DJ Edwardson’s Truesilver attempts to forge a heroic fighter from a humble shepherd. Kion Bray, outcast son of a dishonored warrior, plans to redeem his family’s honor by winning the annual village tournament. Unfortunately, his everyday life blocks his blows as surely as any opponent, and more dangerous matters lurk at his world’s edges. Although the story’s first half advances through smaller matters with the methodical pace of a forge bellows, its second half brings more intense action hammering upon the heroes. Monstrous enemies, magic swords, and weighty discussions of honor and courage balance out teenage angst, village life, and small-minded characters, making Truesilver’s world large enough to include multiple future volumes.
Best for: Teen boys as well as fans of coming-of-age stories, adventure, and slow-burn epic fantasy.
Discern: Mildly graphic wartime violence and fighting, bullying, made-up swear words.