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From Blood and Ash

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Synopsis

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.

Synopsis source: Goodreads

What pattern is that?
Pictured with the book in this post is the Cozy Fireside Wrap pocket scarf. The pattern is available for free here on the blog!

This title is a Books, WIPs, and Sips Book Club Pick

For details about Books, WIPs, + Sips Book Club, click here.
To join the discussion for this title, scroll down for details.

Review

HB&W Rating: 3.5 stars, 3 flames
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, New Adult
View on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble

I’m no prude, but I was surprised at the level of spice in this book, considering it is classified as YA. Just throwing that out there for anyone whose kids might be interested in reading this.

I really enjoyed this book. It took me a bit to understand the world and different groups of people, reconciling the new terminology of this story with more traditional vampire books, but I was also a bit distracted when I started the book, so that could have been a factor. I really like Poppy and how she flies under the radar with her badassery. She can be a little slow on the uptake at times, but we all have those moments, so I won’t hold it against her.

Hawke said all the right things, did all the right things and was pretty decent book boyfriend material. There were some things he said/did toward the end that seemed a bit insensitive to me, like the author was trying to keep us guessing about him, but really, we all know how this is going down.

Speaking about knowing how this is going down, while some of the overall plot was predictable, there were a few surprises. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll keep it vague. I had a general idea of how things were going to end up but it wasn’t obviously predictable to get to that end, if that makes sense.

That said, I don’t think there were any new concepts not previously explored in other fantasy series. Vampires, political unrest, virginal FMC trained to do battle. I liked the veil aspect of the Maiden, which I think goes a long way toward explaining how restrictive the rules governing Poppy’s life are and how insulated and sequestered she is. I think the author illustrated how lonely she must be as a result of her restrictions and how that motivated her actions throughout the book very well.

I enjoyed the book, but I feel like it is a bit forgettable. I have already put a hold on the second book, out of curiosity and habit more than any burning desire that I must have the next book now. It’s worth the time investment to read the next book, and hopefully things get more interesting then. I find that happens a lot in fantasy series since so much of the first book is info-dumping.

I can’t wait to discuss this book and see what everyone thinks will happen in the next book during our book club discussion! I hope you can join us on July 30, 2024 at 7pm on Instagram for the live chat! Read on for details!

Book Club Details!

On Tuesday, July 30th at 7pm CST on Instagram Stories Live, I’m happy to welcome lit lover and fellow yarn enthusiast, Alex from Bookstagram’s LoopsAndLit! I was so excited when I stumbled upon her account that is a similar mix of crochet and books to mine! How fun is that!? Tune in to get to know Alex and conduct the ultimate post-mortem on this quarter’s pick!

Alex

Alex is the face behind Instagram’s @loopsandlit, a space for sharing her crochet projects (loops) and book reviews (literature). Based just outside of Washington DC, Alex resides in Arlington, VA with her husband and two cats. She is a lifelong book lover and loves to dwell in the escapism of reading.

In 2023, Alex discovered her love for crochet and never looked back. She crochets anything you can think of, from blankets to clothes, stuffed animals, bags, and even a couch for her kitties! Right now, she creates just for her love of the craft but does commission pieces.

Find Alex on Instagram | Goodreads

Replay!

If you can’t make the live discussion, no worries! I’ll post the replay below for you to watch/listen at your leisure after we record!

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Happy reading!

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