Updated: Jan 21, 2021
From Blood and Ash
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Blue Box Press
Book #1 in the Blood and Ash Series
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
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy High Fantasy Exciting
Violence Romance Emotional
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout is her first high fantasy novel, and the first book in what will be a series. It centers around Poppy, an eighteen year old woman who is the Maiden, someone who is chosen by the gods. She lives a lonely life, where very few people can see her unveiled, and can speak to her. She can not be touched, and cannot roam around freely, usually cooped up in her room, except for when she is preparing to meet the gods. Under the veil, Poppy is fierce. She sneaks out for adventures, and has one of her guards teach her to fight in secret. One such adventure leads to her meeting Hawke, a guard who is duty-bound to making sure she follows the rules set for the Maiden, and getting her to the Ascension (meeting the gods), whole and worthy. While Hawke constantly makes Poppy think and question the rules, and why she is forced to live her life this way, their feelings for one another grow, despite it being forbidden.
I read that Jennifer L. Armentrout has been sitting on this book for years, unsure if she should write it, because she had never written high-fantasy before, and wasn't sure if it would be good. I am so happy that she finally decided to write it. Jennifer ... never doubt yourself. Because wow. WOW!