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Seven Forges: Seven Forges, Book I Mass Market Paperback – September 24, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
George R.R. Martin fans willing to settle for a less sophisticated plotline may enjoy this well-written epic fantasy series kickoff. Merros Dulver, a retired military man, has accepted a paid mission to explore the hostile Blasted Lands north of his home kingdom, Fellein, and reach the mountains known as the Seven Forges. After over two months in perpetual twilight, Dulver's expedition comes under attack from horrific beasts. The group is saved only by the intervention of Drask, a mysterious stranger from the Seven Forges who sports a silver hand and makes short work of the creatures. Dulver is dumfounded to learn that Drask's people, the Sa'ba Taalor, had been awaiting him specifically, as a means of opening diplomatic relations with the emperor of Fellein. Moore does a nice job of depicting the initial, tentative contacts between the two civilizations, but most of the real action happens toward the end, serving to set up the sequel rather than offering a real resolution. (Oct.)
"...[a] well-written epic fantasy series kickoff."
- Publishers Weekly (August 19, 2013)
“Seven Forges is an excellent, enjoyable, and thoroughly entertaining fantasy debut into a new world of swords and sorcery, complete with romance, intrigue, and danger.”
– Attack of the Books
“Wow, that twist. In some ways I think I should have seen it coming, and I kind of did, butSeven Forges just lulled me into security and BAM! Craziness!”
– Anya, On Starships and Dragonwings
“Seven Forges is a well written fantasy adventure with a very interesting premise and a big world to explore. ”
“I thoroughly enjoyed Seven Forges although I was left speechless by the ending and left wondering for days whether there was to be another book in the series. There were so many threads of stories left open that I need to know what happens next.”
– The Bookish Outsider
“Moore does a fantastic job of building worlds and characters in Seven Forges as we hop on board the train that is about to meet its doom.”
– Troubled Scribe
“James A. Moore dedicates Seven Forges in part ‘to the memory of Fritz Leiber and Robert E. Howard for the inspiration.’ That dedication sets the bar high, and caused me a bit of readerly apprehension, because so many writers have imitated badly those two greats of the sword and sorcery tradition. Moore is far more than an imitator, though. He does some fresh, counterintuitive things with the genre conventions. More than once, he startled me into saying out loud, ‘I didn’t see that coming.'”
– Black Gate
“Hell, I couldn’t get enough.”
– Amanda J Spedding
"Rating: I LOVED IT."
– L K Evans
Top customer reviews
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"Merros had no desire to be dinner. To that end he called for his soldiers to get their asses in gear."
"He was very grateful for the ability to sound like he wasn’t ready to piss himself as he took careful aim and fired."
"Really, it was hard to say which was more exquisite, the torture of shattered hands or a broken heart. Poets and physicians each have their own answers."
For me, Merros was hands down my favorite character. What I quoted above was in his PoV within the first chapter, except for the very last one. It was his voice that kept me glued to this book.
The story is an interesting one set in interesting lands. Merros, an ex-soldier turned mercenary, is hired by a wizard and advisor to the king to go into the Blasted Lands, which are barren ice lands, and create a map of the lands. Other expeditions in the past never faired well, so there’s already a sense of doom. Anyway, in these lands Merros comes across a race of people. These people want to travel to his homeland and start relations. Merros escorts them back.
Now, obviously that’s really, really dumbed down. There’s a few other stories going on, but they kinda all tie into these people coming to Merros’s home. But what makes the story engaging is the fact you’re never sure if you can trust these people. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Now, these new people are very interesting; solving disputes through violence, honor through fighting abilities, and so on. The story spends a lot of time exploring the differences between Merros and these new people. We get to hop into the minds of a few of these Blasted Land natives as the PoV wanders to a few different characters, and it definitely gives you a perspective from both sides. Still, something always feels off about the exchanges, which again is what keeps the reader glued.
Despite all the cultural exploration, the book moves rather quickly. It had enough fighting and action to keep the pages turning. The cast was diverse and entertaining, fleshed out nicely. I enjoyed them all, but Merros had hooked me from the beginning and I always looked forward to his PoV.
As for the world, it felt very nicely developed to me, and I never felt bogged down by history lessons. Yet Moore wove information into the plot effectively. Traveling through the Blasted Lands was my favorite because it was such a harsh and foreign environment compared to where fantasy is usually based. And Moore did an excellent job of describing the scene without boring me to tears.
Overall, if you’re looking for something that goes a bit off the beaten track in terms of setting, you should pick this up. It was a fast read, and as I said, entertaining.
The only reason it wasn't a 5 star was the first quarter or so of the book being mostly average at best and that I felt the characters for the most part were flat and had no real personality.
Mr. Moore has written a heroic fantasy as good as there is available. He has peopled it with interesting characters: soldiers and mages, kings and courtiers, brutal, hulking enemies and fearsome beasts. And that is only in volume 1 of what I think is , so far, a four part series.
If they are all as good as " The Seven Forges" I am going to be busy for a while.
There is enough slashing combat to satisfy any desire, along with Royal treachery, secret plots and a few romances.
Most recent customer reviews
Not one of the characters makes a decision that has any effect in the whole outcome of the series.
Would not recommend.