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Publisher's Summary

"Emily Ellet offers an unflinching and elegant performance of this audiobook...Ellet's vocal versatility and steady pace capture several characters seamlessly while guiding listeners through budding romance, anxiety attacks, and the steadfast strength of a character who proves herself even at her worst." (AudioFile Magazine)

In Blade of Secrets, the first audiobook in Tricia Levenseller's exciting new YA fantasy duology, a teenage blacksmith with social anxiety is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she's ever made.

Eighteen-year-old Ziva prefers metal to people. She spends her days tucked away in her forge, safe from society and the anxiety it causes her, using her magical gift to craft unique weapons imbued with power.

Then Ziva receives a commission from a powerful warlord, and the result is a sword capable of stealing its victims secrets. A sword that can cut far deeper than the length of its blade. A sword with the strength to topple kingdoms. When Ziva learns of the warlord’s intentions to use the weapon to enslave all the world under her rule, she takes her sister and flees.

Joined by a distractingly handsome mercenary and a young scholar with extensive knowledge of the world’s known magics, Ziva and her sister set out on a quest to keep the sword safe until they can find a worthy wielder or a way to destroy it entirely.

A Macmillan Audio production from Feiwel & Friends

©2021 Tricia Levenseller (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Blade of Secrets

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Shallow Characters & Predictable Story

This book has earned a place on my shelf of the worst books I've ever read (and it only joins one other). Because my overall review is about the garbage, I'll start with the "good" components of this book:
- it has the potential to be really good, interesting premise and ideas (but that are NOT examined in any meaningful way)
- it's nice to have a MC that struggles with mental challenges (social anxiety), but I feel as though the author could have portrayed this in a more meaningful way and just better than it is now
- the narrator has a good performance (limited by the writing style though)
- quick easy read of a book (kind of like fast food compared to a chef's master meal, this book is the fast food)

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Opinions are opinions, not facts. These are my express impressions and opinions of the book. I tried to focus on components of literary quality and good storytelling, rather than the many MANY gripes and annoyances I had with this book. You may find the book wonderful and that you love it, I'm happy for you!
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Issues with This Book (without spoilers, except last bullet):
- Poor pacing of events and relationships between characters, throughout. For example, one chapter could equal one day and another could equal weeks with events in these chapters progressing ridiculously fast or boringly slow.
- The plot of this book is so predictable it was killing me slowly... Not that plots need to be unpredictable to be good but without a reflection of the spontaneity of life, you would need to focus on the interesting components of your story and expand on those instead (i.e. character internal conflicts that are realistic or how their society shapes their accomplishments/capabilities). Honestly, it feels like I read a detailed outline for what this book could have been but it got published before any meaningful content was actually included.
- Characters are defined poorly with very few dimensions so they are difficult to connect/sympathize with or even care about. Hated all of them, unrelatable and did not act like real people.
- Similarly, the world building and context of this story/characters is also poorly defined or considered within the whole book (meaning things like this world's religion, society, or locations are mentioned mostly by name and used as plot/event points without really including what these things mean for main characters or how they influence other characters and events).
- Contradictions for Everyone!! There are hairbrained contradictions throughout this whole book. Characters think one thing in an absolute and then a chapter later, completely reverse themselves (but not in a believable way). The dumbest? The MC seriously thinks making magical weapons makes the world a safer place (but also expects her crafted weapons to be used and for no other purposes). Frustrating that the character barely considers how her craft actually impacts the world.
- There are also flavors of current sociopolitical trends throughout the book (i.e. gender differences but M vs F only, sexuality) but only in a way to satisfy "having them in there" without actually addressing or meaningfully including them. (>mild SPOILER but an important example: you can't have the acceptance of a gay couple but then have ALL the heterosexuality someone could ever read about and insults about robes as dresses on a man, come on).

Once again>> Opinions are opinions, not facts. These are my express impressions and opinions of the book. I tried to focus on components of literary quality and good storytelling, rather than the many MANY gripes and annoyances I had with this book. You may find it wonderful and that you love it, I'm happy for you!

3 people found this helpful

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Annoying

I really struggled to finish this. I loved the shadows between us, but this pov... I get it, social anxiety rep, but still, she kept being protected even at times when she was clearly being a handicap to the situation. Little growth at the end, very slightly, and her friends and family were way to understanding of her at times, she finally took action at the end and it was slightly better. Overall story really thin. Didn't feel the chemistry between the love pairings. The narrator sounded awfuly whiny, but i don't think was her fault, but the pov. I was dizzy after a while of listening, really struggled to finish this. Will not continue with the series.

3 people found this helpful

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Another great book by Tricia Levenseller

Tricia Levenseller has never done me wrong with any of her books - each is as fun and enjoyable and as much of a reality break as the last and oh, she did such a great job writing these characters! 5/5 stars, can’t wait for her next book.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing.

Amazing Novel. Beautiful and very entertaining from page 1 till the end. Emily Ellet (the narrator) did an outstanding job in narrating the entire book. She kept us engaged from the start till the end.

Can't wait for book 2.

  • Overall
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disappointment

as a fan of all of her books, by far this is the worst read. The title was also misleading, it should of been call my sisters keeper. It was hard to listen to the over and over obsession of my sister this and my sister that, this book felt empty no real story, but just another book. I was like when is it going to get some blade bad ass action, never....also the audio book was of no help, her voice put me to sleep and narration was so boring, it had no connection. I really hated this book.

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Cant wait for 2nd book

Loved the chemistry between all the characters! Levenseller’s descriptions of anxiety were very well written. I have already pre-ordered the next book to the series. The cliff hanger at the end was a perfect way to end the book in my opinion. Leaves me wanting more without it feeling awkward at the end. I cant wait to read more about their journey.

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wonderful

This was more of a 4.5 star read for me. The narrator was excellent. And you can't go wrong with a Tricia Levenseller story.

This is a fun, action filled adventure with characters to love and a world that pulls you right in.