The Blacksmith's Son by Michael G. Manning
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Blacksmith's Son is Michael Manning's first book and it as a really great read. It has some of the traditional elements of fantasy (wizards, mages, runes, spells, hero who doesn't know his power, love interest etc), but the Manning manages to make the story interesting and does a great job with the writing.
The general idea probably feels familiar to anyone who has read sufficient number of fantasy books - hero whose parents were killed when he was a baby, raised in relative poverty, discovers his powers post puberty, love interest, chief antagonist etc. What makes the story and the book interesting is the relatively fresh writing style - Manning inserts enough quirky humor in there and makes the characters seem more 'normal' and less dour than say Tolkien's. Don't expect the deep lore of Tolkien, but its far, far better than say Wizard's First Rule which I hated.
Fun, quick read, I look forward to the next one in the series.
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