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Review: The Blacksmith’s Apprentice – Bey Deckard

The Blacksmith's Apprentice - Bey Deckard

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Linda, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

Eyck didn’t need anyone.

Eyck lived a good life in South Galetsy. A respected blacksmith, he spent long days making swords for the Border War, and even though he ached by day’s end, the last thing he thought he needed was an apprentice. He had his work and his best friend, Pash, and that was fine.

When Wex showed up on his stoop asking for work, Eyck agreed to take him on—no matter that Wex turned out to be prickly and secretive and an absolute bloody pain in the tail to work with. Well… mostly.

Wex didn’t want anyone. Wex was tired of just scraping by. A freed slave and ex-convict, Wex was stubbornly determined not to let his breed caste or muteness stop him from carving out a decent life for himself. All he needed was a little help getting there.

Words like “trust”, “love, or even “desire” weren’t part of Wex’s vocabulary, and he didn’t want them to be—those words could enslave just as easily as iron. He was using the blacksmith to learn a skill, nothing more. Problem was, Wex couldn’t get Eyck out of his head.

The Review

This was quite a unique story, a little bizarre, but I loved it. The main characters are non-human – with tails, fangs, and covered in fur. The color of the fur indicates what breed they are and their standing in society.

This story is about Wex, a slave and Eyck a trader. As a Kirman, Wex’s standing is obvious to all, since his fur is grey with a stripe. He’s also a half-breed. Eyck is a valued member of society – a creator – and when these two males come together, they will change not only their lives, but many others around them.

Eyck owns his own blacksmith shop. One day he sees another male beating a slave. Unable to watch what is going on without trying to stop it, Eyck picks up a hammer and insists that the beating stop. When asked if he wants to purchase the slave, he immediately agrees, and tells the one he saved that he is no longer a slave.

Wex carries a heavy load. He’s a slave, mute, unable to read or write, and now free with no idea what to do with that freedom. Eyck feeds him and offers him a place to sleep, but before long Wex runs away.

Months later he returns, tall, strong, an ex-prisoner now wanting to be Eyck’s apprentice. Wex needs to learn a trade, and plans to leave once he has the knowledge he needs to set off on his own.

Wex begins to have feelings for Eyck, but refuses to give in to them, sending him looking for relief with others who not only have sex with him but are very rough. He doesn’t realize that Eyck has feelings for him, but is afraid of approaching Wex about them, fearing he will leave.

Wex has suffered unbelievable pain in his past, and doesn’t even want Eyck to touch him so wanting sex with him is unimaginable to Eyck.

Eyck and Wex are amazing characters, Wex only able to communicate using sign language and Eyck tries to give comfort and support for a man he is falling for.

There are surprises, rape, war and bigotry, a sad trait that non-humans and humans share. This is my first book by Deckard and I will gladly add him to my list of must-read authors.

Five stars.

The Reviewer

I am an avid reader the mother of 3 sons and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Since retiring I have been doing more reading while volunteering as a CASA worker. CASA is an organization that works with the family court system to ensure that children are in the best living situation. There are way too many children that get overlooked in the foster care system and I visit homes and make visits to the parents. I was born and raised in New York and my husband of 50 years and I live in Upstate New York. 

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