Hey guys! Today I will be reviewing the first two books in the Blood and Ash series. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a series that isn’t complete, but I got convinced by my favourite booktoker (@literarylibra) to read it so here we are. I decided to post my review of the series so far because I know it’s pretty popular right now. So once I’ll probably write a review for each book and then once the series is over (whenever that will be) I’ll do a full wrap-up. Okay, let’s get into it.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Jennifer L. Armentrout is a pretty prolific author, but this is her first fantasy series. The book follows Poppy, who was chosen to be the Maiden and usher in a new era for her kingdom. While waiting for her Ascension, where she receives immortality, she must hide away from other people. Everything changes when she receives a new guard, Hawke, who makes her question everything. At the same time, unrest is rising in the kingdom and Poppy’s life is about to be changed forever.
I loved the plot and the characters in the novel but had issues with the writing. I found the first 50 pages to be confusing with all the world-building going out. Since the novel is from Poppy’s perspective, there was quite a bit at monologuing in the beginning, which I found annoying. Like there would be paragraphs of thoughts during a conversation. I found around the middle of the book it was also starting to get repetitive. Poppy would have a conversation with someone and then repeat the conversation in her head after. By the end of the novel, the writing finally improved and the plot engaged me again.
I found the world while confusing at the beginning to be very interested. I like the world of the Ascended and it’s quite different from any other vampire book I’ve ever read. There are quite a few plot twists, some I predicted and others I didn’t predict. And the ending was amazing and made me excited to read the next book.
I like Poppy as a character. She’s quite naive, but it’s somewhat understandable given her situation. I also love Hawke. I found the banter between the two was overall good, but sometimes it would happen at times which I thought didn’t make sense.
This book is pretty spicy – aka there are some great sex scenes in the book. Within the first 50 pages, there was a great spicy scene. I thought they were well written and also nicely spaced out.
Now, this doesn’t have to do with the author, but whoever did the typesetting of this book did a horrible job. There were sentence breaks and punctuation that was all over the place. I found it to be very distracting. I’m not sure if that’s because I bought these books off of Amazon or it’s that the publisher but something to just note because it bugged me.
Overall I gave this book a 4/5. The writing issues took away some of my enjoyment of the novel, but the plot and characters were strong enough to keep me going.
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Now I’m not going to give a plot summary because it’s going to spoil the first book. But I liked this book more than the first one.
I found that there was less writing issues and more character issues. I liked Poppy in the first book but found her annoying in the first half of this book. She was not letting people explain their point of view and that’s just something that bugs me. I hate when characters don’t let people explain! Poppy also has a habit of saying she hates people when she clearly doesn’t and I find that to be quite childish. By the second half of the novel she grows out of this and I like the book more once she does.
I love the other characters that JLA introduces and develops like Alastair, Vonetta and Kieran. I love the friendship between Kieran and Poppy, I enjoy reading the banter between the two of them.
Poppy feels a lot of guilt throughout the novel. There is a discussion of ignorance and being willfully ignorant and therefore being apart of the problem. While Poppy’s situation is fictional, the concept of ignorance and willful ignorance can be applied to what’s happening in the world today with racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc. I love fantasy books that touch on important subjects.
Also, the spiciness just increased in this novel. If you aren’t into reading erotic fiction then maybe pass on this series because it’s got some great sex scenes.
I gave this novel a 4.5/5. The writing had improved but I still had some issues with the character development. But I am still very excited for the rest of the series and would recommend it to any fantasy lovers.
So those are my thoughts on the Blood and Ash series. Let me know if you’ve read the series in the comments below. And if you have any book recommendations or books you would like to see my review please leave them in the comments as well.