“he was like the brightest star and the deepest night sky given mortal form. And he was utterly beautiful in this form, wholly terrifying.”
My main issue with Blood and Ash was the confusing world building and the somewhat repetitive dialogue. A Shadow in the Ember does not have any of these issues, it is utter perfection. I usually do not like reading books set in the same world but with different characters, it throws me off that I don't get to read about the characters I already fell in love with. However, I am so happy that I gave this prequel a chance because Nyktos and Sera and the whole plot development and world building are so much better than in Blood in Ash. I think you can really see the author's development and it makes me even more excited to read "The War of Two Queens."
A Shadow in the Ember tells the story of the Primal God of Death, Nyktos which we have heard of in Blood and Ash. It was interesting to hear the story behind the Gods we hear so much in the main storyline. I can't wait to see how the two stories mix together. Sera is the handmaiden that Poppy hears many times and helps her in many ways. This is basically her story and how she was raised to kill Nyktos, but ends up falling in love with him and realizing that all she was thought about the cause behind her kingdom's failure is all lies.
I ended up understanding the story behind the Gods and the world all these characters are set in much more than I did in previous books, and it also didn't feel like I was being told a history lesson. The realizations came more slowly and with more description than a rather long dump of confusing information.
The relationship between Nyktos and Sera is magnifying and mixes a bit of slow romance with palpable chemistry making it truly PERFECT. Also Sera as a heroine felt much stronger and smarter than Poppy. Poppy at times made me annoyed at her repetitive dialogue, but Sera's witty comments made me chuckle and the dialogue felt more real and natural. Now I just wish I could re read all the books and see how they're all going to connect, since at the beginning I was not really paying attention to Nyktos. Now ALL I wanted is to know what happened to them and how everything will play out with Poppy and Hawke's story line.
Overall rating: 5 stars