Book Review: From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
"From this moment until the last moment, I am yours"
Jennifer L. Armentrout reminds me again why my favorite genre is fantasy romance. To dive deep into a mythical characters where everything that you don't want to happen, happens. Into a world of mystical creatures and spicy spicy scenes (although I was a little disappointed in these).
From Blood and Ash is the story of our *maiden* Poppy. What is Maiden? Well, she was basically "The Chosen One," and she has to remain in a castle veiled at all times under the care of a very creepy and disgusting Lord and his wife who does little to stop the atrocities that are done to Poppy. When her body guard dies in a failed kidnapping attempt towards Poppy, she receives a new royal guard named Hawke. Hawke, however, is the one "mistake" Poppy has that might make her Ascension impossible. Hawke makes her feels emotions she never has felt before, and slowly there is a very thin line she is willing to cross to get the pleasure she had been denied all her life. That is kind of the gist of the world, however to really explain the setting might take me a while because the honest truth is that I didn't understand the setting and the world until the very end.
First let's talk about why I didn't rate this book 5 stars, even though I really enjoyed it.
1) I felt there was a lack of world building that was NECESSARY for a book with so much going on. At the beginning I really didn't understand what the Ascended where and what made them different from the rest. I didn't understand why the world was the way it was, and a lot of the book passes by before we actually get any of the answers. Which when we actually get the answers, it felt a lot like a 3 minute history lesson all wrapped up in 3 pages. I love world building and finding out secrets of the setting and historical background of the book I am reading, and this book lacked a big chunk of it.
2) I. WAS. PROMISED. SPICY. Okay, this one might be a personal problem. But many people compare this to A Court of Silver Flames and similar Maas' books, so obviously I expected a lot of steamy scenes. Well I am preparing you now, there isn't many. With this in mind, I am not saying the romance and the slow burn is intoxicating because it is and I was head over heels in love with Poppy and Hawke. However, the steam is definitely not as promised.
On to the good parts. I really enjoyed Poppy as a main character. I feel that a lot of the "issues" in background and history we have is because Poppy is kept out of the loop of what really is going on, hence the readers are too. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the holy vs unholy thought she has and her overall confusion. I feel like the way she was raised and how she feels inside play a huge role on her character and although for many she might seem naive at times, I honestly found her character to be very relatable. She wants to be holy as she was chosen to be, but she can't deny herself the only thing that is bringing her happiness.
Hawke <3 I already knew as he appeared that he would be a great book boyfriend to swoon over. In the book club that I am in that's reading this book they called him a fuckboy and I couldn't agree more. He is depicted as a through and through bad boy that does not think he deserves Poppy, the angst and the lies and secrets all make the story worthwhile and exciting.
Last but not least the side characters really brought me joy. I want to know more about Kieran and that ending left me in utter shock (I guessed some of the plot twists, but the last sentence made my jaw d r o p).
Overall rating: 4 stars