Kayla’s Review of “From Blood and Ash” by Jennifer L. Armentrout
About Kayla’s Review of “From Blood and Ash” on The Book Brontosaurus
“I’ve read a few of JLA’s books and this one was on my list when it was released earlier this year. However, Alex was really the determining factor in me picking this book up when I did. And holy crap I wasn’t disappointed.“ – Kayla
Title: From Blood and Ash
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Page Count: 622
Release Date: March 29, 2020
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Content Warning: Mature themes
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.”
Overall Rating and Review Blurb
Book Review for “From Blood and Ash”
Readability: 4 out of 5 Tree Stars
It was really easy for me to finish this book once I started. But gettings started was a little hard. I got a little stuck around chapter 6 in this book because there was a lot of lore that was presented with only a little bit of context. “From Blood and Ash” wasn’t as confusing as some other books I’ve read recently but I did feel like it was worth mentioning. Everything gets explained and makes sense as the story progresses so I didn’t think it needed to affect my score that much.
I ended up reading the second half of this book really fast. Things started picking up and I just couldn’t put it down. Not to say that the first half wasn’t exciting. The beginning was more of a mystery. Overall though, I’d say this is a second act book.
Plot: 5 out of 5 Tree Stars
The progression of all of the events in this book was really natural. Everything flowed together and the pacing was well-thought-out. The beginning developed well and I didn’t feel excessively confused while the world was explained. I was happy with the flow of everything and the ending made me want to pick up the next book immediately. Thank god I waited until after it was released to pick it up.
Chapter 34 gave me a brain aneurysm. That’s all I’ll say.
Characters: 5 out of 5 Tree Stars
The characters are so fun! I still think about characters from the first JLA series I ever read (the Lux series) and this one will be no different. While Jennifer certainly has a type or style of person she likes to include in her novels, nothing about them is boring or derivative. They are all original characters with well-defined personalities and they are just fun to experience.
“Her brown eyes glimmered. ‘Things are about to get so much more exciting around here.’”“From Blood and Ash”, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Poppy is a believable heroine with complex emotions. Hawke is…Hawke. He makes an early appearance and then doesn’t resurface for a while. That killed me a little, but trust me, he’s worth the wait. And even the side characters add so much to this story. I loved so many of them so much.
Wow Factor: 5 out of 5 Tree Stars
The fantastical and paranormal elements in this story are so intriguing. You find out pretty early on that the creatures of choice are shifters and vampires. But they aren’t traditional and that’s something that really blew me away. I was impressed by the spin and the history of the Ascended that we learn as the story progresses.
At the time I wrote this review, I was already about 20% into the sequel, “A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire”. This book was pretty fast-paced and I really felt pulled into the story that Poppy and Hawke were living. I am so happy to have experienced this first book with them and I’m dying to know what happens next.