Book Review: Reforged by Seth Haddon

Balen is the Prime paladin, sworn to protect the king, a position he gave up his relationship with Zavrius for, though the unexpected deaths of the royal family members have now made Zavrius king. With assassination attempts abound, the two men and their allies flee to figure out how to make sure Zavrius keeps his life and his throne, while also facing the feelings they still have for each other.

Book Cover - Reforged by Seth Haddon
Title: Reforged
Pages: 388
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads // Amazon // Publisher


*I received an ecopy of this book via BookSirens. This has not influenced my review.*

This was an enjoyable fantasy story with action and romance and friendship!

I liked the fantasy setting. It was easy to understand, but still had interesting elements to it. There were paladins, royals, castles, small towns, and mythical long-dead creatures that contained magic. The magic could be given to people, though usually selectively and through ceremony, and they used a certain type of armor or tolerance build-up to keep it from affecting their minds. Balen and Zavrius both used magic, though Zavrius wielded it through music, which was cool!

The plot had assassination attempts, political machinations, and a potentially looming war, and it kept me guessing and trying to figure out who to trust, really wanting certain people to be trustworthy just for Balen’s and Zavrius’s sakes.

Balen (the main character) was loyal, hardworking, and duty-bound, but not overly uptight, infallible, or immune to making mistakes or feeling things like jealousy and overconfidence. But his mistakes and flaws and less-than-perfect emotions always just felt human and understandable, not unlikeable. Zavrius was playful and unpredictable and kept a lot of his plans and thoughts to himself, so you never really knew what was going through his head. But he was in a precarious position and feeling a lot of feelings, even if he didn’t show them. Lance and Mallet were also great, and they brought a bit of humor and fun with their antics without being over-the-top. All of the main recurring characters in the book were likeable (unless they weren’t supposed to be) without being too perfect.

This was a sort of second chance romance, but I didn’t feel the pining or angst or tension that was supposedly between Balen and Zavrius at the start. There were a couple moments of jealousy, a touch here or there, but I never really felt it. It might’ve helped if I knew more about what their relationship had been in the past, what it was like at start of the book, exactly how they felt, how long it had been since they stopped being together (if they were ever technically together to begin with). I knew they’d had sex, there was a sentence about their first kiss, and Zavrius mentioned the first time he saw Balen (which wasn’t even a romantic thing), and I think that was it for info about the past between them. And unfortunately it felt like a lot of the romance element of the book relied on that past connection. That being said, I still thought the romance element was nice and that they made a good couple. And they had amazing chemistry in bed! (I do believe the relationship was about more than that, it’s just that that’s where I was shown the most connection between them. And, you know, credit where credit is due for great sex scenes!)

I really liked Balen’s other relationships. His friendship with the brothers. His sorta father/son relationship with Lester. I felt the cute and fond moments, but also the tension and feels when there were difficulties.

Overall, I enjoyed this story with its high fantasy world, magical battles, and likeable characters.

*Rating: 3.5 Stars // Read Date: 2022 // Format: Ebook via TTS*


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