From Blood and Ash Review
Fear and bravery are often one and the same. It either makes you a warrior or a coward. The only difference is the person it resides inside.
Title: From Blood and Ash
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Blood and Ash, #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Date Published: March 29, 2020
Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.
The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.
Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.
Jennifer L. Armentrout has outdone herself with this book. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Armentrout fan, and will read anything she releases. But, WOW. From Blood and Ash is by far the best book of hers I have read yet, and I have read a LOT. Armentrout brings the romance, balances it out with a stunning emphasis on world building, and throws in some of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever seen, culminating in a book that is truly out of this world.
I will admit, From Blood and Ash, or FB&A as it’s more affectionately known, started out slow. I didn’t really know if I’d end up liking where I thought the novel was going, but I was pleasantly surprised. Plot twist after plot twist, Armentrout keeps the reader guessing until, quite literally, the last page. When I say that you won’t know what is going to happen until the very end, I truly am not kidding.
Now, this book is over 600 pages, so character development is to be expected, but let me tell you, FB&A knocked it out of the park. I’ve never loved and hated so many characters at once. Overall, I HIGHLY recommend you give this novel a chance. If you need me, you’ll find me with my nose buried in A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, the sequel to this phenomenal book :).
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The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Goodreads 2021: 3/20