What a fun read!
Made me search for more titles from the author to read next.
This one is a fun adventure of a lonely orphan child who after spending several years in foster homes finds her way to her grandfather, a Smith from an important (almost like a cursed family of blackmiths). Eden will stay and live with her grandfather Vulcan but there is trouble... in a peculiar building with peculiar characters.
This book is like a Roald Dahl pie with a sprinkle of Wes Anderson. We're focused on this amazing building and Smith/Jones society learning all sorts of things related to metals. We also learn about the rules of the peculiar Council as well as the rules of the five tasks.
Accepting to do the five tasks (which all sound impossible is for solving riddles with science and knowledge). The winner is granted the ultimate honor but can also die. In truth, no one has ever survived (some faced exile).
The tasks are absurdly hard and funny the humor balances the story well.
It takes a bit to get started. The first trial starts around the middle of the book and the book is about 400 pages sometimes I wanted it to focus on just the trials, but the writing style is fun and engaging and all the characters are interesting.
We get a sense that we go from loneliness, sadness, and isolation to friendship, challenge, and community.
I am going to miss Eden. I hope the author can publish more stories of Eden, Nat, Vulcan, Bones, and The Sisters... even the villain is cartoonishly fun.
The book age is suggested for upper-middle graders but I think is adventurous enough and the quest to solve the tasks will please younger and older readers as well.
This is a book that I would reread and enjoy noticing more details in the second round.
The cover is amazing. Makes us curious about her eye-patch.
Thank you author and publisher for this e-ARC.