Review: Whetstones of the Will

  • Title:
    • Whetstones of the Will
  • Author:
    • R.J. Hanson
  • Release:
    • January 14, 2022
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Terry F. Self
  • Series:
    • Bloodlines Reforged Saga
    • Lords of Order and Chaos #3

What do I say about Whetstones that I didn’t say about Fires That Forge and Bloom of Blood and Bone recently? It was good the first time, it was good the second time, and it was good the third time. When I was in middle school and high school, I used to read the same books over and over. As an adult, I only do that with books I genuinely enjoy. Books I enjoy with a passion.

I made a wiki for this saga not long after discovering it. Early on, I found the lore compelling and interesting. Even after having spent the last year + casually working on the wiki, reading Wednesday lore posts on the official FaceBook group, and talking with the author, R.J. Hanson directly…. I STILL found a bunch of scenes, character references, future predictions, and more that I didn’t remember, or wasn’t familiar with. I’ve beta-read most of book IV: Stalking Shadows throughout the year and various scenes from that book now makes more sense to me, now that I’ve refreshed my memory.

I got into fantasy primarily because of the Elder Scrolls, Two Worlds, and Dragon Age series. In the case of Dragon Age and the Elder Scrolls, it was primarily the lore and the wikis. I could tell early on that Bloodlines Reforged was one of those series, the ones I could nerd out over the lore for hours on the wiki, but it didn’t exist. I made the wiki and I’ve stuck with it since while abandoning other book series I’ve reviewed for a single reason. It’s a world built by a fantasy fan, for fantasy fans and it shows.

I want this series to succeed, I want to be able to chat with lore nerds about obscure details I missed. I want to be able to go on YouTube and watch character breakdowns. If you’re reading this re-review….ish, or my original review, then you’ve probably read the first 2 books and enjoyed them. Well, Whetstones is more of the same. As is Stalking Shadows. If you enjoyed the first two, then book 3 will be more of what you enjoyed. There’s plenty of interesting lore and character development. Combat is a bit light in this one if that’s your thing. it’s primarily world-building and character development.

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