From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Five Word Summary

Fierce, tempestuous, playful, poignant, despotic.

For

  • Fantasy lovers who like romance.
  • For romance lovers who don’t mind fantasy.
  • For anyone who like a bit of smut.

Blurb

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.

My Thoughts

As I was reading, I kept trying to decide why I enjoyed this book so much. Ultimately, I think it was because the author succeeded in achieving the main goal of fiction – I empathised with the protagonist. Even more, I liked her! Poppy is as innocent as a rose, but her past losses and continued challenges have made her worldly. She is stoic and determined to overcome her fears and doubts and puts herself in perpetual motion. Which, of course, makes for a great read.

“Because everyone should be able to live a little, even for a few hours.”

She uses her pain to help the pain of others, even if it puts her in danger. She is also sassy and funny.

Then there is the physical scars she bears.

“Half of her face is a masterpiece,” the Duke murmured, and my skin flashed cold and then hot as my stomach twisted. “The other half a nightmare.”

Bam! The reader is pulled into a state of empathy.

Then we have Hawke, the gorgeous (tall, strong and sexy af) man who becomes her personal bodyguard, and who will challenge Poppy’s innocence.

Hawke’s gaze remained fastened on mine as he stepped forward. “Both halves are as beautiful as the whole.”

How could you not cheer for this guy? Without giving away spoilers, lets just say his sass matches hers in a delightful way and it is clear she hold his heart – despite what duty demands of him.

OK – I will admit it was easy to predict the plot, so it lacked suspense and twists, but this didn’t stop the enjoyment. I was keen to read on to see how we would arrive at the inevitable.

I have purchased the second book and I am keen to see how Poppy’s story plays out.

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