Title: From Blood and Ash
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Date published: March 30, 2020
A digital copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
⤖ My Review ⬻
Jennifer L. Armentrout is an author that I’ve had an interesting experience with. I was introduced to her (as many others) through her Lux series. Those books are young adult science fiction with a focus on action and romance, and I really really enjoyed them! I can’t remember the last time I burned through a series so fast. Then I tried one of her adult series with a focus on Greek mythology that I’d heard high praises about…and really struggled to make it through the first and second books (and discontinued it after that). I’m also currently reading Armentrout’s Origin series, another science fiction young adult series which is a spinoff from her Lux series and am enjoying it.
So, when I heard that Armentrout had written From Blood and Ash, her first high fantasy book, and that it was the start of a new adult series, I knew that I had to request it because fantasy is my go-to genre and I also really enjoy the new adult genre. I also knew that this book/series could be a hit or miss for me based on my previous experience with Armentrout’s books. Either way, I decided to keep an open mind and started reading.
The first reaction I had when I started reading, I remember, is that I was intrigued by the world and how Armentrout had decided to start the story off. It caught my attention, and also made me curious about Poppy and Hawke. There was also a bit of the steam that I feel was promised to me through the synopsis! But after that first portion of the book, I found that I struggled. Before I continue, I do want to say though that I started reading From Blood and Ash just before I hit a really bad reading slump. I also tend to struggle with e-books over physical books because I definitely enjoy the experience of holding a paper book over holding a screen.
So, I just wanted to present those factors because I don’t want to blame the pacing of From Blood and Ash entirely for how long it took me to finish the book as a whole. I also want to say that I understanding with this being the first book in a high fantasy series, that the author had to take some time to explain the world. I felt that a lot of focus was placed on palace intrigue, sort of, or rather the abuse and experiences of one character. Whatever the case, it was all a bit slow for me and I had to really push myself to continue picking up the book.
I started reading in early April and finished in early July, and even though things picked up in the third quarter of the book, and even though I can appreciate what the author was trying to do with the plot, I just think that this book and series as a whole is not for me. That being said, when the next book comes out, I can’t say that I might not be tempted to pick it up. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that my experience with From Blood and Ash is as complex as my experience with Armentrout’s books as a whole.
⤖ About the Author ⬻
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.
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⤖ Let’s Chat ⬻
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!