Book Review: Of Mettle and Magic (The Magicsmith #5) by L.R. Braden

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Publication Date: May 14th, 2021
Pages: 340, Kindle
Source: NetGalley

Part fae, part human, all magic. . .

Now it’s time to choose a side.

When the Unified Church in Rome is destroyed by rogue sorcerers, tensions explode. Alex Blackwood will do whatever it takes to prevent a war between the humans, fae, and Earth paranaturals–even turn herself over to the PTF. But when a man she thought long dead walks back into her life at the head of a sorcerer army, surrender is no longer an option.

With all the world watching, and half hoping she fails, Alex and her friends scramble to find a peace that won’t cost them everything.

More than a decade after the Fae Wars, humanity and paranaturals coexist uneasily. Alex Blackwood has recently discovered that she’s a “halfer” – half human, half fae, and one of the few who can handle iron. In Of Mettle and Magic, Alex finds out that she may have even more reason to fear the PTF who police the paranaturals, and who are determined to drive them from Earth, or eradicate them entirely. Alex will have to sacrifice to keep the peace.

I had recently read the first two books in the series, and was approved for this one before I’d gotten to the third and fourth. I’m pleased to say that the storyline was easy to pick up (although I will go back and read the others to fill in a few details). Alex is a likeable heroine and she has a great group of friends. I do question the health of her relationship with the vampire James, but he shows in this book that he is committed to helping her, even at the cost of something he holds dear.

War is imminent. The various groups of fae, weres, and other paranaturals are being hunted by the PTF. A group of sorcerers commits an act of terrorism that sets Alex on a course to stop the war, but she has to make some hard bargains and give up some of her freedom to make it work.

Alex gets help from old friends, such as Kai, Maggie, and Morgan, and her uncle provides backup and support. Alex works well both autonomously and with the team, and it’s great to see the bonds she’s forged with the others have survived the turmoil of the last few months, especially her friendship with Maggie. I liked how Alex didn’t try to go it alone, and worked with everyone.

The series is great for readers who like urban fantasy and a spunky heroine, but a tad less snark than you find in a lot of UF novels.

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