Review of “The Forger”, by Shannon Neprily

In a world where mythological creatures and humans live side-by-side, Aridan stands out in a way that is far too different for comfort.  Humans fear him for his looks, other mythological creatures desire him or detest him, depending on their upbringing, and demons want him for his unique powers.

For he is a Forger, a creature that can create weapons from within his very self, pushing them out from the palms of his hands at will.  He is supposed to be with his brother Rokan, the Wielder, and together they should be fighting the foes of humanity–whichever beings they are at the time.  But circumstances have divided brother against brother.

Rokan has been lured to the side of the demons, who promise that Aridan will finally be free of human masters and cruelty, if only he will join them.  He is convinced that he is doing Aridan a favor by letting himself be the bait in the demons’ trap. Aided by human betrayal, and as the Forger comes closer to his own death and rebirth, the demons come closer and closer to where Aridan hides.

But he has many in his camp who would willingly lose their own lives to save his.  Not the least among these are Sevron, his appointed Protector; Torian, a voracious demon-eater; and Rowan, a Dream Dweller.

These and others go to great lengths to protect Aridan, to hide the woman who carries his new body within her, and to destroy the portal that the demons are using to get into this world.

Angels, vampires, werewolves, demons, humans, and others not so easily definable divide up and confront each other.  The fate of the Forger, and the future of humanity, lies in their hands.

“…You can use the new strength you have gained to show yourself that no one can drown you without you laying down and allowing it!  You’re stronger than you were back then, stronger than any Forger ever.  Don’t worry about the little things, Sevron and I will take care of than.  If anyone tries to hurt you, I’ll eat them, okay?”–Torian

Now, that is true friendship.  Makes me wish I had a demon-eater around, too.

Here is a book that really and truly deserves to be read without distraction from other story lines.  Read this on its own, I cannot stress that enough.  Ms. Neprily’s characters are incredible, and their lives intertwine each other like fine mesh.

The mythological world that the average reader knows about is set on its ear in this story.  We have angels banned from eternity for interfering between demons and humans, vampires and werewolves that fight for mortals, angels in the role of bad guys…truly an ingeniously-written book.

I had written up a page and a half of notes, but find I must discard them.  No scribbles of mine could ever do this book justice.  I found it compelling, and it only got better when I re-read it in places to clarify relationships.  You see, I was reading several books at once–this is how I know that “The Forger” is a stand-alone, read-alone story.

If you like mythological creatures and fantasy, along with some romance, you will love this book.

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