Blade of Secrets is a Young Adult fantasy from the point of view of a protagonist with social anxiety. I loved this representation and related to Ziva so much. In fact, I loved a lot of this book including the closeness of Ziva and her sister Temra, the found family vibe going on and of course the romance. If you want a fast-paced read that has a light feel to it, I highly recommend Blade of Secrets.
Star rating: 4 stars
Ziva is the only magical blacksmith in existence, so people come from far and wide to commission weapons from her. She has created all sorts of crazy weapons from boomerang staffs to spears that never miss flesh, but when the warlord Kymora stops by Ziva knows she has to outdo herself. Distracted by a handsome stranger, Ziva accidentally makes a dangerous weapon that a) steals secrets from those it cuts and b) can kill people without contact. It’s the most powerful weapon that Ziva has made, and when she accidentally finds out Kymora plans to take over the continent, she knows Kymora can never have the blade in her possession.
Ziva lives alone with her younger sister Temra, so both of them have to leave the life they’ve built for themselves to try and escape Kymora and work out how to destroy the sword. They are joined by a mercenary the hire, Kellyn (hello handsome stranger), and a scholar called Petrik who is interested in interviewing Ziva for his book. I absolutely loved this found family dynamic, it was a joy to read with plenty of cute moments. I also adored that Ziva and Temra were so close, and that Temra was so supportive of Ziva and her anxiety. It reminded me a lot of my sister and completely warmed my heart.
The plot is very fast-paced so don’t expect a book that is full of details. I found this made it an enjoyable read for me as I didn’t have to concentrate too much, but also wished it didn’t wrap up so quickly. There is going to be a follow on book though which I am extremely excited about. It is written in first person present which I did find slightly irritating, but it was one of the better examples of books written like this. The romance is another thing that felt a little rollercoaster-like at times, and as we see Kellyn only from Ziva’s perspective it’s very back and forth in terms of whether she thinks he is a good character.
Overall this was a very fun read with amazing characters that I cared about a lot as I was reading. I’m looking forward to seeing where Tricia Levenseller takes the plot in the next book because it does end on a bit of a cliffhanger!