Book Review of Forged in the Fire

Forged in the Fire
Forged in the Fire
Author: Ann Turnbull
Genre: Children's Books
Book Type: Paperback
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Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com

The streets of 17th-Century London come alive in author Ann Turnbull's FORGED IN THE FIRE. The sequel to Turnbull's 2006 NO SHAME, NO FEAR, this well-written novel stands alone, dually answering readers' current questions while offering just enough ambiguity to pique their interest in the prequel.

Romance is alive and well in the plague-infested streets of 1665 London. But, times are hard and death is rampant, especially for Quakers such as Will and Susanna, who find themselves fighting against a close-minded religious establishment in addition to disease and poverty. Readers are left to breathlessly concede that a happy ending, no matter how deserved, is far from guaranteed.

Turnbull is skilled at entertaining readers while covertly educating them. Her scenes are full and powerful, bringing excitement and history to the forefront, yet never overpowering or heavy-handed. Readers will fall wholeheartedly into the love story of Will and Susanna, while simultaneously aching for the thousands of actual lives truly lost to sickness, disaster and ignorance in the London of yesteryear.

This, readers will understand, was a time of great fear, but not a time beyond equally great faith: "We ate with relish and felt glad to be alive," recalls Will. "The plague was in the city--but danger was always present. We must go about our lives as usual and trust in God" (p. 25).