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This cover is peeeerfect for this book.

Vacation is over, time to go back into the world. Work and chores and blah. Luckily, I had this book to help my woeful transition back into the world of being an adult along.

Oh, and also, I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review of it. Coming right up! 😀

The temples of the Forgefather have fallen. The clerics and defenders that could once be found across the nine lands are no more. Priests huddle in the great temple, clinging to the echoes of their lost religion. But the Father has fallen silent. There are none who still hear his voice.

The mines of Aspiration lie far below the temple’s marble halls. Slaves toil in the blackness, striving to earn their way into the church and the light. Wynn has been sold into this fate, traded for a handful of silver. In the depths of the mines, where none dare carry flame, he must meet his tally or die. But there are things that lurk in that darkness, and still darker things within the hearts of men.

When the souls bound to the great forge are released in a failed ritual, one novice flees down into the darkness of the mines. The soulwraiths know only hunger, the risen know only hate. In the blackest depths Kharios must seek a light to combat the darkness which descends.

Betrayal and guilt were like old lovers, reaching for each other in the silence.

Guys, the whole book is full of imagery like this. Sentences like these just grab me, though. Love it. Looove it.

I really liked this book. It surprised the hell out of me more than once, which was fantastic, but most of all, I found it really hard to put down. Unfortunately, I ended up reading the bulk of it while I was very, very busy at work, so I didn’t get to just sit there and consume it in one go like I wanted to. I did end up using it as a sort of getaway from things, though. A vacation from returning from a vacation, if you will. So, it worked out in the end after all.

The bulk of the story takes place in a mine, and it’s written in a way that really brought me right into the story. It was dark, dirty, and legitimately frightening in parts. I didn’t read the whole blurb before I jumped right in, either, so the second half of the book caught me off guard, and took me for a bit of a thrill ride through the mines with a bunch of creepy shit chasing after me.

The book is told from the POV of two characters, Wynn and Kharios. Wynn is a teenager who is just entering the mines, having been sold into indentured servitude by his father. Kharios is a novice in the temple of the Forgefather, a failing church that used to thrive. The mines are the bottom of the chain of this world’s people. People in Aspiration aspire to be chosen to work as novices in the temple, who then become priests, et cetera.

This one had twists that legit surprised me, though early on, I did guess at one of the bigger revelations near the end and wasn’t wrong. That being said, my guessing of it didn’t detract at all from how awesomely it was sculpted into the story. It was superbly done! Guessing it right was actually pretty awesome, if I’m honest. Seeing the revelation come to light made me more excited than anything. 😀

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Remember playing the original Minecraft, circa 2010, mining along, minding (mining lololokay I’ll stop) your own business when these fuckers show up to ruin your day?! I FUCKING DO. It’s kind of like that, sometimes… a little 😀

I loved this book. Far, far more than I thought that I’d love a fantasy novel that revolves around religion, mining, and a combination of the two. Color me surprised! Definitely 5 out of 5! What a fantastic story!

It comes out on June 30th! You can grab a copy here!

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