FORGING SILVER INTO STARS, by Brigid Kemmerer, Bloomsbury YA, June 7, 2022, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
Return to the land of Emberfall in Brigid Kemmerer’s latest young adult novel, Forging Silver into Stars.
Magic has been banished in the land of Syhl Shallow for as long as best friends Jax and Callyn can remember. They once loved the stories of the powerful magesmiths and mythical scravers who could conjure fire or control ice, but now they’ve learned that magic only leads to danger: magic is what killed Callyn’s parents, leaving her alone to raise her younger sister. Magic never helped Jax, whose leg was crushed in an accident that his father has been punishing him for ever since. Magic won’t save either of them when the tax collector comes calling, threatening to take their homes if they can’t pay what they owe.
Meanwhile, Jax and Callyn are astonished to learn magic has already returned to Syhl Shallow — in the form of a magesmith who’s now married to their queen. Now, the people of Syhl Shallow are expected to allow dangerous magic in their midst, and no one is happy about it.
When a stranger rides into town offering Jax and Callyn silver in exchange for holding secret messages for an anti-magic faction, the choice is obvious — even if it means they may be aiding in a plot to destroy their new king. It’s a risk they’re both willing to take. That is, until another visitor arrives: handsome Lord Tycho, the King’s Courier, the man who’s been tasked with discovering who’s conspiring against the throne.
Suddenly, Jax and Callyn find themselves embroiled in a world of shifting alliances, dangerous flirtations, and ancient magic . . . where even the deepest loyalties will be tested. —Synopsis provided by Bloomsbury YA
I am a fan of Brigid Kemmerer and have enjoyed pretty much everything I’ve read by her up until now.
Forging Silver into Stars returns to Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker world. It’s a series that spans three books — A Curse So Dark and Lovely, A Heart So Fierce and Broken, and A Vow So Bold and Deadly. I’ve only read the first book in the trilogy.
Forging Silver into Stars is supposed to be a standalone novel, but after reading a quarter of the way through, I can say you need to read the above trio first. Without it, you feel like you’re missing something. Sure, there’s enough information provided to “catch up,” but it’s like looking at a painting without the colors. You miss the nuances.
It was enough of a problem for me that I did not finish the novel. But that doesn’t mean the writing was bad. In fact, Kemmerer’s ability to set a scene remains excellent as does her character studies. I was particularly moved by the first blushes of feeling between Jax and Tycho, which felt powerful and authentic and were almost enough on their own to get me to keep reading.
If you’re new to the Cursebreaker world, do yourself a favor and read the first three books, I think that Forging Silver into Stars will be much more enjoyable overall if you do.
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