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.
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.
Nothing is ever simple. And when it is, it’s rarely ever worth it.
My experience with From Blood and Ash was most definitely not love at first sight. For the first 30% (at least), I was trying to figure out why everyone is so obsessed with this series – so many inane details about things I couldn’t care less about. But somewhere along the way – and I have no idea how – these details became interesting, then enthralling, and I found myself hooked. After that, I could not stop reading.
Fear and bravery are often one and the same. It either makes you a warrior or a coward. The only difference is the person it resides inside.
At first, the characters felt very one-dimensional, likely contributing to my apathy. As a fairly well-established fantasy trope, this is not a new story, so I think the characters first appeared as though they existed only to fill the expected roles. However, they became more vivid and surprising with time, helping the story break out from its monotony.
Some truths do nothing but destroy and decay what they do not obliterate. Truths do not always set one free. Only a fool who has spent their entire life being fed lies believes that.
How I feel about this series hinges on what happens next in A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire. Now that many secrets and lies have been uncovered, this story has serious potential to move away from the expected path. Considering how long these books are and how highly they’ve been rated, my hopes are sky high and ready to be disappointed.
We were enemies, no matter the truths.
No matter that I loved him.