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. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are/>TheAiken.  New...

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

The Blacksmith Queen Reviews

  • Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)

    is book one in

    by G.A. Aiken.

    It’s in the same world as her

    series, but with new characters and locations. We get demon wolfs, centaurs, dwarfs, and a verity of characters.

    I love G.A. Aiken’s

    series, so when I heard we where going to be visiting the Centaurs well I was ecstatic. I love the crazy over the top characters created and couldn’t wait to dive into this new series. Many say this is different from her

    series. To me this series h

    is book one in

    by G.A. Aiken.

    It’s in the same world as her

    series, but with new characters and locations. We get demon wolfs, centaurs, dwarfs, and a verity of characters.

    I love G.A. Aiken’s

    series, so when I heard we where going to be visiting the Centaurs well I was ecstatic. I love the crazy over the top characters created and couldn’t wait to dive into this new series. Many say this is different from her

    series. To me this series has some of the same undertones with the outrageous characters, snark, humor, and great world building. It does have more battles and violence then her

    series.

    I loved how we got multiple POV’s in

    Aiken uses secondary characters to share the experiences and it offers something different and gives us a more menacing light on some.

    Our heroine Keeley is a blacksmith. She’s rude, surly, and violent, but she’s fun, very protective of her family, totally selfless and thinks outside the box. She’s all woman and you know she deserves a big tough hunk.

    The story was interesting yet simple. After a huge betrayal Keeley suddenly finds herself the next rightful Queen. She never wanted to be Queen and still she takes on the challenges set forth in front of her. Things aren’t ok! War has broken out with the late Kings children vivifying for his thrown and then theirs the issue with her younger sister. Then we have Caid and his fellow Centaurs who can only gird their loins for what might happen next.

    As for the romance Keeley and Caid’s grew steadily, culminating in a steamy love-scene.

    was so much fun. I can’t wait for the next installment nor can I wait to listen to the audio. It’s full of magical creatures, humor, and crazy family and friends.

  • 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 tradition that runs through her mo

    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**

    For more reviews, visit

  • 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 hav

    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!

  • 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. Ever

    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.

    ________________________________

    ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

    For more book recommendations, follow me on

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  • Aisling Zena

    This was bloody and gory and fantastic. Keeley Smythe was a great heroine and one that I will love following. Her and her family made for some very entertaining reading. Shelly Laurenston/G.A.Aiken keeps faithful to her formula with multiple POVs and quirky characters.

    The book takes place in the same world as her Dragon Kin series and I loved the way SL/GAA connected the two. The introductio5/9/194

    This was bloody and gory and fantastic. Keeley Smythe was a great heroine and one that I will love following. Her and her family made for some very entertaining reading. Shelly Laurenston/G.A.Aiken keeps faithful to her formula with multiple POVs and quirky characters.

    The book takes place in the same world as her Dragon Kin series and I loved the way SL/GAA connected the two. The introductions of Centaurs, Elves and Dwarves made me feel like I fell head first in a more fun and gory version of Lord of the Rings.

    The only thing that let me down was the romance aspect. The author paired the chaotic, strong Keeley with the grumpy, sour faced Caid which is her usual formula but I didn't feel any chemistry or heat or major attraction between them. The sex just felt like an afterthought towards the end of the book just to roundup all the bases. Other than that I loved the plot and the characters and cannot wait to read the next one!

    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!

  • 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 so... bleh. 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.

  • NAT.orious reads ☽

    Anybody checking out my updates on this book should know I tracked this book a while ago already on here and then realized that what I was actually fawning over was this

    fantastic NetGalley read.

    Same, bro, same. This bOverall.unite.]⤐read.[EDIT:★★✩✩✩

    Anybody checking out my updates on this book should know I tracked this book a while ago already on here and then realized that what I was actually fawning over was this

    fantastic NetGalley read.

    Same, bro, same. This book was ridiculous, and not in a good way.

    I had a hard time getting into this and the plot felt very forced and ungenuine. At one point I told somebody else that this book comes across like the dialogue-driven mocktail version of a proper original I didn't know of yet. I didn't notice how heavily G. A. relied on dialogue and that it seriously messed with the quality of this novel until another reviewer on here pointed it out. It hits the nail right on the head, though. Not only was there too much dialogue but it was also very bad and silly. What could have been a humorous book, just felt forced and annoying right around 25%. In general, there are some really funny lines in there but the overuse just makes it bland and exhausting:

    I was also very disappointed that the author depicted

    of the female characters she deemed powerful and righteous as violent warriors/blacksmiths. I notice and appreciate trying to give a wider range of powerful women roles to the readership - it's great - but this did

    turn out well. While the villains all seemed like intelligent and resourceful vicious ladies, the good characters just pulled their axes to call it a day.

    I agree that physically strong women with visible muscles and all are important. MY exboyfriend is one of these petty creatures stating women shouldn't have six-packs because it's not feminine, all the while sporting a beer belly himself [facepalm].

    If the overall tone of the book went a little bit more like the following instead of just smashing heads left and right, that would have been great.

    And this is when a wild and merciless race is kicked off. The witches have prophesied a new queen and the brothers will do everything to either kill her or instrumentalize her. Keeley will not let her sister be the puppet or murder victim of a bunch of entitled tosspots, but that is not quite as easy said as done

    _____________________

    = 2*

    = 2*

    = 2*

    = 2*

    = 2*

    = 2* (it

    possible, to mess up strong female characters)

    _____________________

  • Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    I read a lot of fantasy. It was the genre that first made me fall in love with reading. So I might be a bit biased. This book seemed to make a joke of the fantasy genre and that really bothered me. I am all for trying something new and expanding the genres in innovative ways. But this one just piled bad on top of bad.

    : About 85% of this book was dialogue. There were no passages tha/>:/>THE/>Actual

    I read a lot of fantasy. It was the genre that first made me fall in love with reading. So I might be a bit biased. This book seemed to make a joke of the fantasy genre and that really bothered me. I am all for trying something new and expanding the genres in innovative ways. But this one just piled bad on top of bad.

    : About 85% of this book was dialogue. There were no passages that weren't dialogue driven. First of all, that leads to a lot on confusion because actions, surroundings and settings aren't described properly. Secondly, it just feels static and monotone.

    : Partly because of the dialogue driven plot, the universe of this book was so poorly explained and built that I hard a terrible time trying to get into it. There is no background story, no explanation of anything, just a cluster of strange fantasy-elements with no attachment to anything. Might just be the worst world building I have ever encountered.

    : Now, I am not against swearing! I swear myself. But the amount of swearing in this book was simply off putting to me. And felt really unnecessary!

  • Tucker

    Is that Cinder vibes I'm getting?

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