Review: Spark of the Apprentice by Aaron Lee Yeager

The Spark of the Apprentice
(The Forge and the Flame #1)
by Aaron Lee Yeager

When Beren Collier, a fourteen-year-old boy from a small coal mining village, is selected to become an apprentice to Master Tannimbaugh, the most magical swordsmith in all the lands, he jumps at the chance! Creating swords that summon dragonfire and daggers that call down lightning are just a few of the lessons Beren can’t wait to learn, but it takes more than intelligence and wishful thinking to produce such powerful and magical weapons—it takes heart.

Beren must discover what it means to be a man, learn what it takes to be an honorable person, and decide if there really are “right” answers to some of the most difficult questions he’s ever had to face. The answers he finds will not only surprise him, but will take him on a journey that will thrust him into realms of magic, mystery, secrecy, and adventure.

Join Beren as he flies on giant bats, breaks bread with pixies, and encounters evil overlords in this unforgettable story of discovery and excitement, where enchantment fills every page and magic captivates every heart.

Beren Collier was positively thrilled and amazed when he and two other boys were chosen by the acclaimed Master Swordsmith and Dragon Slayer, Tannimbaugh to be his apprentices in the forges. Beren, naive and unpretentious, gobbled up everything he needed and wanted to know about the art of sword making. His counterparts, Arrister and Warren, were two different stories, but all had been overwhelmed by the forges and flames, to say the least.

They encountered wonderful creatures in the forges, like giant toads, the littlest pixies, trolls, bats and Beren was lucky enough to come face-to-face with that humongous scaly beast that flew the skies. The others, well, let’s just say, they had better luck with goats and squirmies.

There’s danger lurking in the city of Midway, and the ambitious Count Velette was to be blamed. He would do everything to get his hands on the Tannimbaugh swords. And it was only a matter of time before this tragedy came into fruition.

This is the first time I’ve read a book that featured swords and their qualities, how they are made and how they differ from other blades, and how the apprentices worked their way to proving their worth as blacksmiths. At first, I thought that blacksmithing only involved anvils and metals and a big Thor-sized hammer. I was genuinely mistaken with my presumptions. This book is a wealth of knowledge and information.

Beren, with his innocence and willingness to learn was a breath of fresh air. His interest and desire to be working with the Master was compelling. His sister Cynnthia was such a darling. I swear she’s the perfect little twin that won my heart. The other characters, Arrister and Warren, were two distinct personalities and you wouldn’t help but love to hate one, and hate to love the other.

And the dragons! As far as I know, I’ve never met a dragon I didn’t like. I thought I already met all the dragons in all the books I’ve read in the past. But hey! The dragons in this Aaron Lee Yeager story is one of a kind – so awesome – that no one else could see them, except for the Tannimbaughs.. Sounds interesting? Well, they’re that and so much more.

The Spark of the Apprentice is the first book in the Forge and The Flame series by the wonderful Aaron Lee Yeager, and I commend the book for being well-written and highly engaging. It was such a great experience learning about blacksmith/swordsmith/bladesmith and forging. And it was such an spectacular experience reading about the different magical creatures and the way the story unfolded until the end. There’s so much promise with The Spark of the Apprentice and I can’t wait to read more!

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