Cover Image: Blade of Secrets

Blade of Secrets

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Member Reviews

This one was slow to the hook me, but after the action started I couldn't put it down. The character relationships are fun and heartwarming, and I loved the journey the main character takes to work through her anxiety. Definitely excited for more books in this series.
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Thanks to the publisher for early access to this title.
4.5 stars

Ziva, a young girl who is working to provide for herself and her younger sister, is a magical smithy who can give the weapons she forges magical abilities. When she is commissioned to create the ultimate sword, she outdoes herself and ends up with a weapon of mass destruction. Worried it will fall into the wrong hands, Ziva soon finds herself on the run, along with her sister, a mercenary hired as a guide, and a scholar intent on writing about Ziva's abilities.

The character development and general descriptions of action and persona relationships is very well done. There were just a few small things that didn't work for me in the storyline, but other than that, this is a great read.

This is another wonderful book from Levenseller! The worst part about reading her newest work early is having to wait even longer for the next installment to be released.
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This book was just fine. Don't have any particularly strong negative or positive feelings about it. I liked that it was a fantasy novel with social anxiety rep.
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Let me just say, I'm a fan of the author. For some reason, this story did not hold me. I always tell my students, give it 4 chapters AT LEAST. I gave it more than than, but DNF at 57%. I may try it again in the future, but it did not grab me like her previous stories have done.
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Tricia Levenseller never disappoints! Just like her other book The Shadows Between Us, this is being added to my all time favorites! The story was incredibly unique, fast paced with a little bit of romance and characters who were flawed and interesting. There wasn't a moment in this book where I was bored and all I could think when I finished it was that I wish there was so much more. I don't know how I'm going to wait for the second one to come out!
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Let me just say that I was not expecting so much of that! There were unexpected twists at the end, and this was a prequel story that I didn't know I needed. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes!

Things I liked:
Unexpected twists
Plenty of locations
The unique magic gifts 
The characters! (Though the sister was my least favorite)

Things I didn't like:
The guys are constantly referred to as "boys" by Ziva and others. Of course they're young by adult standards, but I just don't feel like Ziva would consider them boys. 
There was a turn of their fate in one of the towns. It just seemed too obvious and happened so quickly once it was a possibility.
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This may be Levenseller’s best book to date! It is absolutely addicting and unputdownable. I am normally a plot-driven reader and find myself annoyed with characters and their flaws, but while the plot is face-paced and in entertaining, the characters are what makes this special. Levenseller handles Ziva’s social anxiety with compassion and patience, allowing the character to discover her own healing. Anyone who has ever experienced social anxiety or panic attacks will feel seen and understood in Levenseller’s characters. This is a must have for high school libraries and all YA fans!
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What am I supposed to do until book 2 comes out! Blade of Secrets blew me away. I finished this book in hours while not feeling well - that's how into it I was. 

I give this 5 stars for the characters and the writing. I loved Ziva and that she was so real and pure and was dealing with her mental health on top of everything else. All of the other characters were so developed and had their own issues and dreams. I just loved reading about the four of them together. The romance was perfect; the villain was amazingly awful—just perfection. 

I loved the Shadows Between Us, so I was really excited to get my hands on this one. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher!  I can't wait to recommend this one!
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I love Levenseller and all of her books have been amazing and this one was no exception. I knew from the start I was going to love this and I was in no way let down. 
  I know everyone is gushing about the social anxiety rep in this book and with good reason. I suffer from social anxiety and to see it represented in not just any book but a epic fantasy just brings joy to my heart! I felt like the represented was also so well done. I knew exactly what Levenseller was trying to get at when talking about it.
  The characters as well! I loved every single one of them! Their snark and banter with each other was something I just couldn't get enough of. It took this fantasy and really brought it to a level where you felt like you could be there too. 
  I'm not really going to discuss the romance. I am not a huge fan of romance in books outside of the contemporary genre but I will say Levenseller always does a fantastic job on romances. I can definitely see why so many readers love her romances and I am sure this book will be no exception. 
  This book honestly just made me sick happy. I loved ever minute of reading it. I know this is a book I plan to feature heavily in my YA section and I will be recommending it for out book club ad well.
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I have read all of Tricia Levenseller’s books and have yet to be disappointed. I could not put “Blade of Secrets” down. Finding a character so utterly relatable in their struggle with social anxiety is incredibly rare, and certainly refreshing. This book may be an easy read, but it kept me hooked until the very end. Very excited for the next book!
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Having loved The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller, I was excited to get to read this book. I loved this book too! No surprise. First of all, the characters! A magical blacksmith named Ziva who can magic her weapons with special powers. I like the way the author writes her female characters, super independent, almost reluctant to get into romantic relationships with men they don’t need. I really loved Temra as well, the relationship between the sisters was supportive and loving, while also being tense at times like most sibling relationships. The main character’s anxiety was also something I think a lot of people can relate to, especially the way she relied on her sister to help her. Finally, I loved Ziva’s love interest Kellyn, he was a dream boat, especially his understanding of Ziva’s mental health and the fact that he put everything above her safety. Swoon. 
The plot was good, I can’t wait to see where the story goes. By the end it took on a sword in the stone vibe. Basically Ziva forged a sword for a warlord, who secretly wants to take over the lands where she lives. The sword has powers beyond anything Ziva has forged before and would be too dangerous in the hands of the tyrannical warlord.  Ziva has to go on the run with her sister, a mercenary, and a scholar writing a book about magic, to try and keep the sword away from the power hungry warlord, Kymora. It’s fast-paced, full of great relationships both familial and romantic, and ends with a cliff-hanger that infuriates me, but in a good way. 
Highly recommend. One of my favorite 2020 reads!
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Tricia has done it again! She's made another super original and easy read! This time our heroine is perhaps the most realistic I've ever seen. At least the most relatable for me. Except for the height. Ziva is super tall by my standards. But I digress. Ziva has undistinguishable anxiety. Loss of words, looking for support in anxious situations, relying on her "person" for comfort in social situations. I mean I was on the first page when I decided this was my favorite character that Tricia has ever written and that's saying something! Besides her personality, realism and growth that happens you're going to love that she has the untraditional job of being a blacksmith! And not just any but a blacksmith with the ability to create magical and powerful weapons. A few things happen but the main gist is that one of her weapons end up in the wrong hands. And Ziva and her rag tag band must get it back and quick. Possibly before it destroys the world? Fans of Leigh Bardugo's "Six of Crows" will love this not-as-dark ensemble of sisters and enemies joining together to save everything before it's too late.
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I love reading Tricia Levenseller's books, so I knew this book would be a must-read for me. It definitely lived up to my expectations. This book is a fast-paced read with well developed characters. I really liked the representation of a main character who battles anxiety while still being a strong character. My only complaint is that I feel the worldbuilding wasn't fleshed out enough. Looking forward to book 2!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinion was not affected by the free copy.

I was really curious when I saw that the MC was going to have anxiety issues, and before I go into the negatives I need to praise that representation right away. It was written so well. All of her insecurities and doubts and the inner thoughts she was experiencing felt so real. I loved the description of the panic attack and how clear they are that this isn't something you can really fix or rationalize.

As always, I deal with the negatives first so I end on a positive note. There aren't too many in this book. I think maybe the pacing got a little repetitive after a while. The characters would go to a location, they'd encounter some conflict, usually some misunderstanding between them occurred, and they would move on to a new location and repeat. It's very lucky that the characters all talked to each other in a fairly believable way and I liked following them on this journey, because that formula would've gotten old super fast otherwise. I still wish there was some variety but it wasn't too bad thanks to the character interactions.

Also, there is a section at the beginning of the story that doesn't feel like it has any purpose whatsoever. I'm not saying the incident wasn't believable or wasn't well-written, I just don't see why it was included in the story. If it was taken out, absolutely nothing would've been lost. Unless the characters introduced in that bit come back, there was no reason for the scenes to exist.

I do wish this wasn't told in first person, because it did feel like sometimes there had to be some writing gymnastics to excuse why the narrator would be listening in on certain conversations. Especially if this MC is supposed to have social anxiety and prefers being alone or with just her sister. I think the narrative could have still shown the thoughts, feelings, and reactions while being in third person.

I always have to talk about the romance a little. This one was built up at a decent pace. Maybe the attraction still felt a little too sudden-- especially as the very first time the character was attracted to someone in eighteen years-- but the relationship built up well over time. Did it need to be in the story? No. Would much change if it was taken out? No. But it was a little better than most YA romances.

I already mentioned the anxiety written well, and the way the characters interacted was good, too. I especially loved the dynamic between the sisters. The way they talked to each other felt so genuine. I always look for that kind of thing when siblings are included in a story. I also think the world-building is off to a good start. I want to know more about how this world operates from the little snippets we've been given.

At first I wasn't entirely thrilled with the addition of magic to this story. I still think it would've been cool if the MC was just a regular swordsmith without magic to help her along. But I did like the way her magic worked, and the solution with the sword was very intriguing. I think maybe there was some unnecessary sequel baiting, but I'll still read the sequel when it comes out. I am curious where the story might be going next.

A very intriguing start with some good characters and a world I want to learn more about!
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This book was such a quick read as I couldn’t put it down. Reading about a character who has social anxiety and getting to see that represented in a book was so meaningful. Ziva’s inner dialogue and experiences with anxiety highlighted what so many of us feel. I can’t wait see what the characters have to endear in the next book.
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Tricia Levenseller does is again. She makes a book with amazing characters and unique magic and wonderful slow burn romances. 

One of the best parts of this book was the main character's social anxiety. It really helps you get a look into what it is like for some introverts and anyone who has social anxiety. I would imagine for someone who is like that, it is comforting to see yourself in this character. She still makes a great main character and is extremely likable. I loved what Levenseller did at the end of the book that really makes the Blade extra significant, it was a nice touch. 

I can't wait for the next installment and everything else this author writes!
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This is a really fantastic book., The representation in it is amazing for those with anxiety. The characters were easy to love and I appreciated that there were no betrayals and issues of that nature. Just normal miscommunication and I liked that.
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I love everything about Blade of Secrets!
The characters! Strong, capable women and kind, thoughtful men...
The world! On the cusp of a new beginning...
The story! A twisted, persistent villain and imperfect friends on the run with a growing romantic attraction...
I NEED book 2 now!

I especially love how Levenseller approaches Ziva's anxiety--creating a great mirror/window for readers to better grasp how it feels to suffer from an invisible illness that isn't socially discussed in much detail.
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Another great read by the author. Each of her books has had a fun adventure, magic, a relatable cast of characters, and leave you wanting more. I am looking forward to book 2!
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This book was so good! I love this author so I was very excited to read her new book. It was full of action and romance which I really love. I really connected with the main characters which sometimes is hard to do. Great book!
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