[ARC Review] – The Blacksmith Queen

The Scarred Earth Saga Book 1 by G.A. Aiken
Published on: August 27, 2019

In this new fantasy book series, we get to see the rise of a new queen, who happens to be a blacksmith. However, the rise to the throne isn’t always easy, and along the way we get to meet centaurs, dwarves, elves, barbarians, dragons, and more.


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 prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals. 

Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …


“The great king had barely taken his last breath before one brother took the head of another.”

I loved this opening line. I loved how there’s no delaying the start of the story – it just gets right into it. What then follows within this prologue is several pages of brother against brother action. However, even though this sounds quite bloody, there is a humorous tone about this book that is very engaging. Most of the brothers have earned a title for themselves, not Duke, Earl, etc. Instead, the titles are something that is more aligned with their moral character and not necessarily titles that most of us want to achieve in life, such as ‘Straton the Devourer.’ When all is said and done only a few brothers remain, the army loyalties have split, and we learn that it has been prophesied that instead of a King, there will be a Queen.

What I loved was how fast the book flew by while reading it. This stems from two main things the author did really well – had a good story that is well plotted out and interesting characters. Very interesting and entertaining characters. The characters, and there are several, have quite unique personalities. Some are a bit over-the-top, but all have a purpose and are typically very loyal to each other, even when their very words and actions differ with this opinion.

One thing to note when determining whether to read this book or not is that the story does include crude behavior and foul language. I didn’t personally care for it and would have been ok without, but that is my own personal reading taste and may not be yours.

Rating: 4 stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

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