Review: Dark Forge (Masters and Mages #2) by Miles Cameron

Rating: 10/10


Some are warriors, some captains; others tend to the fallen or feed the living.

But on the magic-drenched battlefield, information is the lifeblood of victory, and Aranthur is about to discover that carrying messages, scouting the enemy, keeping his nerve, and passing on orders is more dangerous, and more essential, then an inexperienced soldier could imagine . . . especially when everything starts to go wrong.

Battle has been joined – on the field, in the magical sphere, and in the ever-shifting political arena . . .


I so thoroughly enjoyed Cold Iron that I needed to immediately jump into book two, Dark Forge. I am so glad that I did because I loved this second entry as much as the first. Cameron was deliberate in taking his time building out the world, the characters and the storyline in book one. This second installment took a bit of a different approach with a much faster pace and plenty of action. It quickly grabbed my attention starting out with an intriguing, tension-filled first scene. Throughout the book you’ll find epic battles, interesting magic and great moments between the characters. And Cameron includes themes that are pertinent in today’s world. This book is another masterful work of high fantasy. Here are my highlights.


  • The writing feels so authentic
  • This entry was very fast-paced and filled with tension
  • Great technical details – I found myself looking up terminology and it was fun learning something new
  • Clearly Cameron did his research – it is evident in the weapons, the clothing and the dialogue
  • I did not want the story to end, but luckily we still have Bright Steel

Action scenes

  • Full of breath stealing battle sequences
  • The level of detail that goes into each fight scene is impressive – I often felt like I was physically there fighting alongside Aranthur
  • I loved the battle magic, which really complimented the incredible sword work


  • Awesome expansion of the world
  • Moved away from the academy setting and ventured into the hot desert with barren landscapes and ancient temples
  • I enjoyed the continued development of the various cultures represented in the series


  • Huge character development of Aranthur – gains in confidence, leadership, strength and magic abilities
  • Cameron did a great job expressing how difficult the battles were on the characters from a physical, mental and emotional standpoint
  • I continued to connect with the side cast, which continued to grow in this installment
  • Inoques is a really compelling and interesting new character

Dark Forge is a wonderful continuation of the Masters and Mages trilogy. It told an intriguing story while setting the reader up for a fantastic finish in the finale, Bright Steel. This series is quickly becoming a favorite. 

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