Series Name:
Blood and Ash, # 1

Review By Veronica

From Blood and Ash is a fantasy romance that will leave you feeling very satisfied.

Favourite Quote:

Eyes flying open, I spun around, and a scream of horror knotted my throat as Rylan staggered backward, an arrow protruding from his chest. A look of disbelief marked his features as he lifted his chin. 

“Run,” he gasped, blood trickling from the corner of his lips. “Run.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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 honour 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.

This is the first in the best-selling series Blood and Ash. I am sure you have seen it at the bookstore or on BookTok. There has been a lot of hype around this series; readers either love it or hate it. Personally, I love it. I could not put this book down and ended up reading it over the weekend. And when I was done, I went to the bookstore and bought the following two books. If you are a fan of Sarah J. Mass’s writing, then I think you will enjoy the Blood and Ash series. They have a lot of similarities; there are magical/mythological elements, there are battles and betrayals, and the spice is oh so nice (and very detailed). Both authors’ approaches to the main character’s relationships are structured similarly.

The world that Jennifer creates is inhabited with vampires, werewolves, and immortals. I enjoy Jennifer’s take on these mythical creatures. She puts her own spin on them which adds a freshness despite being used in A LOT of books and movies. The first part of the story is slower, but I like that. It allowed me the chance to get to know the world and its history before all the action takes over. I didn’t get that overwhelmed feeling I sometimes get when I jump into a fantasy novel. Jennifer does a great job at world-building using rich detail to paint a vivid and dark backdrop for her story. I also enjoy how the history, and other information that readers often need to know to understand the story,  is woven through dialogue, ceremonies, and study sessions. The second half  has a lot of action. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat unable to put this book down. There are significant twists near the end, and the book ends in a cliffhanger. Now keep in mind,  this is a fantasy romance book. So even though the romantic elements aren’t always front-center, they are definitely present. If you aren’t a fan of romances, this book may not be for you.

I enjoy the cast of characters in this book. Poppy and Hawke are great main characters. Poppy is smart, strong, and curious about the world around her. I found myself liking her character, especially when she is interacting with Hawke. The banter between these two is delicious. Hawke is that mysterious cocky hero, and I was just addicted to him. I think that dry, sarcastic humour is what wins me over, or the fact that he is gorgeous. The relationship between Poppy and Hawke has a body-guard trope feel to it. Sparks start flying between these two right from the moment they meet. It is really enjoyable watching these two interact with each other. I like that Poppy could hold her own against Hawke.

From Blood and Ash is a fantasy book that is addictive and mouth-watering.