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Review of Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe

Review of Forging Divinity by Andrew RoweForging Divinity by Andrew Rowe
Series: The War of Broken Mirrors
on February 12th, 2015
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Pages: 309


Some say that in the city of Orlyn, godhood is on sale to the highest bidder. Thousands flock to the city each year, hoping for a chance at immortality.

Lydia Hastings is a knowledge sorcerer, capable of extracting information from anything she touches. When she travels to Orlyn to validate the claims of the local faith, she discovers a conspiracy that could lead to a war between the world's three greatest powers. At the focal point is a prisoner who bears a striking resemblance to the long-missing leader of the pantheon she worships.

Rescuing the prisoner would require risking her carefully cultivated cover - but his execution could mean the end of everything Lydia holds dear.

Certainty in the face of variables is a sign of insanity.

I loved this as much as I didn’t, which is why it fell into my LIKED vs. my LOVED rating. I felt like a pendulum trying to decide, but in the end there were a few more negatives than positives. But it didn’t get close to my INDIFFERENT rating, so that should say how much I liked it.

I couldn’t really summarize this as the story revolves around three characters all on their own mission that ended up overlapping one other. I’m afraid if I tried I’d accidentally give something away. So the book blurb is going to have to do.

The world was nicely developed, in my opinion. I never felt cheated. Matter of fact, in the beginning there’s a lot thrown at you. And I never felt like it let up. Not in a cool way, but in a let’s-get-all-this-out-now way. Normally I can go along with info dumps when it’s worked into a dialog. That happened in a lot of places, but it was sooooo long that I ended up skipping, hoping I’d understand later. I did, so yay me and yay to Rowe for keeping it clear. The world, however, never came close to the amount we learned about the magic system. Some people are going to love it. For me—and keep in mind that I love love love magic—it was too much. Much like the world building, it felt long-winded and overcomplicated. I skimmed, and I fear I payed a price for that. I think if i would have been patient, some of it could have been more entertaining.

I liked the writing for the most part. Action scenes were incredible. I had a clear picture of what was happening. Those scenes were the reason this didn’t get a lower rating. They were really nifty, particularly those with Taelien. There were some typos, enough that I noticed by not enough to ruin the book for me.

Now, the reason I was enjoying this so much was the characters. Taelien was a badass, and his magic was by far my favorite. Manipulating metal might sound boring, but Rowe made it fun. Super fun! Taelien’s got a lot to find out about himself, and he truly wants to be a good person. He’s an easy character to root for, especially with his adventurous personality and slightly blind bravery. Our heroine, Lydia, was nicely gifted, but her magical ability of gaining knowledge about stuff just wasn’t as enthralling as magic used in a fight. Even so, she was a tough gal, collected, curious, and strong in her own right. Never a damsel in distress. Our other protagonist, Jonan, used sight magic—making himself invisible, looking through mirrors, and so forth. I never got as good of a feel for him as I did the other two. I could never quite peg his intentions.

Overall, I’d recommend this to those that like a traditional upbeat fantasy. It’s short and fun. Because of Taelien I’ll be picking up the second book. I’m curious about his story and where he’ll end up.

About Andrew Rowe

Andrew Rowe is a professional game designer for Obsidian Entertainment.

When he’s not crunching numbers for game balance, he runs Shades of Venaya, a swords and sorcery themed live-action role-playing game. In addition, he writes for pen and paper role-playing games.

Aside from game design and writing, Andrew watches a lot of anime, reads a metric ton of fantasy books, and plays every role-playing game he can get his hands on.

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