Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favorite authors and I’ve read almost all of her books (there are still a few I need to get to, but I’m working on it). So when I heard she had a surprise book, I knew I needed to get my hands on it! From Blood and Ash is the start of the Blood and Ash series and her first high fantasy series. I finished this book recently and wanted to tell you all about!
Captivating and action-packed, From Blood and Ash is a sexy, addictive, and unexpected fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laura Thalassa.
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.
From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Blue Box Press on 29/03/2020
“You’re an absolutely stunning, murderous little creature.”
When I started this book I was really pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t completely clear where it was going to head, but the world and characters were really interesting! At first I was a bit annoyed that we didn’t get a second POV, but later in the story it became really clear why the author made that choice.
Our main character, Poppy, is the Maiden and has never had a say in how she lives her life. There are a lot of things expected of her and the only time she can be herself is in her room when the veil she wears is allowed to come off. This is clearly something that’s starting to bother her. She wants to experience everything life has to offer, but isn’t allowed. On the other hand, she has no clue what’s going to happen when she’s sent to the capital either.
“Some truths do nothing but destroy and decay what they do not obliterate. Truths do not always set one free. Only a fool who has spent their entire life being fed lies believes that.”
Poppy felt like a really realistic character. She tries to follow the rules as much as possible, but why can’t she live her life either? No one will really explain this. It’s only natural that she gets curious, especially when her new royal guard, Hawke, arrives. Poppy is feisty and even though she’s not supposed to do much, she’s definitely taken time to learn how to defend herself and even sneaks out at times. It’s clear she’s longing companionship and friendship. She has found this with a few people, but can never do so in public. I love how she develops in this book. Poppy becomes stronger and stronger and when things don’t seem to be everything they are, she slowly starts opening her eyes.
Hawke is an interesting one that I don’t want to say too much about. As always, he’s the book boyfriend we expect this author to give us. He’s handsome, charming, mysterious and sarcastic. I loved Hawke from the start, but I had a feeling there was definitely more going on with them, especially with some of the remarks made in this book). It takes awhile, but when I figured it all out things got really interesting. I’m still not sure what he’s up to, but I can’t wait to find out more. And I really hope we get a few chapters from his POV in the next book.
“Death is like an old friend who pays a visit, sometimes when it’s least expected and other times when you’re waiting for her. It’s neither the first nor the last time she’ll pay a visit, but that doesn’t make any death less harsh or unforgiving.”
As for world building, Jennifer L. Armentrout outdid herself with this book. At times I was so frustrated, because I had a feeling we were missing such a big part of the plot. What Poppy is and why she’s so important isn’t really explained well in this story. We get little pieces and the main character doesn’t even seem to know what her purpose is. If you get frustrated like me, keep on reading, when all is slowly revealed it’s so worth the wait. The paranormal aspect in this book is subtle, but that made it fit this book perfectly. At a certain point when all the pieces come together, I was amazed. I loved how she led us to this reveal.
“I was the Maiden, the Chosen … I wasn’t Poppy but a shadow of a person who wasn’t allowed to experience, need, live, or want.”
On top of everything I’ve already talked about, there is also an amazing cast of side characters. Not all of them are ones I loved, but this author really made me hate the villains and they’re executed in a perfect way. Also, that ending left me wanting more and confused. I have no clue where this story is going, but I can’t wait to find out!
From Blood and Ash kept me on my toes with all the twists and turned thrown at us readers. I really have no clue how this is going to continue in the sequel! What do you think? Does From Blood and Ash sound like a book for you? Let me know in the comments!