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March 30, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: FROM BLOOD AND ASH by Jennifer L. Armentrout


BOOK:  From Blood and Ash

SERIES:  Blood and Ash, #1

AUTHOR:  Jennifer L/ Armentrout



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.


The first book/series I read by Jennifer L. Armentrout was Wicked and I quickly became a fangirl.  I devoured all 3 books in 3 days, and it is one of my all-time favorite series now.  I was hesitant to read From Blood and Ash because it is a High Fantasy novel and I am more into the Romance genre than Fantasy, but, with all the hype I decided to give a try and HOLY HELL!  I am OBSESSED now!  This also being the first High Fantasy book Jennifer L. Armentrout has written is extremely impressive!

We start off meeting the heroine, Penellaphe (also known as Poppy) at the Red Pearl, a bar/brothel.  Poppy is there because she feels suffocated, longs for any kind of connection and is curious about what normal people get to do.  She is known as the Maiden or Chosen.  It is forbidden for her to be looked upon (she has to wear a veil that covers all of her face except for her lips and chin), spoken to, touched or have any kind of interaction with people or engage in any kind or normal everyday activities. She is pretty much kept in her room in solitude most of the day. Her destiny is to Ascend to her place with the Gods on her nineteenth birthday, which is less than a year away.  The only people Poppy is not forbidden to interact with is her Ladies Maid Tawney, her Royal Guard, her guardians, the Duke and Duchess and a select few others.  The Maiden is supposed to be a demure and timid female and Poppy is the complete opposite. Poppy is strong, smart, independent, inquisitive and at times defiant, even if she knows she will be punished for it.  Vicktor, the head of her Royal Guard is also like a father figure to her (both her parents were killed when she was young, and her older brother has already Ascended and she hasn’t seen him since).  Vicktor has been secretly training her since her 16th birthday to fight with weapons and hand to hand combat.  While she is at the Red Pearl, Vicktor walks in and she goes into a room upstairs to hide until he leaves.  While hiding in this room she encounters Hawke Flynn, a Rise Guard that everyone knows of and talks about.  She knows who is, but he thinks she is someone else because she “borrowed” one of the maid’s cloaks and is wearing it.  He ends up kissing Poppy and she experiences her first kiss and feeling of pleasure.

Hawke, the hero, is extremely hard NOT to fall in love with.  He is smart, charming, charismatic, funny, sexy and says all the right things.  He ends up becoming one of Poppy’s Royal Guards, when one of them is killed in an attack.  He gains Poppy’s trust because he is the only person that treats her like a person and not a thing.  He teaches her how to live for herself, for Poppy and not the Maiden.  Whenever they are together the chemistry between them was sizzling off the pages.


From Blood and Ash is a suspenseful fantasy, that at times, in the beginning, can be a little slow, as there is a lot world-building with Gods, Cravens, Vamprye, Descenders, The Price (also known as The Dark One), Atlantians and Wolven but it picks up quickly.  Then you have the whole mystery of what happens during the actual Ascension when she is given to the Gods?  There is SO much to this story.  It has action, adventure, violence, gore, romance, betrayal, mystery and LOTS Of secrets. I just could not get enough!  I read this book and the second book within 3 days.  All the side characters were just as interesting and likeable.  The end of the book was fast paced, and had some crazy events that broke my heart into a million pieces.  I cannot give this book a high enough review!  I absolutely love it!! 

I give this book 5 Hearts!




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