November 24, 2021

From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash Book 1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash Book 1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 3.5 STARS
Release Date: March 30, 2020
Format: eBook + Audiobook
Publisher: Blue Box Press

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From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout is an epic, addicting, and action-packed high fantasy tale. I want to emphasize that, despite common misconceptions, this is not a young adult book. With the content, I would place it at more of a new adult or adult audience level. Please ensure you take a look at the list of trigger warnings (available at the end of my review) before picking up this title so you don’t go in unprepared.

Poppy’s fate has been decided for her since the moment of her birth. Because of her status as “The Maiden”, it is forbidden for her to be touched. It is forbidden for anyone save a select few to look upon her face. The privileges that others in the kingdom are automatically given are always out of reach, and she is constantly reminded of her duty to the gods and to the kingdom. Poppy is not content sitting idly by though, as she yearns to help defend the kingdom against the monsters that took her family and badly scarred her. Things get complicated in Poppy’s life when she is assigned a new guard - Hawke Flynn, the handsome young sword she met in the city one of the few times she escaped from the castle.

I finally get why people are always talking about Hawke and Poppy in the book community. Poppy was by far my favorite character in the book. She has a tragic and painful history, but she’s managed to overcome it. She also doesn’t let the cruel words from the Duke and others in the castle affect her. I am ALWAYS a fan of headstrong, independent, and fierce female main characters. I agree with the majority of the females in this book that Hawke is super hot. As a love interest, he’s both frustrating and intriguing so I’m excited to see how his relationship with Poppy will evolve over the course of the series.

The book does start out very slow, but if you push past that beginning everything picks up quickly. Don’t give up on the book too early! The last third or so of the story was my favorite. Readers who are looking for a steamy new adult romance set in a fantasy world should love this series. My curiosity is definitely piqued enough to read the next book, but I’m not completely sold on the series yet. I did put A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire on my TBR, but I’m in no particular rush to get to it.

CW: Death (violent, death of a minor), Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Assault, Violence (Graphic), Sexual Harassment, Rape (not on the page)

About the Book

A Maiden...

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.

A Duty...

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.

A Kingdom...

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.

About the Author

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Shepherdstown, 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, her Border Jack Apollo,  Border Collie Artemis, six judgemental alpacas, two rude goats, and five fluffy sheep. 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.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion, Harlequin Teen and Blue Box Press. Her Wicked Series has been into a feature film by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. Her novel STORM AND FURY was chosen for the 2020-2021 Florida Teens Read List. Her adult fantasy FROM BLOOD AND ASH was the 2020 Goodreads Choice Award in Romance. She has also written Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.

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