PUBLISHER: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
DATE PUBLISHED: 19th September 2016
Scholar. Slave. Warrior. Wizard.
On a planet far from Earth, descendants of marooned space travelers fight a decades-long war. Shy scholar Victoria knows nothing of this conflict until pirates kidnap and sell her to the sadistic tyrant behind it. He keeps her naked and locked in a tower, subjecting her to months of psychological torture. After seizing an opportunity to escape, Vic joins the fight against her former captor and begins walking a bloody path toward revenge.
As the Blade, Vic gains glory raiding her enemy’s forces, but the ordeal in his tower haunts her. Bitter memories keep her from returning the love of the kindhearted Prince Ashel, whose family has fended off the tyrant’s invading army for a generation. When enemy soldiers capture Ashel, Vic embarks on a quest to rescue him and, on the journey, discovers a source of spectacular power. With wizardry, Vic can rescue the prince, end the war, and wreak the vengeance she craves, but she might also destroy her only chance for peace.
I received this book as a review copy from NetGalley.
As I wound my way through this story I couldn’t help but reflect on how much this felt like the graphic novel series Saga. This book is a Sci-Fi, Fantasy adventure based on a planet far from Earth.
This book takes the general tropes of damsel in distress and hero and tips them on their head. Vic’s world is torn apart when she is taken from her home by pirates and sold into slavery and the sex trade to a warlord in a far off land. She is broken down, torn apart and then manages to escape and becomes a part of the royal family. Ashel is a prince, a scholar and a minstrel, he never thought about entering the battlefield. However, after something horrible happens he finds himself picking up a sword. Now Vic, a captain in the army who has made a name for herself, has to rescue Ashel from the warlord who tormented her long ago.
An element of the story that interested me was the cultural view points of the sex trade and slavery. In the country Vic calls home she is appalled by the concept of trading another person and this just does not happen. However, she finds herself kidnapped and taken to a far off land where these practices are common place and she is expected to love the Warlord to whom is sold. I found these differing point of view to be a much needed commentary in fiction about human rights and the impact of one’s cultural views.
I also noted some elements of the concept of domestic abuse. The warlord never laid a hand on Vic. But, the emotional and psychological trauma that she faced was extreme. The lack of bruises or physical evidence of abuse does not mean that the abuse did not happen.
I like that, even years down the road when Vic is a feared captain in the military, it is still evident that she has emotional scars over the trauma she has faced and these don’t just go away.
All of this is packed into a story that already has elements of magic, spirit dreams, battles, death… something for everyone.
Overall, I found that this book touched on some very hot topics and made the reader take a step back to consider their own point of view. I definitely recommend you give this one a try. I am giving The Wizards Forge a rating of 4/5.
Keep Calm and Read On,