From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout

five stars black
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 622
Release Date: March 31, 2020

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.


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 donor 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 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 wen every blood-soaked thread the holds her world together begins to unravel.


From Blood and Ash is
perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Both are romance heavy fantasy novels with a competent main characters and dark alpha male love interests.

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From Blood and Ash follows Poppy, the Maiden, as she’s sequestered away while she awaits the day she Ascends, a rite of passage cloaked in mystery. Life is tedious and mundane as she’s restricted from just about anything enjoyable or pleasurable until a new personal guard is assigned to her.

Poppy is a competent and intelligent main character. She is physically capable and socially adept despite her isolation. As her title suggests, Poppy is lacking in her experience with relationships. The trope of experienced male and inexperience female is one I dislike, but Armentrout makes good use of the trope by allowing Poppy to embrace her sensuality. 

Hawke, the male love interest, straddles the line of overbearing alpha male without being too obnoxious or borderline abusive. He’s firm yet yielding when needed. I wish Hawke had more screen time, but From Blood and Ash is Poppy’s story as she discovers herself and the world she lives in. I’ll be interested to see if Hawke gets his own perspective in the sequel.

The chemistry between Poppy and Hawke is electric from the first scene until the last. Their attraction to each other sizzles making it a real concern that the pages might suddenly catch fire. What else would you expect from an Armentrout novel?

“I came back for you that night. Just like I told you I would. I came back for you, and you weren’t there. You promised me, princess.”

Armentrout has never had an issue with world building and lore within her novels. The Covenant series is a great example of her world building capabilities. Now, From Blood and Ash will be the novel I point to as an excellent example of her creativity and attention to detail. From Blood and Ash features a world with an expansive history, gods, and beliefs systems that are all slowly explained to the reader as the story develops.

I almost rated From Blood and Ash 4.5 stars because the pace in the middle of the novel slows down too much. Readers simmer in the world with Poppy as Armentrout sets up the climax of the novel. Once the pace picks back up, it kept me reading until the end leaving me desperate for more.

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Overall, From Blood and Ash is the perfect read for fans of Sarah J. Maas. It strikes the perfect balance between fantasy and romance elements leaving the world feeling lived in and full while allowing the relationship between the main characters feeling real and authentic.

***I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read From Blood and Ash? What did you think?

 

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7 thoughts on “From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout

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