The Blacksmith's Apprentice by Bey Deckard

The Blacksmith's Apprentice is an age gap, non-human MCs in a fantasy romance with a twist.

From the blurb:

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.

Sheena's Review:

This is a new to me author, I picked this up based solely on the blurb, and let's just say I didn't really know what to expect. I certainly got a lot more than I initially thought I would (in a really good way).  

I loved the slow reveal of the world and its people in this book. Too often in a fantasy book you get so much exposition, setting up the world and the people and I loved how this was built up as the story went along. This isn't an easy read in places, Wex has such a hard life up and the things that happen to him aren't easy to witness, this just makes him all the more intriguing a character and I ended up really just wanting the best for him. Wex is so damaged, and I loved how Eyck just wanted to take care of him and no lie, it was hard seeing Wex come to terms with that and his destructive behavior.  

I liked the supporting cast of characters too, for the most part. I also really liked how the story turned on its head with the surprise reveal. I wasn't expecting that, but it really made everything come together and make sense.  

The only thing I really struggled with was 'seeing' the characters. I couldn't really get a firm grasp on how they would look with the fur and tails, but this was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.

Rating: 5 Stars

The Blacksmith's Apprentice is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.