Have you ever seen Troy or The Mummy? Well, that’s where my mind’s eye kept going while reading this, except, this is not set in Greece or Egypt. And there are no quippy one-liners, and you definitely do not get to see Brad Pitt’s ass. There is just loads and loads of fire, and So. Much. Fighting., and So. Much. Death, and stupid squabbling gods ruining things for all the regular folks.
So, why the three cups you ask? Normally I like loads of fire, and fighting, and death? You are correct. I do like those things. This book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very captivating either. That said, I was at the tail end of a cruise when I started it, and I was getting sick. I got this horrible, yucky cold, and it is still lingering. So, I was taking some pretty heavy duty cold medicine, and I was very, very sleepy. This may or may not have had some affect on my reading of this novel. Just, ya know, as an FYI.
The Fire and the Forge weaves together several different story lines. We meet Gaius and Imharok, blacksmith and apprentice, neither of whom fit in to their town. These two eventually meet a Qo-Hadast (Shadefolk) girl, Asherah, who opens Imharok’s eyes to the larger world stage. There is Caelos, god of fire, and his brother Ferraros, who falls in love with Caelos’ human wife, Libera. Ferraros and Libera sneak off in the night to try to live a normal life, bringing them into contact with one of the characters we’ve already met. Additionally, there are Gaius’ brother and his wife, Claudia, whose importance doesn’t really come into play until the end of the book.
The telling of all of these people’s stories weaves back and forth, from past to present and back again, from one person to another, until at the end, when we finally get to see how all the characters are related. It got a bit confusing at times, and I’m not sure if that’s because the writing was confusing or because I was hopped up on cold medicine. Le sigh.
Anyhoo, apart from the structure, the writing itself is good, but I’m afraid I just found it a rather forgettable and somewhat bland tale. In fact, I had to go back and look things up so I could write this review. The story did not stick with me. It is book one in the Pantheon series, but I have no desire to read the rest of the series. I guess this one just didn’t click with me. The rest of the reviews I read were pretty much raves, so you might want to take that into consideration.
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.