1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten
2 star = poor; a total waste of time
3 star = good; worth the effort
4 star = very good; what writing should be
5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others
STORY: When a coastal village is attacked by the seafaring, cannibalistic Ekwesh, a young thrall, Alv, is spared by their leader, Mylio the Mastersmith. In the shadow of the Great Ice, the sinister Mylio makes the boy his apprentice. Thus starts the journey for Alv (later named Elof) who discovers the ability within himself to smith items of power beyond what he or others imagine. His journeys take him to the deepest mountains of the duerger and to the lands of the children of the forest then to the battlements of the Southerners where he alone may have the ability to turn the tides of the coming Ice.
Several series I read in High School Ive hated later as an adult (i.e. Dragonlance). But this series still kept me turning page after page in anticipation of what will happen next. I have no complaints about the setting, characters, plot, sense of originality or overall writing.
The only complaint I have is that it seemed at a couple of points that a female duerger (dwarf in my mind and based on authors descriptions) spoke in the exact same matter as a Southern Lord. This got a bit irritating for me, but the rest of the story allowed me to overlook this.
This is one of those well crafted stories that build up to a single climatic event vs. the current trend in media where every 15 minutes a climatic event occurs. But nowhere along the lines of building up to the event did I find the story slow, cliche, or boring. This is definitely up there in my top 5 series of all time. Get your hands on a copy ASAP. You won?t be disappointed.
Since I finally tracked down all six books in the related series (all out of print and last 3 nearly impossible to get in the States), today I reread book 1 The Anvil of Ice, while sitting and waiting for jury duty.
I can't think of any other book where the main character grows/learns to become a magesmith (can imbue power into items he crafts). I think this makes the story fresh and unique. I especially appreciate there are no cliche prophecies of the chosen one who will come one day to fight off the dark ones. That ruins so many stories for me, but lucky not present here.
Again I'm left very satisfied with this read, which solves a major plot, but also ends like a cliffhanger.
You could choose to stop with book 1 or keep reading. I immediately pulled book 2 out of the garage and am starting that now.