her last two books were quick, enjoyable fantasy reads, that I could read it one sitting, I’m really glad that this is a duology. After desperately wanting more story for the last two books, I do not have that complaint with this one – other than I do actually need more (but there is more coming). I swear, it’s the curse of Tricia Levenseller books – they’re always so good, that what we’re given is just never enough. And I know I sound like a broken record when I say it, but I just want more. I fall in love with the worlds she creates every set of characters she writes and the situations she drops them into. I always get sucked in and transported right into her books, and I just want more. She’s an auto buy author, and I will buy anything she publishes – and I’ll undoubtedly not be thrilled that there isn’t more to read when I finish a book.
When I say “go buy this book” I mean it. Like, do it right now. If it throws you into a slump – sorry, not sorry. If you’ve read this book and need to chat, hit me up. I want to wipe this book from my mind so I can experience it for the first time over again. I want to fall in love with the characters for the first time all over again.
I loved Ziva. So much. She’s honestly so relatable. While I don’t have social anxiety to her degree, I can understand not feeling comfortable around people, needing to be alone, to prepare. I get it. I thought the way Tricia portrays it was spot on.
She’s quiet, shy, doesn’t know how to act around people. Anger makes her brave, but the looping, intrusive thoughts afterwards…when I say that the narrator nailed it, jfc, I mean it. The sheer acting that went into the production of this audiobook…
Temra is the complete opposite of her sister. Outgoing, loud, combative – she’ll tell you what’s up and won’t spare your feelings. She’s gentle with her sister, but also tries to push her out of her comfort zones from time to time. She’s also a shameless flirt.
Their fiercely protective of each other and I loved their relationship
Then you have Petrick and honestly, I was on the fence about him when he was first introduced. I didn’t trust him. Now, I’d die to protect him. He’s a fantastic cinnamon roll of a character.
And Kellyn – I mean. Come on. There was legit no way I wasn’t going to love him. The sass. The sarcasm. The witty af banter…
The things that drive and motivate him…
And the soft way he’s with Ziva.
I’m just giddy thinking about the two of them…and the whole crew. I just loved them so much. The teasing between Petrick and Kellyn – top tier. The soft moments between Ziva and Kellyn – God Tier – but also those angry moments. Sigh. They complement each other so well. The flirting between Petrick and Temra – so good.
You just can’t go wrong, and the whole group dynamic is so good. Even in the tenser moments, it’s still enjoyable and entertaining. And how they all band together…it’s great. And I loved that this book is a lot of traveling. I love fantasy books where the characters get to know each other on the road – it’s one of my favorite elements.
Then you have the world Tricia created. Kind of gave me Ella Enchanted vibes, but only kind of. I loved that Ziva was her own boss, that her sister was getting an education. I loved how modern it felt, but still wholly fantastical. Grocery stores, restaurants, various other shops – it felt so current day, but also medieval. And the history of the land, and the power struggles – so good, so unique and so immersible. I honestly can’t think of another book that has a world that’s this interesting.
So much happens in this book. It definitely doesn’t have a pacing problem, or a I need more time with everything problem. I only want more, in the sense that I need the second book. That’s all this book left me with – a burning need for book 2. I legit have no complaints about anything. The book stars at a leisurely pace, and the wham! Things are happening, and they don’t really stop. And then there was that little Arthurian Legend bit towards the end – didn’t see it coming, but oh how I loved it. Just another example of how this book is wholly unique.
I can’t stress enough how strongly I recommend this book. It needs to be on your TBR, your radar, in your cart, on your shelf. This book is easily one of my favorites of the year – and it’s only May. I’m 100% going to reread this and shove it at all my friends. The relationships were peak perfection and the plot keeps you turning the page, desperate to know what happens next. You’ll be transported right to a world that is fantastic and modern and just everything you could ever want. The stakes are high, the banter is witty and the teasing is lowkey hysterical.
It’ll suck you in and make you never want to leave.
There’s a reason Tricia Levenseller is one of my favorite authors – this book is it.