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.
“But you know how easy it is to be yourself when you wear a mask.” His voice was low as his gaze held mine. “How anything you want becomes achievable when you can pretend that no one knows who you are.”
– From Blood and Ash, 207
Dear lords. What a fantastic high-stakes, heart-pounding whirlwind of a book. I have been out of touch with my JLA books lately, and I am so gosh darn happy to be back with this one. She pretty much blew my mind up, maybe my heart too.
Jennifer L. Armentrout starts off this book so strong. Setting the scene of our Maiden who just wants to live and then showing us how sheltered she truly is. I adored everything about our opening scene. After that, we really start to learn about our protagonist, Poppy. She has been kept in this confined box for most of her life that she so desperately needs to break out of.
I also adore how strong she makes herself despite being so sheltered. She takes every chance she can to help people and make herself not weak. Speaking of, Vikter… by far one of my absolute favorite character in this book. He is everything a guard and father-figure should be. Watching his and Poppy relationship just made my heart swell.
Now speaking of hearts swelling, Hawke is everything in this book. He’s so intriguing from the moment we meet him. He balances a fine line between being intense and joking around. He is also sexy as heck. He’s fierce and honestly all-around alluring. I can’t help but love him every step of the way.
From Blood and Ash has such an amazing built up of lore as well until it hits you in the face. The second half of this book was such a gripping, hang on to every word, bag of amazingness. I could not put it down for a second and kept reading late into the night. I am SO beyond stoked to see where she takes A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire and I’m sure I’ll devour it just as quick.