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Reviewed by Jessica Jesinghaus for Readers' Favorite
"Damen had two days, five hours, and twenty-two minutes left to save Nyima’s soul." And thus begins Glimmer of Steel by K.E. Blaski, a story so all consuming, so breathtakingly rich as to transport a reader's soul. On a distant planet, a bloodthirsty tyrant rules with an iron fist. Literally. Augmented through dark magic and covered by an impenetrable metal skin, Noble Tortare has his sights set on a new bride: the beautiful Nyima, Damen's oldest and dearest friend. If marriage were all Noble had in mind, things would still be bad enough, but with his tendency to consume his brides' souls on their wedding night... Damen will risk anything to save Nyima, even doom another in her place. But when Damen's mad scheme to save Nyima actually works, he's faced with an unexpected dilemma: he is unmistakably drawn to this new soul, the feisty Jennica, and must do all in his power to protect her as well.
With Glimmer of Steel, K.E. Blaski has created an absolute feast! In a story brimming with intrigue and deception, readers are swiftly drawn into an alien world fraught with familiar dangers. Although so many aspects of life on planet Astrune are foreign, they're introduced in such a way as to leave readers feeling comfortable in their surroundings. The world building is lush, absolutely brilliant, and characters are well realized. Our two main characters, Damen and Jennica, are fully rendered and relatable in their strengths and weaknesses. Similarly well portrayed is the villain Noble Tortare, as well as several minor characters of questionable intentions. Billed as Book 1 of The Books of Astrune series, I was very pleased with the ending: a satisfying conclusion with clear paths for future stories to progress. K.E. Blaski has created something special, a real treat for readers!