Hammering Iron by L.S. Lawrence
Omnibus Books, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-86291-971-6.
Recommended for 10 to 14 year olds. Hammering Iron is an historical fiction novel that describes from a personal perspective of a commoner how the Ancient world changed from the Bronze Age to the Iron age. It follows the life of Paramon, a boy who went from working a scribe for a mean Lord to joining the Ancient Greek Danaen Army, going to war, becoming a slave and then eventually discovering with his new master the secrets to creating a cheaper and stronger metal than bronze. All these experiences transform Paramon from a boy to blacksmith, adapting to all the problems that he encounters as well as developing new friendships, some from past enemies. Hammering Iron features many battles and fighting segments where the feeling of stabbing a man with his new sword is described in detail. The novel moves quickly enough to stay engaging and could possibly spark an interest in this part of ancient history in readers aged 10 to 14 years old. Whilst Hammering Iron is historical fiction, the battles, tribes and cities have existed and therefore prompt further research by readers. The themes of growth and development, overcoming obstacles and making the most out of difficult situations are also positive.