Cindy's Reviews > The Fiend and the Forge

The Fiend and the Forge by Henry H. Neff
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's review
Dec 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: kids-fantasy, read-in-2011
Read in July, 2011

After two books of hit or misses, Neff really steps up to the plate with The Fiend and the Forge. At the end of the second book, I had made the comment that it was a shame so many people were comparing this to a knock-off of Harry Potter because Neff had talent but couldn't live up to the Harry Potter fame. Let me just say The Fiend and the Forge takes all the comparisons to Harry Potter and puts them to shame.

Neff really upps the ante in this book and takes the whole series in a new direction. Sure there are similarities to Harry Potter but that happens in ALL fantasy books. I could make comparisions to Lord of the Rings or other high name books. But the thing that stands out is that Neff matures his main characters, and brings a darker side to the novels. He really takes things into his own hands and really improves the story.

Over the course of three books Neff has not only matured his story and plot but he also has matured as a writer. There is a slight maturity as a writer that made me proud to say that I followed Neff when. Some fo the things that popped into my mind was the diversity in words and descriptions. In the first book I could swear everything was "Pudgy" "doughy" etc. Neff got away from this habit and was able to describe things without having to use comparisions to every day objects or over describe.

While I did enjoy this novel there is still the habit of tossing in the completely unbelievable and totally unnessary parts of the plot. The biggest one that stuck out was the whole making Max a part of the staff. It served nothing to the plot, took away from the dark side of the book and just seemed out of place. However, these out of character plot elements were fewer and far between than previous books (think the whole element of allowing Max's dad to stay at shchool).

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