G. Bianco, 2019
Jennifer L. Armentrout has written dozens of novels over the years, but her most famous book arguably has to be the first novel in her fantasy romance series From Blood and Ash. Picked as a Goodreads Choice Award Winner in 2020 as the Best Romance Book of the Year, this novel has quickly become a fan favorite on social media and for good reason, too.
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, looked upon, spoken to, or 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.
I don't know if I can say anything about this book that hasn’t already been said, but I will try my best! This Bookstagram-Made-Me-Do-It read further proves that sometimes the internet really knows what it’s talking about! I absolutely loved it! This book is dark, steamy, action-packed, and just all-around exciting to read! Any fantasy lover will immediately be enthralled in Poppy’s story and the world building/political intrigue in this book. Some portions of this novel were a bit hard to read (I’m looking at you Chapter 13), but it just added more depth and emotion to the story. The romantic aspects of this story were definitely prominent, but not so much so that the action got overshadowed. Overall, the plot was very well-balanced and gave this 600 plus page book bingeable quality.
In addition to great storytelling, the characters are just fabulous! Poppy is a naive, yet courageous, narrator who isn’t afraid of fighting for herself or those she cares about. Surrounding herself with an amazing cast of characters, including the handsome and dangerous Hawke as her love interest, this book definitely gets an A+ in the characters department.
Any fans of Sarah J. Maas will adore this book and I cannot recommend checking out this series enough! I am eager to start the next book in the series to see how Poppy’s story will continue to unfold.
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