Title: From Blood And Ash
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Fantasy / Romance / New Adult
Rated: 4.4 on GoodReads
My Rating: 5.0
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.
This was one of my first new reads back in the world of bibliophiles after a fairly long hiatus, and I gotta say – It’s a breathless welcome back!
One of the things I’ve always loved about Jennifer L. Armentrout is her writing style. She knows how to tell an engaging story, how to draw out a story, and how to tangle you in her web of mysteries and plot twists.
The beginning of the tale is a bit on the slow side; this is something you appreciate later on in the book when you realize that you’re being drawn into Poppy’s world. It isn’t slow for the sake of being slow, but because that is how her life works. Once you get to the second half of the book – where things really start to pick up in pace – You realize the drastic difference between the lifestyle she knew and the one she’s thrown into. The difference is night and day, and the way it all ties together had me thrown for a loop.
All of the characters are a joy to interact with; Poppy in and of herself is a gem, struggling with an identity that she never agreed to. Victor, the affectionate father figure I think we’ve all wanted. Tawny, who’s mischievous nature is always refreshing.
And Hawke…Oh, Hawke.
This man would make me commit felonies, then say thank you for joining me for the ride. Or for the ride itself…Who’s to say?
All the steamy scenes in the book are so, so beautifully written as well. I was on edge every time there was a hint of a tease. I will say, I did not enjoy the first one though. Because I know how reading works, and I do not trust writers. I felt things were off, and for good reason.
Now, I say I didn’t enjoy it, but I actually did. I didn’t in the “Oh god I know what’s coming, you acting sus dude” kind of way. The feeling of dread that takes over when you start to piece together the puzzle is so agonizingly blissful and painful all at once.
I’m a masochist for a reason, methinks.
All in all, I would highly recommend this story to absolutely everyone and anyone – Unless you’re impatient for the action. That will take some time to build, though there are some intriguing fights with monstrous creatures that should be able to tide you over until the real stuff begins.