From Blood and Ash Review
Books Like This: The Rebel of The Sands Series, Serpent & Dove Series, The Harbinger Series
For People Who Like: Romance, Fantasy, Rebellion, Plot twists, Violence, Betrayal
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 is the first book in the Blood and Ash Series by Jennifer L Armentrout. I was first introduced to Jennifer L Armentrout when I started one of her other series called The Covenant Series. Later, I stumbled onto another series of hers called The Harbinger Series (which was amazing, can't wait for the next book, completely recommend). I completely fell head over heals into her worlds and I immediately fell in love with her characters and how smart and independent they are.
Rating Explanation/ Review:
This book....was....an experience. There were some parts of it when I couldn't control my laughter at the characters and some parts that I had to put the book down just to absorb what was happening. One of my first thoughts when I first read the synopsis of the book was that I hated the name Poppy (which is short for Penellaphe). And as the book progressed I realized that the name Poppy didn't match her personality at all. The name Poppy implied innocence, ignorance, youth and fragility when Penellaphe was strong, independent, smart, selfless (mostly) and brave. Even though I didn't really like Poppy's name, it was used so sparingly in the book that it didn't really matter, despite her name playing a very special role in her and Hawke's relationship.
Okay, I have to say... Hawke was....very mind boggling. And I mean that in the best way possible. I literally spent the whole book knowing that he wasn't normal but not knowing what he was. I knew he was hiding something, I just didn't know what it was. But, when I finally found out, man, is it a doozy. I loved Hawkes character from the first couple of pages until the very last word on the last page of the book. I love how he lets Poppy be herself and he tells her that she's beautiful despite her scars.
As always, Jennifer outdid herself with her world making and constant, detailed descriptions of the characters and the setting.
Another thing I love about this book is how it expresses what it's like to be in an abusive relationship. To me, I think Jennifer really described the anxiety and pain (among other things) that people feel in these kinds of situations. Though I don't know for sure it still really stood out to me.
Jennifer L Armentrout's banter between the main character and the love interest is so entertaining. In all of the books of hers I've read I always find myself laughing at the things the characters say and do. Especially in this book, we see Hawke constantly annoying Poppy and somehow their relationship evolved, it really was amazing to read.
I really loved this book and I completely recommend it.
Congratulations to Jennifer L. Armentrout. I wish you luck on all of your future endeavors.