Author Rin Chupeco is back with the second book in The Bone Witch series. Lady Tea is now bound mentally to a dragon-like creature called an azi. Afraid to tell anyone, she continues life at the palace with the hope of finding a cure for her teacher Mykaela. She is also still in love with the crown prince, though she knows that hope of him loving her back is pretty slim. After the King surprises the kingdom by announcing his son’s betrothal to a neighboring princess, Tea is heartbroken but more angered that no one warned her of the impending engagement. She and the kingdom are surprised when the prince falls into a “sleeping sickness” and all eyes are turned to Tea and her entourage. The group must find the Master Heart Forger to see if he can cure the prince, all while trying to clear their names.
The Heart Forger is a complicated book, but entirely worth the ride. If you haven’t read The Bone Witch, start there first. Otherwise, Tea’s capabilities and her relationships with other major characters are going to make little to no sense. In fact, if you’ve read The Bone Witch, but it’s been a while, I’d suggest rereading it so you have a great place to start. Coming into The Heart Forger is a bit like coming back into Game of Thrones after a few seasons when you’re not caught up. The subtleties of Tea’s culture and the surrounding kingdoms are more than enough to give HBO a run for it’s money, and with the flair of multiple Asian cultures, it’s a nice change from fantasy rooted in medieval European cultures. The book is told by both a Bard and Tea herself, so if you are a reader who likes to read four or five books at a time, The Heart Forger is going to be a book you’ll want to direct your attention to alone. I tend to read multiple books at a time, reaching for what I feel like at the moment. The Heart Forger made that a bit difficult for me.
The Heart Forger thrives as a second book and promises more to come. While the first book was Tea learning her skills and finding out who she is, the second book is her breaking the boundaries around her and finding out why so many people fear Bone Witches and their skills.
The Heart Forger is available March 20th from Sourcebooks Fire