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To forge: “Make or shape an object by heating in a fire or furnace and hammering.” —Oxford Dictionary Joseph Colsco has survived what many would not have—cast naked on an alien planet amidst humans speaking an unknown language and with a different culture and history. Now, known to the people of Caedellium as Yozef Kolsko, he has risen out of despair to prominence and fin To forge: “Make or shape an object by heating in a fire or furnace and hammering.” —Oxford Dictionary Joseph Colsco has survived what many would not have—cast naked on an alien planet amidst humans speaking an unknown language and with a different culture and history. Now, known to the people of Caedellium as Yozef Kolsko, he has risen out of despair to prominence and finds himself a central figure in the culmination of a struggle against an imperialist power bent on subjugation. The clans of the Island of Caedellium must gird themselves for what is to come. If they can’t unite to a degree previously unimaginable, they will fall into the bottomless abyss of lost history. Their strengths are their determination, bravery, potentially new allies, and a single man with a mysterious history. The options are simple: victory, death, enslavement. Yozef Kolsko may have transformed from who he had been on Earth, but did the trials he has undergone produced a savior some of his adopted people see him as or is he an illusion? The crucible of fate is about to yield a final product, but is the result enough against a formidable enemy?


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To forge: “Make or shape an object by heating in a fire or furnace and hammering.” —Oxford Dictionary Joseph Colsco has survived what many would not have—cast naked on an alien planet amidst humans speaking an unknown language and with a different culture and history. Now, known to the people of Caedellium as Yozef Kolsko, he has risen out of despair to prominence and fin To forge: “Make or shape an object by heating in a fire or furnace and hammering.” —Oxford Dictionary Joseph Colsco has survived what many would not have—cast naked on an alien planet amidst humans speaking an unknown language and with a different culture and history. Now, known to the people of Caedellium as Yozef Kolsko, he has risen out of despair to prominence and finds himself a central figure in the culmination of a struggle against an imperialist power bent on subjugation. The clans of the Island of Caedellium must gird themselves for what is to come. If they can’t unite to a degree previously unimaginable, they will fall into the bottomless abyss of lost history. Their strengths are their determination, bravery, potentially new allies, and a single man with a mysterious history. The options are simple: victory, death, enslavement. Yozef Kolsko may have transformed from who he had been on Earth, but did the trials he has undergone produced a savior some of his adopted people see him as or is he an illusion? The crucible of fate is about to yield a final product, but is the result enough against a formidable enemy?

30 review for Forged in Fire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Let's start with the obvious, Olan Thorensen isn't per-se a bad author. For a first go, he shows a lot of promise but the Destiny's Crucible's series starts off as a fun fish-out-of-water, but the first novel spun a lot of time with non-interconnected characters that took until the second book to materialize. Despite its slow burn, Joseph finding his place made for a good hook, Joseph turned from castaway to mad tinkerer. Flaws aside I enjoyed the first book but worried about the direction... The Let's start with the obvious, Olan Thorensen isn't per-se a bad author. For a first go, he shows a lot of promise but the Destiny's Crucible's series starts off as a fun fish-out-of-water, but the first novel spun a lot of time with non-interconnected characters that took until the second book to materialize. Despite its slow burn, Joseph finding his place made for a good hook, Joseph turned from castaway to mad tinkerer. Flaws aside I enjoyed the first book but worried about the direction... There were some red flags this would devolve into yet-another harem fantasy which seems to be an increasing norm in sci-fi. Thus, I find myself yet again, critiquing silliness of it. In the first book, there's a few too many passing mentions of the male vs. female birthrate which seemed suspicious. Worse is when Joseph's solution for when his first romantic partner becomes pregnant is to have to marry into her sister's family, as the second wife. This seed takes a while to germinate as it takes three more books for this to come back full circle. By the 4th book, Destiny' Crucible has all but abandoned the sci-fi parts (and fish out of water) and turned into a boring so-so war novel about the 18th-century military. Long passages are dedicated to planning, such as exploring terrain as a potential battleground and supply line logistics. It lacks the same excitement as studying the science required to introduce a new piece of tech to the Gidelli citizens. Worse, one of the stupider plot-points came back around: polygamy. While in any abstract, I don't have any moral objections to the subject. I honestly do not care if people are polygamists however the way and how it resurfaces in book four is wantonly stupid and is yet-another undersexed male fantasy. It's exceptionally painful, and I think worth the spoiler ahead. Mara decides on a whim that her beautiful yet damaged friend Amerind should wed both her and Joseph, a move that is pretty much anathema to her character as a strong, fiercely intelligent, independent woman. From the outset, its cringey and stupid, nor does it make much sense as Mara was more than willing to provide for Amerind with her considerable wealth, being married to Joseph and a Headman's daughter prior to her idea. The only reasoning is that Mara loves her best friend and likes having her around all the time and that she looks after their young son despite Joseph and Mara having several live-in servants. It's then followed by an entirely awkward scene where no character entirely wants the marriage except yet they all end up going through with the polygamous marriage. Apparently, Olan was the only one who wanted it. Suddenly Joseph just happens to notice that Amerind is a raving beauty, despite many passages mentioning her as such. What then follows is an even cringery sequence of the wedding night where the newlywed wife must "perform her wifely duties" (yes it really uses this phrasing) which are then described as the repeated-rape-victim Amerind has completely unromantic submissive sexual-intercourse with Joseph. It doesn't even fit into Joseph's character as a man with progressive 21st-century ideas (encouraging his wife breaking traditions, supporting her independence and arguing for expanded roles for women in an 18th-century society in the previous books). The only consolation Joseph offers is to not have sex with her that night to which she mentions that her duties would have to be performed eventually, if not that night. So Joseph consummates his marriage, because what's a guy to do? Not have sex with the submissive, emotionally fragile, shunned-by-her-own-family, a repeat-rape victim who escaped sexual servitude? Then ensues descriptions and passages of how the logistics of his two wives work, including detailing his alternating scheduled sex with each wife, as not show too much preference for either. Of course, this works out perfectly as Joseph doles out his attention, ever so gracefully and his happy family expands as the women continue to perform their "wifely duties." There's no other way to put it as it's outright right idiotic. After that, the book continues down the long, long, long resistance to the Narthoni, organizing clansmen and meeting with foreign dignitaries. With each book becoming less interesting, I'm glad this is the close for now. It started out as a good "What if?" scenario but lost me as the series transformed into a much less interesting military fiction. /edit: discussion of this points out some points I missed including main character having a magic Penis.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I don't know if I can finish this one. I'm really struggling. The other three books had their faults, but I pushed on through. This one seems to take all those issues and turn them up to 11. So many speeches, so much talking, so many people going on about how awesome the hero is, him reluctantly agreeing that, yeah, he is pretty awesome, cringe-inducing "Husband, do my hot friend. PLEASE!" scenes (I guess we know what pushes Thorensen's buttons). Will they ever get back to the actual story line? I don't know if I can finish this one. I'm really struggling. The other three books had their faults, but I pushed on through. This one seems to take all those issues and turn them up to 11. So many speeches, so much talking, so many people going on about how awesome the hero is, him reluctantly agreeing that, yeah, he is pretty awesome, cringe-inducing "Husband, do my hot friend. PLEASE!" scenes (I guess we know what pushes Thorensen's buttons). Will they ever get back to the actual story line?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jim Thorne

    One more please I generally do not like\read series that go beyond trilogies, they just seem to always wander off. This series is an exception. Yes the series is over, and yes the author stayed true to his characters and completed the story arc began in book one. But darn it, these characters grow on you and I want to read more...about Yozef, Anyar and the future. OT, you write it and I will read it!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Soo

    Mini-Review for Books 1-4 of Destiny's Crucible 4 Stars for Narration by Jonathan Davis 3.5 Stars for Concepts 3 Stars for Uneven Plot Progression I listened to all four books in a few days. There wasn't any time for details to get lost in the myriad of things that happen in life. I like the idea of the series. A man was given another chance of life. Except, it's on an alien world far from Earth. Plot Points: - Altered Earth Man Stranded on Alien Planet - Cultural/Social Differences (Cobbled Version Mini-Review for Books 1-4 of Destiny's Crucible 4 Stars for Narration by Jonathan Davis 3.5 Stars for Concepts 3 Stars for Uneven Plot Progression I listened to all four books in a few days. There wasn't any time for details to get lost in the myriad of things that happen in life. I like the idea of the series. A man was given another chance of life. Except, it's on an alien world far from Earth. Plot Points: - Altered Earth Man Stranded on Alien Planet - Cultural/Social Differences (Cobbled Version of Medieval Ages/Tribal Customs) - Epic Warfare - Awkward Advances in Medicine/Science/Engineering/Economy/Government/Martial Training - One God based Religion, Chosen One Joseph Colsco is known as Yozef Kolsko on the alien world he has adapted to and now call home. He's basically a Gary Stu. A nice guy that isn't so overpowered that you dislike him but ends up getting all the goods for one reason or another. The general story progression felt like the backstory or learning guide for a civilization game. The more I tried to see the story in another light, the harder the idea stuck to the series like cement glue. The series would have been better if it stayed with Yozef as the primary POV. There were way too many blips to the side & jumps to other perspectives to make the world/story seem larger than it is. By making that choice, there's not a lot established about any of the realms at war. You get info dumps that are interesting but the topic will change and there the pieces aren't drawn together into a nice finish. There are teasers about the aliens, but no reason to think those areas will be explored in depth. Many of the events that happened in the story were cool but not written in a manner to hold the reader's attention from the get go. There's a lot of planning and battles involved, but the descriptions of them are told in a detached manner. The best parts of the series were the ones where you experienced them via the characters. Break Down: - 40% Character Experience - 55% Info Dump/Summaries - 5% Other

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nealis

    This is just my opinion of course, my rating doesn't necessarily reflect on the quality of the writing. The direction of the series inevitability turned to a military narrative and that changes the dynamics of the series. Earlier novels was predominately about Yosef adapting to a new culture and introducing new ideas. Successive novels introduced more and more battles and much of this book reads reminds me of civil war fiction like Killer Angels. A lot of talk about terrain, names of towns or ar This is just my opinion of course, my rating doesn't necessarily reflect on the quality of the writing. The direction of the series inevitability turned to a military narrative and that changes the dynamics of the series. Earlier novels was predominately about Yosef adapting to a new culture and introducing new ideas. Successive novels introduced more and more battles and much of this book reads reminds me of civil war fiction like Killer Angels. A lot of talk about terrain, names of towns or areas you won't remember. The author obviously has an eye for military detail and nuance. However if it isn't your cup of tea, you may lose interest. I think there was a lost opportunities with the new countries introduced and it kind of just falls flat, the new allies pull a French and that is really all there is it. I would have like the series to continue, but it is pretty clear this is the probably the conclusion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    GaiusPrimus

    An expected ending, but the ride to it was really enjoyable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    Series review here under the first novel: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The best book of the 4 and jumped to my number 1 book published in 2017 (regardless when I read it of course); just an epic conclusion with everything one wants from sff Series review here under the first novel: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The best book of the 4 and jumped to my number 1 book published in 2017 (regardless when I read it of course); just an epic conclusion with everything one wants from sff

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steve Naylor

    Rating 3.0 stars Why? Why does it seem like very series starts out really good and then just doesn't deliver. Most books have some good things about them and bad things about them. A 5 star book is basically all good, at least the bad is so insignificant to not even talk about. A 4 star book has a lot of good and some bad. I am not even sure bad and good are appropriate here. I think a better way is to describe it as things I liked and things I didn't. So this series started off with a lot of st Rating 3.0 stars Why? Why does it seem like very series starts out really good and then just doesn't deliver. Most books have some good things about them and bad things about them. A 5 star book is basically all good, at least the bad is so insignificant to not even talk about. A 4 star book has a lot of good and some bad. I am not even sure bad and good are appropriate here. I think a better way is to describe it as things I liked and things I didn't. So this series started off with a lot of stuff I liked and some stuff that I didn't. The stuff that I liked - the relationships, the relearning of technology and how to live on this new world. Those things were way more important to me that the things that I didn't like - the political debates, the military planning, and the war. The first book was the best. Ever since then, the stuff I didn't like has taken over and there is less and less of the stuff I do like. I had to drop this book down to 3 stars because it was basically all the stuff I didn't like. This whole book was about the war, planning, preparing, and then fighting. There really wasn't any new inventions in this book and even the relationships took a back seat in this one. Almost all the interactions between people where discussions about the war. (view spoiler)[ Yosef gets talked into marrying Ana in this book. I thought that might happen but my issue is that there was hardly any interactions with her and Yosef before it happened. After the marriage they were hardly ever together. I thought Ana was a strong character in the previous books after what she went through, then escaping and leading women who were shunned by her family. I wish the author would have continued to develop her as a character. Of course that is what I meant when I wrote earlier that the author neglected every part of the story except for the war. Also, I still don't believe that anyone remembers so much about wars across the world in over a 500 year period. I don't care about enhanced memory and playing strategy games as a kid. The amount of military history that Yosef talks about in this book is just insane. I have a hard time believing military strategists now would know as much. (hide spoiler)] This story pretty much ended how I expected it to. I was hoping that the next book would bring back the stuff I liked but it turns out book 5 is a bunch of short stories that further explained things that happened between books 1 and 4. Some of those stories where to go into more in depth into the war part - so I decided that wasn't for me and for the first time ever I was thinking of skipping a book in a series. Then when I looked at book 6, it isn't about Yosef, but 2 of the other passengers on the plane that was with Joseph. I can't bring myself to start all over again, so unfortunately I think I am done with this series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hicklin

    I enjoyed this series and was really looking forward to this installment. It wraps up the conflict between the Caedelli and the Narthani and caps the story arc of Yosef Kalsco’s integration into, and impact on, Caedelli society. Unfortunately, at almost 700 pages, it takes twice as long to do all that as it needs to. Getting through the first half of the book was particularly frustrating. It was full of needless repetition. A point would be made, it would be discussed thoroughly by several major I enjoyed this series and was really looking forward to this installment. It wraps up the conflict between the Caedelli and the Narthani and caps the story arc of Yosef Kalsco’s integration into, and impact on, Caedelli society. Unfortunately, at almost 700 pages, it takes twice as long to do all that as it needs to. Getting through the first half of the book was particularly frustrating. It was full of needless repetition. A point would be made, it would be discussed thoroughly by several major characters, then introduced to more characters, where the reader would have to go through almost the same discussion again. After that, whenever the point would come up, it would be with a complete recap. At one point I found myself groaning as certain plot points came up for the umpteenth time, “Not this again? I get it already, move on!” Probably not the reaction the author was hoping for. There were a few typos—mainly missing words. And Thorensen’s writing style can be a bit clunky at times. But, the great story with well developed characters that the reader can care about make up for those faults. In fact it was those positive aspects that kept me plowing through the first half—and it was worth it. Once the action starts, there’s no time for needless repetition and it was full of edge of your seat suspense and excitement. If this had been the first book of the series, I probably would not have finished it. But, I’m glad I did. Overall, I would give the series four stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shar B

    The first book in this series starts with a good sci-fi what if scenario: After being whisked away to a planet similar to 1700s Earth, a man with 21st century sensibilities and technical know how has to make his way in an alien world. With each new book in the series, we learn more above the planet and it's inhabitants. Unlike the earlier books in this series, this book is mostly about preparing for war, war strategies, and fighting. Also there’s talk of multiple wife marriages among some of the The first book in this series starts with a good sci-fi what if scenario: After being whisked away to a planet similar to 1700s Earth, a man with 21st century sensibilities and technical know how has to make his way in an alien world. With each new book in the series, we learn more above the planet and it's inhabitants. Unlike the earlier books in this series, this book is mostly about preparing for war, war strategies, and fighting. Also there’s talk of multiple wife marriages among some of the main characters which turned me off to the rest of the story. While I'm not against polygamist marriages, per se -- the way in which the author writes about it is silly and off-putting. It was so annoying that I couldn't continue reading. I had to put this book down.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A satisfying conclusion to the most of the major plot points started in the first book. There is potential for more stories in the world but the current conflict for the island has ended. So one refreshing thing about this books is that it has more than one major battle... which is a change from previous installments. I think the pov was done much better than in previous books, I think it's written in 3rd person omnipotent but felt much more tight and restrained than previous installments which A satisfying conclusion to the most of the major plot points started in the first book. There is potential for more stories in the world but the current conflict for the island has ended. So one refreshing thing about this books is that it has more than one major battle... which is a change from previous installments. I think the pov was done much better than in previous books, I think it's written in 3rd person omnipotent but felt much more tight and restrained than previous installments which sometimes felt chaotic. The plot is much more contained even though the book is fairly long but a length that I am grateful for since the story could have been two poorer halves. In the end I was left with wanting more (any good story should have that end), there were things that happen in the end which give possibilities for future stories which I personally hope will be written. As well a yearning to read similar stories.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nate Butler

    An enjoyable read / listen but ultimately flawed. As many have mentioned this book magnifies all the flaws with the series. Everything is 4 times longer than it needs to be and everything is just way too convenient. There is also the very odd relational fantasy Thorensen has going on. Finally, it gets really old when a character continues to tell the reader they don't like or want to do something yet continues to do it over and over. In the end it was just hard to really care about many of the ch An enjoyable read / listen but ultimately flawed. As many have mentioned this book magnifies all the flaws with the series. Everything is 4 times longer than it needs to be and everything is just way too convenient. There is also the very odd relational fantasy Thorensen has going on. Finally, it gets really old when a character continues to tell the reader they don't like or want to do something yet continues to do it over and over. In the end it was just hard to really care about many of the characters, especially the main ones.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    I've actually always enjoyed this series. It's quite a slow paced book and focuses on several characters which isn't always my cup of tea. However, it's been a really enjoyable read. It reminds of that series where a bunch of Unions soldiers are brought into a land where they fight orcs and help the Russian populace survive. Nevertheless, I was quite happily reading through this book when suddenly out of no where, not really, there's suddenly multiple wife shit going on. So ahhh? What? Although I've actually always enjoyed this series. It's quite a slow paced book and focuses on several characters which isn't always my cup of tea. However, it's been a really enjoyable read. It reminds of that series where a bunch of Unions soldiers are brought into a land where they fight orcs and help the Russian populace survive. Nevertheless, I was quite happily reading through this book when suddenly out of no where, not really, there's suddenly multiple wife shit going on. So ahhh? What? Although it was mentioned in the books earlier, I didn't really think it would happen to the main character. So after reading that the protagonist was going to have two wives, I calmly put the book down. Wondering if I would ever return it to it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pavel Lishin

    The first half of the book is very slow paced - there are entire chapters that are basically descriptions of landscapes, and new mysteries are mentioned but never really solved - but the action does resolve itself by the end, so hang in there, you're almost done. Without spoiling the book, there is one development in Yozef's life that felt strange and incongruous to me, and felt like it was getting into weird wish-fulfillment territory - but wasn't portrayed too gushingly or positively - but stil The first half of the book is very slow paced - there are entire chapters that are basically descriptions of landscapes, and new mysteries are mentioned but never really solved - but the action does resolve itself by the end, so hang in there, you're almost done. Without spoiling the book, there is one development in Yozef's life that felt strange and incongruous to me, and felt like it was getting into weird wish-fulfillment territory - but wasn't portrayed too gushingly or positively - but still felt like it was only being included due to some obligation, and basically ended putting Yozef in a "woe is me, how shall I handle all this good fortune" situation.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christer Dørmænen

    A great, satisfying ending!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    I like the series, but it has pacing problems and bad editing. it feels like reading a first draft, with several conversations being repeated word for word. I thought there may have been something wrong with the audio file or I had an extreme case of deja vu one example I could recall is the main character analyzing a potentual battle site and then in both cases he was asked(I can't remember if it was by the same person because I am not good at remembering names), after critiquing the location h I like the series, but it has pacing problems and bad editing. it feels like reading a first draft, with several conversations being repeated word for word. I thought there may have been something wrong with the audio file or I had an extreme case of deja vu one example I could recall is the main character analyzing a potentual battle site and then in both cases he was asked(I can't remember if it was by the same person because I am not good at remembering names), after critiquing the location he was asked if it didn't fit the criteria. in both cases he replied(approximately)"no, this is an adequate location, I am just pointing out the potential risks we would face if we chose this location." there are several examples of this in this series, like how the epiloge to book 4 is similar to the prologue in book 3(a book in which I was hoping the war would have resolved by). the reason I will not give this book 5 stars(for what that is worth), is because I believe that this series starting from book 2, had too much padding. while I do like some some of padding(scientific\technological monologues), most of seemed extremely monotonous, like yoseph pondering for the 20th time on whether or not he should move, or another chapter of him moving. or whole conversations that could have been summerized with a quick off hand remark(which they later were summarized by said remark). mmm now that I think about it, with all the problems this series had(it felt like one long feast for crows) I think it would be better if this series got 3 1/2 stars rounded up to four. if these 4 books would have been condensed to 2, it would have made for a better series, as such a good portion of the series was a waste of time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Scott Browne

    A satisfying ending to a great story I was hooked on this story line from the first book and this final book of the series kept me to the end. The characters were well-drawn and more diverse than often seen in sci-fi\fantasy. The plot was mostly predictable but with enough twists to keep me reading until late at night. Just a few criticisms that by no means should deter someone from enjoying the books: I felt the rapid adoption of Yosef’s 21st century ideas by a relatively backward tribal society A satisfying ending to a great story I was hooked on this story line from the first book and this final book of the series kept me to the end. The characters were well-drawn and more diverse than often seen in sci-fi\fantasy. The plot was mostly predictable but with enough twists to keep me reading until late at night. Just a few criticisms that by no means should deter someone from enjoying the books: I felt the rapid adoption of Yosef’s 21st century ideas by a relatively backward tribal society strained credulity at times. I also felt that the Narthani were far too competent and organized for a supposedly 18th century military. At that point in history, armies were still led by the nobility, however incompetent, with no general staff and limited organization. Major blunders and internal bickering were endemic in every army of the time. The Narthani military in this book operated more like the well-oiled German Army in World War II. This made them formidable but less consistent with the other aspects of the world Thorenson created. I also wondered at the complete absence of any discussion of the printing press and it’s profound impact on society. Several references to having books “copied” suggested this society did not have the printing press. Yet the level of other technology and organization as depicted in the story would be impossible without such a fundamental technology. These are relatively small points. I am glad Thorenson planted several mysteries in the books regarding the Watchers and earlier aliens which will require a further series to develop. I look forward to reading them!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Read the whole series one after another. If you like books like A Connecticut Yankee in King Author's Court, or Robinson Crusoe, etc. And you don't mind a great deal of exposition, then I recommend these books. There are tangents of the nature of "then I did this and so that I could reinvent this" and "I only had a vague notion so I suggested what I knew and then magically the craftsmen of the era figured it out" which happen enough to be annoying. And there's a bit of older generation language Read the whole series one after another. If you like books like A Connecticut Yankee in King Author's Court, or Robinson Crusoe, etc. And you don't mind a great deal of exposition, then I recommend these books. There are tangents of the nature of "then I did this and so that I could reinvent this" and "I only had a vague notion so I suggested what I knew and then magically the craftsmen of the era figured it out" which happen enough to be annoying. And there's a bit of older generation language around sex and gender rolls. Which isn't annoying to me because we are talking about what amounts to an earlier time. This lessens as the series progresses. But be warned. What really made me happy is that the author knew a bit about tactics and strategy and wrote much of the 'warfare' parts with actual tactics and strategy. Something many much better known authors are terrible at. same review for all the books. The last book could have been shortened. The POVs could have been cut down (we didn't need the POV of the third nation at all). Need better maps. because war nerds want battlefield maps on your website!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ron Towery

    A dab of David Weber and Harry Turtledove detected! Very interesting series, it took me about ten days to read all four books in the series, I couldn't put the books down. I detected a strong influence of Weber and Turtledove in this series. The idea of placing an enhanced 21st century human on a class m (star trek referenced world) buck naked with only his wits available to save himself, is quite an imaginative approach to a sci-fi novel. I'll be dampened if it didn't work. Our hero is faced not A dab of David Weber and Harry Turtledove detected! Very interesting series, it took me about ten days to read all four books in the series, I couldn't put the books down. I detected a strong influence of Weber and Turtledove in this series. The idea of placing an enhanced 21st century human on a class m (star trek referenced world) buck naked with only his wits available to save himself, is quite an imaginative approach to a sci-fi novel. I'll be dampened if it didn't work. Our hero is faced not only with having to survive but with the ever present dilemmas of how to utilize his knowledge in a 17th century society without harming it or getting himself possibly burned at the stake. The "Prime Directive" is definitely something he's gonna follow. Our hero will have to assimilate into this world populated by fellow humans that haven't a clue to their planet of origin. Then there's mating customs, religions, food , the local pub, the possibility of war, and six not seven days in a week. That AI, that spacecraft hitting a commercial airliner; what's a young scientist to do?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    Scifi fans who enjoyed David Weber's Off Armageddon Reef series will certainly enjoy this series as well. I personally am waiting to see if we determine how the nanobots in our main character spread to the rest of the population, and if so, what changes that will impart to them. We do get to see some more of their healing capabilities in this book, and we've already seen how they cured others he comes in contact with, but it might be interesting to see what happens when eventually, the whole isl Scifi fans who enjoyed David Weber's Off Armageddon Reef series will certainly enjoy this series as well. I personally am waiting to see if we determine how the nanobots in our main character spread to the rest of the population, and if so, what changes that will impart to them. We do get to see some more of their healing capabilities in this book, and we've already seen how they cured others he comes in contact with, but it might be interesting to see what happens when eventually, the whole island is exposed to them, it might provide some interesting stories in the future, even after the author claims the main storyline is complete. I'd look forward to history hundreds of years after the events told in this series are all said and done. Regardless of that sidetrack, This story is an age old one, but it's all in the telling, and the telling on this one is very good, so if you're a scifi fan, grab a copy and settle in for some hours of entertainment. I'm of course reading more, I like this series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    Forged in Fire hits the ground running. Caedellium needs a central command structure and the Narthani must be dealt with. All the character development pays off as Yozef finally comes to realize there’s only one way forward. After everything that’s happened he’s a changed man and his initial reluctance to lead is a mere shadow of its former self. This is a high point and serves as a great way to push the story forward. Many of the other characters have also matured and come to understand what mu Forged in Fire hits the ground running. Caedellium needs a central command structure and the Narthani must be dealt with. All the character development pays off as Yozef finally comes to realize there’s only one way forward. After everything that’s happened he’s a changed man and his initial reluctance to lead is a mere shadow of its former self. This is a high point and serves as a great way to push the story forward. Many of the other characters have also matured and come to understand what must be done and the sacrifices they may need to make. While others who either hadn’t had a chance to develop or hadn’t been put in positions where improvement was necessary, get a chance to redeem themselves. The story is riveting and kept me on the edge of my figurative seat, it is definitely a page turner. Despite the seriousness of events, Forged in Fire’s good humor still managed to get good laughs out me. It is a great book and it has brought the main conflict to a logical conclusion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie Winter

    A good story that could have been GREAT! I am not the type to knitpick something to death or one that has to speak conversely to popular opinion. My honest feeling regarding the entire series is recognition of a very good author. He managed to make mediocre interesting enough I finished all four books. It was close, I almost stopped at three but I am glad I didn't, I am happier knowing the final thoughts of Yosef Kolsco. My disappointment is strong however. So much so it esclipsed by review of th A good story that could have been GREAT! I am not the type to knitpick something to death or one that has to speak conversely to popular opinion. My honest feeling regarding the entire series is recognition of a very good author. He managed to make mediocre interesting enough I finished all four books. It was close, I almost stopped at three but I am glad I didn't, I am happier knowing the final thoughts of Yosef Kolsco. My disappointment is strong however. So much so it esclipsed by review of these works. An author skilled enough to have all my attention and excited page turning slowly dim until the desire was close to nonexistent all due to lack of plot, lack of story and most egregious lack of imagination. If he is so good, good enough to compell the turning of pages even after the desire is gone all for the hope the end would equal the beginning I wonder; what a great series this could have been. C'est la vie.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristoffer

    This book was a really great end to the main storyline. It definitely left room for possible future stories, although the epilogue did give some details of years into the future, even many years into the future. The details of the future left me thinking that the story was done and that the author just wanted to skip ahead to past the life of the main character as a signal that the story is over. Still, the details of the future were super vague, so more stories could easily be written. I am hop This book was a really great end to the main storyline. It definitely left room for possible future stories, although the epilogue did give some details of years into the future, even many years into the future. The details of the future left me thinking that the story was done and that the author just wanted to skip ahead to past the life of the main character as a signal that the story is over. Still, the details of the future were super vague, so more stories could easily be written. I am hoping that there will be another series following the main character as he deals with the enemies of his island around the world and interacts more with other nations. I also am hoping for more stuff about the aliens. This book was a really great read. If not for some of the war stuff starting to feel tedious to get through, I would have given this book five stars. It, and the books before it, are definite recommendations.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Simon T

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bottom line up front is I really liked the book. I listened to the audiobook versions of books 1-3 and really got on with them but I had to go back to a Kindle read of book 4 as I wasn't willing to wait any longer. That was a good sign to me. It took me a while to transition from the spoken word pronunciations in the audiobooks to the written word. The book, unusually, had me reading into the wee small hours wanting to learn "just a nit more". Until pretty near near the end I wasn't certain that Y Bottom line up front is I really liked the book. I listened to the audiobook versions of books 1-3 and really got on with them but I had to go back to a Kindle read of book 4 as I wasn't willing to wait any longer. That was a good sign to me. It took me a while to transition from the spoken word pronunciations in the audiobooks to the written word. The book, unusually, had me reading into the wee small hours wanting to learn "just a nit more". Until pretty near near the end I wasn't certain that Yozef and the Cadelli were going to prevail and that was due to some good writing by OT. There's enough development to keep me hooked and, having just finished the book, I can't help but wonder whether there will be another. There is clearly scope for more with the islanders developing as a civilisation. Nice work Olan. If you write more I'll read them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    I enjoyed this series a lot and this book definitely acts as the climax for the 4 book series. It's not a perfect series and this book has its own problems, but it is still a fun thought experiment of what would happen if you were stranded in an alternate past but with extensive knowledge of modern technology and concepts. This book does great, but once the peak of excitement passed the story becomes kind of aimless and reads like the author said everything he wanted to say and just needs to wrap I enjoyed this series a lot and this book definitely acts as the climax for the 4 book series. It's not a perfect series and this book has its own problems, but it is still a fun thought experiment of what would happen if you were stranded in an alternate past but with extensive knowledge of modern technology and concepts. This book does great, but once the peak of excitement passed the story becomes kind of aimless and reads like the author said everything he wanted to say and just needs to wrap it up. There's not sense of setting up a follow up book, though there are loose ends that I'd love to see dealt with. After such an exciting build to have the denouement land so flat is disappointing. All that said, I really liked the book and I won't hold the last 2% of the book against what is otherwise a fun read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Todd Katz

    Best Sci Fi series ive read in years. Think WEB Griffin on a different planet. Very cool concept. Science Fiction but really a story about people. Friends, family and the connections between them. Imagine you have PhD level knowledge of chemistry and other sciences and then you found your self in the 17th century. What would you do? Could you advance civilization? Makes me think about the greatest minds in our history. Was Albert Einstein a Septarsh? Newton? Socrates? Were they put on Earth to a Best Sci Fi series ive read in years. Think WEB Griffin on a different planet. Very cool concept. Science Fiction but really a story about people. Friends, family and the connections between them. Imagine you have PhD level knowledge of chemistry and other sciences and then you found your self in the 17th century. What would you do? Could you advance civilization? Makes me think about the greatest minds in our history. Was Albert Einstein a Septarsh? Newton? Socrates? Were they put on Earth to advance our civilization? It would be a cool concept for this Author to explore.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Persnickety

    Hoping there's more. Kindle Unlimited -Thank you. Really happy this showed up as a true Kindle Unlimited series so I'd get to read it! I'm with the reviewer(s) that enjoyed the 'slice of life' storylines as much, if not more, than the incredibly well done war themes. Kind of petty, but was glad Ana's immediate kinfolk didn't appear to have been invited to the ending ceremony. So... I'd like to get to read about the university creation, exchanges with allies, family growth, a deepening of the relati Hoping there's more. Kindle Unlimited -Thank you. Really happy this showed up as a true Kindle Unlimited series so I'd get to read it! I'm with the reviewer(s) that enjoyed the 'slice of life' storylines as much, if not more, than the incredibly well done war themes. Kind of petty, but was glad Ana's immediate kinfolk didn't appear to have been invited to the ending ceremony. So... I'd like to get to read about the university creation, exchanges with allies, family growth, a deepening of the relationship with Ana, and mayhem from the children. The 4th book would end the series nicely. But I'm hoping the future possibilities references might mean that this is the close of an arc and that the series will continue.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cgr710

    A good conclusion of the story arc, leaving space for subsequent stories. Some parts of the world building could have gone better (units of measure, cultural "parallel evolution" like monotheism, and so on) but overall a good, solid work which is definitely worth reading. Another thing I was pretty miffed with was the fact that the protagonist, which makes a lot of decisions based on Earth's history doesn't seem to think building a serious navy is the logical approach for an island-nation, like A good conclusion of the story arc, leaving space for subsequent stories. Some parts of the world building could have gone better (units of measure, cultural "parallel evolution" like monotheism, and so on) but overall a good, solid work which is definitely worth reading. Another thing I was pretty miffed with was the fact that the protagonist, which makes a lot of decisions based on Earth's history doesn't seem to think building a serious navy is the logical approach for an island-nation, like the British did...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Archer

    The ending of the series, Forged in Fire marks the (current) end of Joseph Kolsko's tribulation against the empire that would enslave his adopted home. There's nothing really surprising about the book; it's the direct continuation of book 3, there are no real new secondary plots coming to muddle things. You get a satisfying resolution, plus enough background material that you could start another series. There's hints of activity from the Watchers, but nothing concrete to set up anything yet. Hope The ending of the series, Forged in Fire marks the (current) end of Joseph Kolsko's tribulation against the empire that would enslave his adopted home. There's nothing really surprising about the book; it's the direct continuation of book 3, there are no real new secondary plots coming to muddle things. You get a satisfying resolution, plus enough background material that you could start another series. There's hints of activity from the Watchers, but nothing concrete to set up anything yet. Hope there's more, but if there is not, it is still satisfying as a whole.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    A good ending to the series (hooray!) Book 4 redeemed the series after an extremely slow-paced book 3 (which had me eyeing the exit). The story would definitely have been better served edited down to a trilogy. The author accomplished some great world building in these books, so I'll be interested in seeing what he comes up with next. That said, if he starts another series, I'll be waiting until it's finished, and reading Goodreads reviews before I start. Keeping the story advancing at an intere A good ending to the series (hooray!) Book 4 redeemed the series after an extremely slow-paced book 3 (which had me eyeing the exit). The story would definitely have been better served edited down to a trilogy. The author accomplished some great world building in these books, so I'll be interested in seeing what he comes up with next. That said, if he starts another series, I'll be waiting until it's finished, and reading Goodreads reviews before I start. Keeping the story advancing at an interesting pace is important too.

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