3 Things About This Book
| A Return to The Cursebreakers World | Disability and Queer Rep | More of the Author’s Enthralling Writing |
Forging Silver into Stars brings us back to the Cursebreakers‘ world years after the conclusion of A Vow So Bold and Deadly. Though this time, we revisit this world through the perspectives of new characters and old supporting characters—something I greatly appreciate because although I would’ve loved to read the story in any of the original main cast’s POV again, I think this change provides an opportunity for the Cursebreakers‘ world to be expanded beyond the limitations of those characters.
And, true to expectations, it did. Set mostly in Syhl Shallow, Forging Silver into Stars follows Callyn, an older sister and baker who’s in debt because of her deceased father’s actions, and Jax, a disabled blacksmith who’s also in debt due to his abusive father’s preference for drinking away their money. The story also follows Tycho, who is from the original trilogy and is now King’s Courier. Through these alternating POVs, not only did we get to learn more about the world beyond castle walls, but also witness different, realistic perspectives on the aftermath of ending a conflict between two kingdoms.
However, as the main characters aren’t the actual targets of the anti-magic faction’s schemes in Syhl Shallow, there were several instances that made the story feel convenient—all for the sake of providing those characters with more links to the main plot. Some of the events that happened between Callyn and Jax also felt ridiculous, especially since they are supposedly best friends. Honestly, I still can’t wrap my head around how she could just not visit or confirm with her own eyes the safety of her best friend after witnessing his abusive father being hauled off by the magistrate. Like, is caring supposed to only be a one-way thing when it comes to best friends?
So yeah, you can probably tell by now that I really dislike Callyn. She’s selfish, easily manipulated and a piss-poor best friend, but she’s also undeniably human. Though, if she were real, she should thank her lucky stars that Kemmerer’s writing is too darn good for me to stay pissed off enough to DNF the book. Jax and Tycho, on the other hand, were sweethearts. I love their characters and their growth. Even so, I have to admit that none of these new main characters are as interesting as Grey and Rhen and their dynamic, or as compelling as Harper.
In fact, despite their delegation to side cast status, the few appearances Grey and Rhen made were brilliant reiterations of their core characteristics while providing more facets to who they are. I’ve seen some reviews mentioning that Grey was intentionally written in such a way so that readers would start disliking him, but I disagree. It made him a more complex character and gave him solid flaws that accompanied his strengths.
Overall, what made Forging Silver into Stars a strong read for me is undeniably the author’s enthralling writing (it’s either magic or a curse because even when I hate a character, I’m still hooked by the writing). If you loved the Cursebreakers series and don’t mind any of the abovementioned negatives, give this spin-off a read.
Thank you so much Pansing for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review! Forging Silver into Stars by Brigid Kemmerer is available at all good bookstores.