Hello there guys!
I'm starting this week with taking part in another Blog Tour! I find that it's the best way to get myself into the thick of things since I had been into a bit of a blogging slump even before my vacation time.
Today I'm going to share my review for Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani and there will also be a giveaway at the end of the post. Do make sure to check the rest of the tour stops HERE.
But before we get to my review and the giveaway, let me share a bit more about the book and author!
Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani
(The Sunbolt Chronicles #2)
Publication date: May 30th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.
If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar's current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, featuring the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles.
I started reading my eARC of Memories of Ash as soon as I finished Sunbolt! I was very glad to have waited and read both books back to back because even if the ending of Sunbolt was not a massive cliffhanger and Memories of Ash doesn't start exactly were Sunbolt left us, no wait between stories that you are loving is always the best option!
Intisar's writing is fantastic, it's the kind that keeps you fully immersed in the story and that mixes descriptions with character development and moving the plot along. You might not be sure why a new character is introduced but she never does anything randomly, all dots will connect somehow at some point, and usually in rather unexpected but never unreasonable ways!
Hitomi is a fantastic character, she does have a tendency to get into things without all that much planning and plotting, but it's so much forgivable when she herself acknowledge it as a flaw in her character but one that goes hand in hand with her need to do what's right and to never take a life. She has got so much better at working with her magic although it seems that she doesn't realize how powerful she really is.
The political threads that we saw in Sunbolt here are explored more in depth and we see more of the fight for power and how it is possible for someone to continue to achieve power and control by manipulation and using others' support and even using their neutrality for their own means. We are shown that not taking a stand against what is wrong can be as bad as supporting it, and that gives us quite a bit of food for thought.
There is no real romance, even if there's a few hints of something that might or might not come to pass in the rest of the series, but there are plenty of other relationships and alliances to keep us engaged and wondering in some of the cases. Complex familial relationships, alliances and friendships from the past that need to be figured anew and rekindled or left behind... And new friendships and alliances that are introduced and forged here.
One of the best things for me in this book is that the plot was never easy to figure out or predict, even if some isolated parts of it were to be expected, you just never knew what would happen, and even the things you expected don't happen in the way you'd think they would!
My review might have been a bit vague but I wanted to make sure I didn't end up spoiling anything for anyone if I ended up talking a bit too enthusiastically about certain characters or events, but let me tell you that this series (and author) are very much worth checking out if you love fantasy!
Very much deserved 4.5 stars, cannot wait for book 3!
Enter the giveaway HERE!