FORGING THE SWORD by Hilari Bell
Kirkus Star

FORGING THE SWORD

From the "Farsala Trilogy" series, volume 3
Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Kavi, Jiann and Soraya fight unflinchingly for their country’s freedom as the Hrum’s onslaught continues. If Farsala can resist for one year, the conquering army will withdraw, following a strict code of honor and efficiency. However, Farsala’s own army has been decimated, corruption threatens the Hrum’s code of honor and, perhaps worst of all, the Hrum possess watersteel swords that shatter all others. Jiann gathers and trains a peasant-based army in the desert, sheltered by magic-practicing desert dwellers. Soraya spies and uses occasional fire or weather magic; Kavi spies and cultivates his broad connection with Farsala’s people. Animosity and deep grudges simmer between the three leaders, but all three embody Sorahb, Farsala’s ancient legendary hero—though the country’s peasants and craftsmen embody Sorahb too, despite their widespread belief that he’s a single leader in hiding. An intriguingly almost-parallel Sorahb story is told between chapters. Moral complexity never wavers, and issues of war, society and class are nuanced and authentic in this impressive climax, memorable for its individual characters and extensively detailed cultures. (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-85416-1
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2006




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