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  • perfect sequel

    While the first book had set up the world and the characters in the past, and with a little narration going on in the present as Tea is preparing to take on the world, The Heart Forger shifts the focus so as to simultaneously focus on the past as well as the present. In the past, Tea, after having bonded wit the azi, is hiding the fact of her having a daeva familiar. Meanwhile, some nobles across the land have been suffering from a sleeping sickness that even affects Kance. Coupled with the fact that the Faceless Aenah has been whispering secrets in her ear, Tea is starting to doubt the motives of the elders when it comes to Dark asha's well-being. In the present, Tea is waging war against the very elders who had exiled her, masterfully taking on the might of the kingdoms and the people who she called friends. An interesting effect that Chupeco wound into the tale was that the events in the past, as Tea is narrating to the the bard, sort of mirror the events in the present - so you get these parallels between the relationships that existed then and how they are now. Speaking of relationships, Tea and Fox both get romantic developments in this book. As for Tea, we already know it was Kalen who she fell in love with, and this book nicely slow burns that hate-to-love development into a amazing couple. As for Fox's love, Princess Inessa becomes a wonderful addition to the group as an ally and as a character who is pretty formidable. Speaking of additions, Likh features more prominently after being reluctantly inducted as an asha by the elders and demonstrating some pretty awesome magic skills, and is also being hinted as a love interest for Khalad. Khalad, the heart forger, is developed further as a character, because of his relationship to Tea in the present, as well as his work in the past to cure the sleeping sickness. Tea, meanwhile, gets the best turn in her character arc, as she goes from a celebrated asha in one time to a feared one in the other. The awe associated to her slowly becomes realized as she grows into her own power, and also realizes she was capable of much more than she was told. Narratively speaking, this was a strong sequel which felt perfect in nearly all aspects - pacing, plot, characters, world-building!

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  • Loved

    How does anyone write like this? But am so grateful they do. How wonerful to be able to escape into another passport reqired. Thanks Rin

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  • The story isn't over

    The fight against the second faceless gives us another story that you want to read in one go. I can hardly wait for the third and hopefully last volume.

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