Readalongs

Forged by Blood Readalong: Day 5!

Shannon

Beautiful photo by @tranquilreads!

Hey fairy friends!

Welcome to the fifth and final day of our Forged by Blood readalong! Grab a snack (or a few!) and let’s dive in and see what happens. Are you as nervous as I am? We’re heading into WAR!

Today we’re reading from chapter ‘Traits’ (page 306) to the end of the book.


Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Forged by Blood by Ehigbor Okosun, from chapter ‘Traits’ (page 306) to the end of the book. Please only read on if you’ve finished Forged by Blood!

-!SPOILERS!-

Welp. Jonas just forgot to mention he was engaged, hey?

At this point Dèmi bin them both I am DONE with the betrayal.

This explanation about Colin’s father does make me semi-understand why he didn’t tell Dèmi who he was, but did he not trust her? I feel like if he’d explained Dèmi would have understood. It’s better than finding out the way she has.

Okkkk, Jonas is engaged but that hasn’t stopped him publicly kissing Dèmi, and when they break apart Dèmi has another revelation. They’re mates. Her and Jonas are mates. BUT AGAIN WITH THE BETRAYAL. He’s known all along and didn’t tell her. Why is everyone so hell bent on keeping secrets from Dèmi???

Before they can really get into it, the king calls for everyone’s attention.

He gives a spiel about both Ekwensi and Jonas, giving Ekwensi the title he deserves and declaring Jonas his heir… then he tells everyone he’s prepared a show for them.

He’s going to make 300 people fight to the death until only three remain. Oh that’s dark.

Dèmi outright CHALLENGES the king, and promises herself she will not be merciful. She’s not doing it alone either, but with Jonas by her side. And they fight.

During the fight she learns her father didn’t hurt Jonas’s mother. The king did it and framed him.

In the end, Dèmi doesn’t kill him. His death is not a worth sacrifice to lose her magic. I have so much respect for her for that.

She’s announced victorious, and announced as the new Queen.

Ekwensi isn’t having it though, he wants the king dead. While I understand why, Dèmi’s taken the high ground and he should respect that.

Alas, Ekwensi brings the Oluso to his side and injures Dèmi.

When she wakes Nana is at her side. 🥺 I’m so glad we get to see her again.

We also find out Dèmi and Jonas have a special bond, called a pair bond. It can apparently only happen between two iron-bloods. Does that mean Dèmi is an iron-blood too?

Jonas tells the coucil he’s Oluso, and that his mate is too. Eventually, they all accept his decision.

Jonas gives Dèmi and Colin some time alone… he’s salty. Honestly though I can’t blame him. He really thought he was Dèmi’s mate, and he’s still convinced that Jonas is not the right fit for her.

He makes the proclamation that he loves her… and then he’s gone.

Jonas shows Dèmi the flowers he’s been tending to all these years – Violets that he’s managed to keep alive and we leave Dèmi as she ponders how the people she loves are safe and that’s enough… for now.


What a journey!

What did you think of Forged by Blood overall?
Did it end how you expected it too?
Any theories for book two?

As always, thank you so much for taking part in another FairyLoot readalong! We hope you had the best time and enjoyed the book – we’ll see you again soon for another!

Love,
Shannon

Conversation

6 Comments

Comment

  • Bryony

    Yesterday i said i was proud of this book for not reducing its only sapphic representation to spiteful villains and dead people. Well folks, guess who has egg on their face now? 🤡

    Also i kind of dont bite: if this whole trial by combat to dethrone the king thing has always been an option then why no one has challenged him before now? Or at least attempted to? Like, if it had been mentioned earlier on that that was a thing people had tried and failed, it would have had more impact at the climax that Dèmi tried it. But its not even explained as a concept until after she has declared her challenge.

    What did you think of Forged by Blood overall?
    That second nitpick does neatly bring me to why i struggled with this book. I loved the ideas and setting that Ehigbor Okosun had as the foundation of this book, and its absolutely something I’d have read the blurb of and seen the cover and wanted to pick up. The beginning was fantastic, kicking us off with a dramatic story to shape Dèmi’s character. But after the prologue, the structure and pacing for the story felt all over the place and i really struggled to keep up to the point of finding myself getting frustrated. The ideas were all there, but it felt like a bunch of jigsaw pieces shaken up in a box to me, and i was so concerned with piecing everything together that it took me out of the story. Much of the time fundamental plot points which were then turned on their head as plot twists only happened shortly before said plot twist happened, giving me no time to process, and in some instances like the one with the trial by combat mentioned above, the world building necessary to facilitate a shock reveal wasn’t actually established until AFTER the plot twist itself, which was a truly bizarre choice imo.

    Basically it could have benefited enormously from, as i said a few times while reading this, spending some time laying the groundwork of the world building early on and just, in general, a better notion of foreshadowing.

    All in all, 2/5 stars because while I felt it was a let down in the way the story was told, it’s not like it actively upset me. Though i gotta say, i was pretty annoyed that Colin had to be a jealous jerk for the sake of ~drama~, throwing away entirely what i thought was one of the more organic and well planted seeds of the story with him actually finding common ground with Jonas. Sooo… still 2 stars but like, not a high 2, yknow?

    Did it end how you expected it too?
    I didn’t call the ending, but it also wasn’t a major surprise if that makes sense?

    Any theories for book two?
    Eh, not really. I’m not mad at FL for choosing this one because on paper it sounds like the exact book I’d want to read, so I probably would have read it in some form eventually. Buuuuut I didn’t like it enough to read the sequel at all. 😅

    Thanks for running the readalong!

    1
    • Q Triceratops

      Yeah, ditto for me.

      I really enjoyed the premise and the first act was really great.

      I think fantasy (and especially Romantasy) is always much harder than other genres because not only does the author have to balance world building, plot establishment, and developing relationships, but they ALSO have to explain a magic system and in the case of Diety inspired magic, explain the whole gosh darn pantheon. Oh, and they have to keep the readers engaged and keep the action moving at the same time. Plus sprinkle in a romance plot or two or five.

      It’s a LOT to balance.

      I certainly give Okosun much credit for her debut novel as I see a really fantastic foundation here. I think like you said, it suffered from lack of ground work. As an example, an explanation of Ekwensi’s sect of magic would’ve been at least helpful to set an expectation for earlier in the book. I know that it was very exciting to have a grand reveal, but it felt very much like a cheating moment. It was as though Démi said, “Surprise! We thought he had a little weird magic but nope, turns out he’s got this really super powerful magic that’s like really good, trust me!”

      This tale could have benefitted from slowing everything down about 25%. I was often lost in battle sequences, trying to peace together what was actually happening.

      I’m still not really clear on anything Mari is doing. I understand keeping the mystery, but none of her choices seem to align to any particular set of identifying traits? She loved Démi’s mom? But she also killed her. But then also claims she loved the King? But not actually? She goes back and forth between wanting to kill Démi and then wanting to raise her? And she still might be into Démi’s mom? I’m whole heartedly confused.

      And I couldn’t understand the sudden public make outs.
      I wasn’t surprised that Jonas was engaged, and it didn’t enrage me when it was revealed. What DID enrage me was that Jonas goes and potentially BLOWS THE ENITRE MISSION by making out with Démi in the middle of the dance floor. I thought this would enrage all of those snooty courtiers and his uncle. But somehow, everyone saw, shrugged and we’re fine with it????

      I also couldn’t stand Collin and his unabashed jealous/possessive behavior. And I couldn’t get behind Démi consistently thinking that she wasn’t going to end up with either of these boys (for incredibly valid reasons), but still dolled out kisses like they were candy! And of course, right in front of the other member of the love triangle.

      I’m from the school of thought where the first kiss is the ultimate release of romantic tension. But here, it was over and done with no work. The romance could have really benefited from a *much* slower pace, to build the tension with Démi’s conflicting feelings.

      Overall, I think it was a good first stab! *wink* A lot of good ideas here, but many wrinkles. I just wish the finished product had a little more time and space to be ironed out.

  • Amy Kosta

    What did you think of Forged by Blood overall?
    What a wild ride that was! I love this book! I love that even though it’s fantasy it shows that people of certain races are oppressed before they’re even born – it really does tackle modern issues.

    Did it end how you expected it too?
    Sort of! I figured Jonas and Demi would end up together, with Colin a little bit butthurt! And I suspected Jonas was iron-blood. I still have so many questions though!

    Any theories for book two?
    I have a couple bouncing around my head right now! I have a feeling it will centre around Ekwensi and his uprising, and I suspect that Colin might join them and Demi will have to fight against her best friend. I’m also not 100% trustworthy of Jonas yet! I feel like his heart is in the right place but he’s been raised as a prince in Eingard so I think as a couple they will butt heads over certain issues, and a lot of book 2 might be about their struggle to find balance and understanding.

  • Tasha

    What did you think of Forged by Blood overall?
    I found it complicated and some parts hard to follow but overall I enjoyed it and rated it 3.5 stars.

    Did it end how you expected it too?
    I guessed Demi and Jonas would end up on the throne but wasn’t expecting it to be in book 1.

    Any theories for book two?
    Hopefully it wraps up some unresolved questions about Demis father and twin. I also hope they can revive Jonas’s mother

  • Lisa Spanu

    1. What did you think of Forged by Blood overall?
    I liked it, the prose was very good and I liked the overal fantasy elements. I do believe a lot could’ve been fleshed out better to make me love the story. It sometimes was to fast paced, especially fights, making it hard to navigate. I need way more information about the different types of magic and feel like some ground rules of the magic system weren’t clear, which caused some magic parts to feel convenient. I also still feel like I miss a lot of background information on the characters and their parents, so it confused me sometimes because I didn’t understand.

    2. Did it end how you expected it too?
    I didn’t really have a lot of expectations, but I hadn’t expected Dèmi to fight and take the crown in the end.

    3. Any theories for book two?
    Well, there’ll be some kind of civil war with the two parties (Dèmi against Ekwensi) while still trying to better the rights for those oppressed

  • Nymphie

    1) I really, really did not like this book. I wanted to love it. African mythology is super cool and the premise sounded great, but it really missed the mark. The characters were immature, whiny, and insufferable. The plot is ridiculously confusing and hard to follow. The worldbuilding and magic system make zero sense. The narration is cold and stiff, so I couldn’t connect with the protagonist at all. This book had no redeeming qualities to me, so I would honestly rate it 1.5/5 stars. 🙁

    The love triangle was the worst part about this book, in my opinion. Nevermind the fact that this story suffers from the same overused angry jealous boy vs quiet understanding boy, but Dèmi treats them both absolutely horribly. She constantly manipulates them both and plays them against each other. She flat out says that she does not ever see herself romantically interested in Colin, but is making out with him five minutes later.

    Many important world-building elements were not explained until after a related plot twist would happen, leaving me super confused, and even then the explanation behind it was lackluster and felt like an afterthought. These moments seriously felt like the author thought, “Oh, you know what sounds cool right now?” and threw it in there without any respect to previously-established world-building. If the author had sat down and planned out the world BEFORE writing the story, instead of forcing the world to bend around the current plot point in the moment, this book would have felt more cohesive.

    2) I wasn’t surprised by the ending, but the whole “Dèmi is the daughter of the previous princess” bit sounded like a very convenient half-baked idea tossed into the ring at the last second just so that she could wear a crown, and then she just…gives it up? But wait, she gets it back anyway because she’s with Jonas. It’s like…why couldn’t she just win and keep it in the first place instead of the constant up and down rollercoaster?

    3) Not sure. I think at this point, I don’t plan on reading the sequel. If FairyLoot plans on printing it, I’ll probably get it to match my bookshelf, but actually reading it most likely won’t be happening. Sorry. 🙁

Most Recent Stories

Follow Us

Most Recent Stories

Follow Us

Community Features

Nectar of the Wicked Readalong Schedule

Isla

12th July 2024

Read article