Review of: Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson (sequel to Chains)

Reviewed by: Bella

forgeCurzon is alive and roaring for his newly claimed freedom. In the clever novel Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson, you learn what it was like to be a runaway slave. Curzon’s previous master, Bellingham, promised him that when his first enlistment in the army expired, he was free. So technically, he is not an illegal unchained slave, but he ran away from prison, with the help of Isabel and her unshakable courage. Isabel and Curzon had just about built up their trust in each other, when Isabel sets her mind on finding her younger sister Ruth.  Isabel’s urge to find her sister drives her to defy Curzon and his plans. In the middle of the night, Isabel leaves, taking money and her possessions without Curzon’s awareness.  The question buzzing in Curzon’s mind like a swarm of bees is: is Isabel alive?  Curzon must go on an audacious adventure to find Isabel and continue on his journey as a runaway slave.  Meanwhile, Curzon enlists in the army to support himself, and meets friends that will help him tremendously in the future to become an official freed slave. Over the course of the novel, Curzon learns to forgive, find his inner strength, and to stand up for others and what he believes in.

Forge was very eye opening because I learned the hardships and struggles of war. I enjoyed reading both Chains  and Forge because not only were they great stories, but I also expanded my knowledge of history.  As I mentioned in my Chains review, Chains did not contain a lot of suspense. However, Forge was replete with suspense towards the end of the book.  In Forge, we move from Isabel’s perspective to Curzon’s which was awesome. I learned different opinions from Isabel’s, but I did miss her perspective.  Forge was an overall fantastic story bravery, courage, and hope.

I recommend Forge to middle school students. There are some gruesome and grotesque events because of war, so it is not appropriate for younger readers. I love Laurie Halse Anderson’s books because they are not only exciting stories, but you learn something from them. Boys and girls both would love and learn something from Forge.