Review of The Blasted Lands by James A. Moore

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June 25, 2014 by mmileti

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            The Blasted Lands is the second book in the Seven Forges trilogy.  I reviewed the first book in the series, Seven Forges, here: 

 

https://avidfantasyreviews.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/review-of-seven-forges-by-james-a-moore/

 

As I mentioned in this review, Seven Forges is written in the tone of a prequel, and though I liked it, I was much more excited to read Blasted Lands.  The end of Seven Forges really hooks the reader, and it is not until the last few chapters that the conflict of the series actually begins.

            I am happy to affirm that I enjoyed Blasted Lands much more than the first book in the series, and Moore has finally fully engaged me in the Seven Forges series.  Blasted Lands more than makes up for the action that Seven Forges lacked, and the pacing of the book is also considerably faster.  Moore also expanded his world building in this book, while at the same time revealing much more about the characters and places with which the reader was already familiar.  It was refreshing to read a second book in a series that avoided the “second book slump” that so many authors seem to fall into. 

            The rest of this review will contain major spoilers for Seven Forges; so beware if you have not yet read it.

            The Blasted Lands picks up right where Seven Forges left off.  A member of the Sa’ba Taalor (the race of people who inhabit the Seven Forges) has assassinated the Emperor of the Fellein Empire during a diplomatic mission.  Now a war between the two peoples seems inevitable, and in many ways this war has already started.  Merros Dulver is the new commander of the Fellein armies and he fears that a war with the violent and incredibly deadly Sa’ba Taalor could be a disaster for the people of the Fellein Empire.  He must bring together a fractured army and teach them to fight the most savage and skilled fighters the world has ever seen, all while trying to please the new Empress and follow the whims of a mysterious wizard who has an agenda all his own.

            I really recommend this book, even to those that did not enjoy the first book in the series.  This series is gearing up to be a unique epic fantasy full of war, gods, magic, and monsters.  There are so many different factions in this story, and I loved how Moore managed to make a large cast of characters and several different storylines work together into a cohesive and fast paced read.  A map would have been helpful, as the story covers many different areas of a large world, and I became rather confused about the orientation of these places in regards to each other. 

            This book finally gave the reader plenty of action, a deeper look into Moore’s remarkable world, and a story on an epic scale.  These were all elements that I felt were missing in Seven Forges, and The Blasted Lands is where Moore’s story really begins.  The end of the book also had me on the edge of my seat, wanting more.  I will definitely be reading the next book in the Seven Forges as soon as it comes out.

            I am happy to rate this novel an 8/10, and I am glad my interest in this series finally paid off.

            I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher (Angry Robot) in return for an honest review.

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If you would like to submit a book for review, or you have any questions about Avid Reviews, you can contact me by email: mrmileti(at)gmail(dot)com

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