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 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.
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 was my first attempt at reading something from Jennifer L. Armentrout. I know she is a very prolific writer and she has a massive fanbase but… I don’t think I will ever attempt to try another one of her books.
In general, I love bits of smut in a fantasy story but when everything is well balanced, with a good plot and intriguing characters, within a perfectly constructed world. This book was 40% plot 60% pointless smut. Scratch that, it was 70% smut-led plot. So, it’s beyond my small, simple, humble, tiny, ignorant understanding, how this book can be called “high fantasy”!?!?
Ehm… have you read Game of Thrones?? Lord of the Rings?? The Farseer Trilogy??
And stop, please stop – I beg you marketing people in publishing, if you ever read this review – stop!! Stop comparing every damn fantasy book with smut romance to Sarah J. Maas’s works. From Blood and Ash has nothing to compare to ACOTAR series…
For me, From Blood and Ash was a fantasy chick lit. Not my cup of tea, but clearly there is a public out there who disagrees with me, since this book scored hundreds of 5-star reviews and I respect that. Again, not my style.
However, from my perspective, the plot was super predictable and almost nonexistent. There were so many things that made me cringe. In this world, rich people have electricity, but Armentrout never bothers to explain how that is possible. This fact never has a purpose on the plot. It’s like the writer completely forgets she mentioned this particular detail at the beginning. It demonstrates the poor world building around this country called Masadonia, which in my brain sounds like Macedonia, which I associate to Alexander the Great, but doesn’t exist in this story. Not sure what the writer intended to do here. Moreover, we have Atlantia and of course you would think of Atlantis. I guess in this case she wanted to talk about people from Atlantia as superior beings? Again, I have no clue what the writer was aiming for and it sounds like she just picked random names out of a jar and changed vowels here and there.
Or maybe we will find out in the second book they invented electricity?
The corporal punishment. Again, the writer brings this element into the plot for no apparent reason. I generally can’t stand this kind of scenes. Even more so if corporal punishment is done with no real purpose or does not aid the plot or inspire me to sympathise for the main character, the Maiden. So Poppy was the Maiden, but she didn’t know what her purpose was or what happened when she will finally Ascend. Nobody knows the details of what happens during Ascension, I guess it’s because the writer didn’t figure it out? Her story should have been introduced as a prologue, maybe? There was this continuous dragging of the meaning behind being a Maiden or why she was the Chosen. I am not even going to talk about Hawke, manipulative, abusive Hawke and how eye-rolling his last lines of this book were.
In conclusion, sorry but no thank you.