The Blacksmith Queen

The Blacksmith Queen

When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken.  The Old King Is Dead With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Ba...

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Title:The Blacksmith Queen
Author:G.A. Aiken
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Blacksmith Queen Reviews

  • Ivy Deluca

    This tale begins when the old King dies, his family immediately splitting into different factions, killing each other and anyone unfortunate enough to be close to them in the quest to become the next ruler. However, a prophecy foretells the rule of a new Queen. A commoner. Someone who’s going to be facing some big, big, deadly problems….

    Anyhoodle, Keeley, our blacksmith heroine, is a caretaker by nature. Her parents depend on her to help them on their farm, run the family forge (a tradi

    This tale begins when the old King dies, his family immediately splitting into different factions, killing each other and anyone unfortunate enough to be close to them in the quest to become the next ruler. However, a prophecy foretells the rule of a new Queen. A commoner. Someone who’s going to be facing some big, big, deadly problems….

    Anyhoodle, Keeley, our blacksmith heroine, is a caretaker by nature. Her parents depend on her to help them on their farm, run the family forge (a tradition that runs through her mother's side of the family for generations) and to raise the family - yes, all twelve siblings and counting. She’s all about her family and protecting them, bickering with some of them, but in the end, family is all to her. Her journey centers this tale and what happens when that prophecy decrees that her sister Beatrix is to be the next Queen. As you can imagine, there’s a whole bunch of people (and other creatures) not happy with this and it becomes very clear when the killing starts. While fighting, Keeley meets an envoy of Amichai, kilt-wearing centaur shifters, including Caid, a warrior who’s tasked with protecting the potential future Queen. Keeley and the Amichai, along with her sister Beatrix, set out to meet with the Witches of Amhuinn, the ones responsible for the prophecy. Along the way, alliances are tested, betrayals are inevitable, everyone’s in danger, snarky banter abounds and a (very little) bit of romance happens.

    G.A. Aiken, aka Shelly Laurenston, aka my favorite author, has certain hallmarks to her writing. Her stories center around relationships, some romantic, some familial, all with a mix of biting humor and deep affection, even when those relationship insist on testing you. I adore her action sequences, because she’s great at setting the scene and she doesn’t hold back with the violence when necessary. Her heroines are typically strong, take charge, occasionally vicious, always smart, and best of all, willing to go ovaries to the wall to do what they have to do. Her heroes have their own strengths, appreciate a heroine who’s equal (or greater) and are not diminished in the least if they are occasionally the ones who need saving. Both fight for themselves and for what they believe in, and there’s usually some shifting involved, like lions, tigers, bears, dragons, or in this case, centaurs. So, I appreciate the way her mind works, the way she structures her stories, and her humor is very much in line with mine. Let me tell you, with the start of this new series, I wasn’t disappointed.

    The ‘verse that she’s created here is set adjacent to her Dragon Kin series, but it is absolutely not necessary to read that series to enjoy this. Her worldbuilding unfolds in an interesting way, bringing the reader into this story by beginning with a minor character’s POV. It gives a bird’s eye view of the big players in this saga, and sets up the overarching storyline, if that makes sense. *blinks* If not, let’s roll with it. I loved getting to know Keeley and her motley crew of kin, as well as the herd of Amichai. Their interactions made me laugh, made me like them, made me invest in them, and by extension, in this story. Plus, I just enjoy road trip romances, since the potential mix of adventure and romance in close quarters is so high. Speaking of….

    This is all about personal preference - I’m a self-professed romance junkie. It’s the thing that lures me in and keeps me hooked to a series. The romance in this story is NOT the focal point, but more incidental. If you are looking for a strong romance element to the story, this may not be for you. Personally, the story itself is intriguing enough to keep me interested, but the lack of romance is the only thing that I wish I had more of.

    Now, I loathe cliffhangers, it is no secret, but I do not mind an “unfinished” type of ending in a fantasy series, which is what this is. I was happy with the way things end, because it’s not a sharp cliffhanger that would make me throw my kindle. It gave me a sense of resolution for this chapter of the story and left me wanting more. That’s all I ask for.

    Yes, I loved this. I really enjoyed the fantasy elements, the humor and the strong action in this story. The dash of romance was nice, even if I wanted more of it. While I feel there is an “ending” of sorts, it is clearly only the beginning of this series and I can tell you now, I’m all in for this bumpy ride. If you like fantasy series, you may enjoy this. I definitely did.

    **ARC provided by publisher via netgalley for review**

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  • Mindy Lou's Book Review

    This was totally my jam! What a fun book. I just recently learned that G.A. Aiken is another penname for Shelly Laurenston, so I was thrilled to dive into this book.

    It had everything I know this author provides. Her specialty in that quirky sense of humor she has, as well as an entertaining cast of characters and storyline.

    You are getting quite the variety of characters in this book. Just in book one there were witches, Centaurs, Dwarves, dragons, elves, demon wolves and more. I have a feeling

    This was totally my jam! What a fun book. I just recently learned that G.A. Aiken is another penname for Shelly Laurenston, so I was thrilled to dive into this book.

    It had everything I know this author provides. Her specialty in that quirky sense of humor she has, as well as an entertaining cast of characters and storyline.

    You are getting quite the variety of characters in this book. Just in book one there were witches, Centaurs, Dwarves, dragons, elves, demon wolves and more. I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg in this series.

    The Blacksmith Queen is pretty brutal and bloody, what with a war for the Kingdom going on but I have to admit, a lot of that battling was more humorous because of the way this author writes.

    This is not a standalone series but doesn't end on a huge cliffhanger, more of a stop to breathe moment. I had a lot of fun reading book one and I can't wait for the rest of the series!

  • Michele

    4 1/2 "fantastical" stars!

    The Blacksmith Queen delivers a new fantasy series, complete with a kick-ass heroine and a full slate of supporting characters, including a love interest that is perfect for her, a crazy family and some freaky, demonic wolves.

    Keeley is an unlikely choice to be Queen but apparently she's destined for it. Not only that, the people need her to be Queen since all of the royals preceding her have been evil and self-centered and the current Queen is the worst yet. To accompli

    4 1/2 "fantastical" stars!

    The Blacksmith Queen delivers a new fantasy series, complete with a kick-ass heroine and a full slate of supporting characters, including a love interest that is perfect for her, a crazy family and some freaky, demonic wolves.

    Keeley is an unlikely choice to be Queen but apparently she's destined for it. Not only that, the people need her to be Queen since all of the royals preceding her have been evil and self-centered and the current Queen is the worst yet. To accomplish this, Keeley has to recruit an army and other supporters so she is launched on an adventure which leads to non-stop action. Along with the world building and introduction of characters, there was always something happening. It was pure entertainment!

    Seriously, what more could you want? This book is full of magic, mystery, betrayal, centaurs, dragons, dwarves, elves, witches and so much more. I enjoyed every mystical minute of it. To make it even more fun, there is some humor thrown in which alleviates the impact of the blood and gore of battle. I can't wait to see what this series brings next. I hope there is more on tap for Queen Keeley and Caid as I love how their relationship has developed and it will be interesting to see how that works out with her trying to become Queen over the entire kingdom.

    Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Corina

    OMG OMG OMG OMG - a new series by the queen of crazy shifters ♡

    I'm counting the days...

    4.5 stars

    The Blacksmith Queen is the FIRST book in a brand new series. And I was elated when I realized that EVERYTHING I loved about the Dragon Kin series is incorporated into this new series.

    The awesome and rambunctious characters. The over the top family dynamic that makes me crack up. The action. And the strong women that really are the center of it all. Everything I love and adore about this author's book

    OMG OMG OMG OMG - a new series by the queen of crazy shifters ♡

    I'm counting the days...

    4.5 stars

    The Blacksmith Queen is the FIRST book in a brand new series. And I was elated when I realized that EVERYTHING I loved about the Dragon Kin series is incorporated into this new series.

    The awesome and rambunctious characters. The over the top family dynamic that makes me crack up. The action. And the strong women that really are the center of it all. Everything I love and adore about this author's books was there. The guys that can't stop but fall in love with these women, including their crazy antics - this book had it ALL - and I was in heaven!

    I'm so damn happy that the author started this new series. I have no idea what the next book is about, I hope it's still about Keely and Caid because their journey, at least Keely's, has barley started BUT I also can see so many future books about the other characters, especially the women.

    The cast was amazing, very similar to Dragon Kin which will delight the fans.

    There are still many secrets to uncover, and I mean not only plots but also backstories of many of the characters. The author built an incredibly entertaining and promising cast around Keely, and the possibilities are endless.

    Even better, the world of the Scarred Earth Saga plays in the same world as Dragon Kin, and I'm a bit excited about a possible cameo.

    I thought Keely and Annwyl had a wee bit in common, which delighted me even more. Like I said - this book made me very happy.

    So, long story short, if you love fantasy, strong but also at times crazy heroines, witty dialogues, and lots of action, you'll enjoy this story for sure. You'll get sucked into a fabulous and rambunctious fantasy tale with centaurs, dragons, dwarves and elves. It's bloody and gory at times, but boy it's also entertaining from beginning to end.

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    ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

    For more book recommendations, follow me on

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  • Marta Cox

    When I choose to pick up a book by this author no matter what name she uses I know it's going to be a wild and hilarious ride. So discovering this is set within her Dragon Kin world had me positively salivating ! Does she include a Dragon I wondered and oo is this author sneaky because she not only expands the universe I absolutely love but adds Centaurs !

    Ok the important things you should know are our heroine is Keeley and she's rude, she's a bit surly and she's very violent. Ok I'm not exactl

    When I choose to pick up a book by this author no matter what name she uses I know it's going to be a wild and hilarious ride. So discovering this is set within her Dragon Kin world had me positively salivating ! Does she include a Dragon I wondered and oo is this author sneaky because she not only expands the universe I absolutely love but adds Centaurs !

    Ok the important things you should know are our heroine is Keeley and she's rude, she's a bit surly and she's very violent. Ok I'm not exactly selling her right now but she's also dedicated to her family, totally selfless oh and did I mention has the ability to think outside the box meaning she can run rings round those who get in her way ! Keeley might not be some pretty, young, nubile thing but she is most definitely all woman and you just know that she deserves a big, tough hunk of her own !

    The story is a simple one in that following a huge betrayal Keeley suddenly finds herself as apparently the next, rightful Queen ! All would be ok but the late Kings children are set on removing anyone who gets in their way and then there's the slight ( who am I kidding ?) problem of her younger sister who is also prophesied as the next Queen. Keeley needs an army and luckily the Centaurs are set on helping her but no matter how far Keeley travels she will always be drawn back to her family who I have to say are totally bonkers.

    If you pick this up expecting a hot and steamy romance you might be a tad disappointed but stick with it because this is only the beginning of what I predict will be a fabulous series.

    This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

  • Natalie ✩★ The Biblioholic ★✩

    Shelly Laurenston... where have you been all my life? You gave me a story I could REALLY sink my teeth into. The Blacksmith Queen is full of non-stop action mixed in with colorful characters, witty banter, obnoxious silly fun, hilarious hijinks, and plenty of OTT moments to leave me quite entertained. I love when I try a new-to-me author and instantly become a fan. This story had swords clashing, magical elements, centaurs, dwarves, elves, and a mighty hammer. The women were fearless and the men

    Shelly Laurenston... where have you been all my life? You gave me a story I could REALLY sink my teeth into. The Blacksmith Queen is full of non-stop action mixed in with colorful characters, witty banter, obnoxious silly fun, hilarious hijinks, and plenty of OTT moments to leave me quite entertained. I love when I try a new-to-me author and instantly become a fan. This story had swords clashing, magical elements, centaurs, dwarves, elves, and a mighty hammer. The women were fearless and the men WEREN'T intimidated or acting like fools. In fact, female independence was not only encouraged, it was NORMAL!! I even got to watch two of these wonderful characters fall in love amidst the constant battles, the infighting, the betrayals, the danger, and the quest for peace.

    If this is what I can expect from this author, I've definitely been missing out! If you love strong characters, an emotional and moving story, along with a fast-paced, suspenseful and bloody plot as much as I do, you DO NOT want to pass on this book. It's got it all and I'm beyond excited to get my hands on the next installment.

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  • Zainab

    I hate using the word 'disappointment' for a book (I don't know why) but this

    a disappointment.

    One thing that matters a lot to me about a book is the dialogues. The dialogues were just not good I mean honestly they kind of felt childish considering the MC is above 20 (I'm not even sure what her age is tbh)

    I really wanted to like this but unfortunately I did not.

  • Tucker

    Is that Cinder vibes I'm getting?

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  • Aisling Zena

    Loving the premise of this! A prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne, fierce warriors that are really Centaurs, a badass female blacksmith protecting her family and an excerpt that makes me wanna read more. What else could I want? Oh yeah, this book in my library,right this minute!

  • ♠️ TABI ♠️

    the blurb:

    me, who adores oddball fantasy: yEssssssSsss

    sees the author's bio & various shirtless covers of the other books she's written:

    me, who prefers to avoid "sexy" books: . . . yay

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