From Blood And Ash Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title/s (In Order):

#1: From Blood And Ash
#2: A Kingdom Of Flesh And Fire
#3: The Crown Of Gilded Bones
– More to be released

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: Fantasy Romance, Fantasy Fiction, Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Series

Hardcopy/Kindle: Both, however I have them on Kindle

Memorable Quotes: “Nothing is ever simple. And when it is, it’s rarely ever worth it.”

Summary

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.

Review – NO SPOILERS PROVIDED –

If you asked me after reading the first book (From Blood And Ash), what I thought of this world, I would have given this a 5/5. However, I have reached the third book (The Crown Of Gilded Bones) and it has just lost all of its sparkle for me.

The first book really focuses around Poppy, the main character, and her story within the kingdom. There are quite a lot of characters around, and you get a broad experience of what it is like for Poppy living her life as a Maiden. 

We get to meet Hawke here, too. There is a great twist involved, and it all around just keeps you quite interested there for a while. Like I said, I would have highly rated this given my experience from the first book. I thought book one was phenomenal. It was so, so different to a lot of YA Fantasy Romance novels out there. It felt so refreshing to read, and flippin’ great. Definitely a page turner.

Second book, not so much. I was majorly let down with it. To be fair, it was interesting enough to keep reading, but, wtf? The entire book felt like you were stuck inside of Poppy’s thoughts. There seriously was a whole lot of nothing going on here, it just felt like travelling and Poppy’s thoughts. The. Whole. Time. I also felt that the connection between Poppy and Hawke (Casteel, whatever you call him these days) had taken the strangest turn. It just felt.. Weird. Disconnected. Even though the intention was to make them more connected – I didn’t feel it as a reader.

We see the idea of ‘soulmates/mates’ thrown around in this world, which if you have had your nose in YA Fantasy Romance novels lately there’s no shortage of that going around. So, that was no shock to see.

In all honesty, by the third book (The Crown Of Gilded Bones) – she’s lost me. The plot is lost beneath the focus around over use of description, sexual tension – and honestly, Poppy’s damn monologue. 

Whilst there is heavy use of description, I do not feel as there is enough put into the world building. The description in this series is targeted for the characters, how they smell, look, behave – not enough in the environment that these characters are in. It is hard to visualise what the heck is going on, when you are reading what the person smells like. It’s confusing, and I don’t care if Hawke (Casteel, whatever) smells spicy, where the heck are you? What’s going on in the room? It’s odd.

Anyway, I have tried to give more of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books a chance, because I did enjoy From Blood And Ash originally so dang much. She has a natural talent for writing, that is clear, but I do think that pressure may have been placed within this world for her. From Blood And Ash took off quite fast, so I think she may be pressuring herself with the series to continue on the same trajectory, and I just think that the natural flow of the world is being lost.

Overall Verdict: I loved book one, but unfortunately the second and third had gradually lost my love. 

Rating: 3/5

Reviewing Next: Mr Right Across The Street by Kathryn Freeman

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