Book Review: MASTER OF IRON by Tricia Levenseller

Title in white on dark red with blurred mace
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: second book of duology


Book cover for MASTER OF IRON: title in silver on red on two maces in flames

Eighteen-year-old Ziva is in a race against time. Her beloved sister was gravely wounded in a battle with a fearsome warlord, and now she and her friends, the handsome mercenary Kellyn and young scholar Petrik, have only days to find a healer to save her life.

When their plan goes awry and the group gets captured by an ambitious prince, Ziva is forced to use her powers for sinister purposes, magicking dangerous weapons meant for world domination.

The forge, once her safe space from anxiety, is now Ziva’s prison. How much of herself will she have to sacrifice to survive?

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


MASTER OF IRON is a fun duology finale, and it also is longer by a almost 20% than the books I’ve previously read by the author, which was very nice as I could stay longer in the book, sink my teeth in a bit more.

There is a siege and a big battle! I got into fantasy through classic epics, which are crammed with battles, so there is a part of me that just gets childishly excited when there are big battle sequences done right. And these are. They are packed with emotion and mirror emotional arcs (rather than simply being a punch-’em-up.)

It’s also a story that explores and uses Ziva’s magic in new ways, pushing it further (which is used to also show part of her confidence growth.) I really liked how it played into the ending, letting her really use the magic, while also grappling with the fact that her magic creates weapons that hurt people.

I enjoyed the way this book let Ziva grow and face her anxiety without their being some instant, magical cure. She finds new strategies to make it easier to cope with her spiralling thoughts, finds the courage to have more of the conversations she wants to avoid because their big and scary. It felt very nicely handled, a way of showing the start of the path while also acknowledging how tricky it can to do things that, to some who have no or little experience of anxiety, might seem “easy.”

There are two more Tricia Levenseller books to come out in the coming months (the remaining backlist books), so they’re definitely going on my TBR!

Read my reviews of other books by Tricia Levenseller:

Bladesmith (this series):

Daughter of the Pirate King:

The Shadows Between Us:

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