Review: From Blood & Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Maiden is chosen at birth, they must live a life of solitude, never to be touched, can’t be looked upon, and never to be spoken to. An entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, yet she isn’t quite sure what she wants. Right now she would like to be able to enjoy life, and fight back against the evil that took her parents life.

Then she meets Hawke, a gorgeous guard who becomes honor bound to ensure her safety until the day of her Ascension. They have an instant connection, and he makes her feel things she shouldn’t feel as the Maiden. As this test of her faith is happening, Poppy also finds herself caught in the middle of a fallen kingdom trying to rise again.

REVIEW

I knew nothing about this book, but kept getting it recommended to me because of how much I like Sarah J. Maas’ books. I ended up completely loving From Blood and Ash, and finished it in 24 hours. (It also helped that my area got hit by a tropical storm, so I had lost power and I had no other distractions.) Poppy and Hawke have such great chemistry, and I love the world that Jennifer L. Armentrout built in this novel. I also enjoyed the slow trickle of information, you find out things as Poppy does. Poppy has a lot in common with many young adult fantasy heroines, but I really enjoyed the exploration of her sexuality. That often isn’t seen or maybe done off-screen in other novels, but fully explored in From Blood and Ash. I did figure out the one major twist beforehand, but it didn’t hinder the book for me at all.

I recommend this book if you love fantasy and romance. It definitely checks off both those boxes. I can’t wait for the sequel which comes out September 1st!

RATING: 9/10

Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie remembers when magic lived in Orïsha. Her mother was a reaper and one day she would be too. Then the Raid happened, and her entire world ended. Under the orders of ruthless king, maji were rounded up and killed in an attempt to eradicate magic forever. In the killings, Zélie lost her mother, and hope for the future.

With the discovery of some magic artifacts, and the help of the rouge princess, Amari, Zélie now has an opportunity to bring magic back for good and save her people. She just has to outrun the crown prince, who is hiding a secret of his own.

REVIEW

Once I picked this book up, I honestly couldn’t put it down. So I had a few late nights, fighting sleep just to stay up a bit later and read some more. The story itself is steeped in African culture. While still being a fantasy series, it has a powerful message that hits home especially today. The book explores the cruelty of racism and how it can divide a country. Fantasy novels often explore themes of oppression and overthrowing a tyrant, but the way Adeyemi shows the violence and terror feels different. The novel never feels preachy in its message.

The novel is fairly straightforward journey and fast paced, which is probably why I had a couple late nights reading. It would be hard to find a place to stop, because I just wanted to see what happened next. The ending was my absolute favorite part. Children of Blood and Bone ends at the height of its climax! There is always some kind of wrap up chapter at the end of fantasy books even if there is another book coming in the series, but with this novel there were so many questions I had about what had happened. I am so excited to read the next book in the series, and to see what happens. Seriously, go read this book!

Here’s my review for the next book in the series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance!

RATING: 9/10