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.
Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Apple | Kobo
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!
Cliffhangers are not my favorite thing, to be honest. I have short attention span and lousy memory. I'm glad both books are available at this point, which gives me a chance to read and truly enjoy them. I adore stories that involve political intrigue, so that's something that certainly works in its favor. Thank you for the lovely review.ReplyDelete
Me neither, I always have a hard time with them but so many books have them...Delete
Glad you liked it, Pili! This sounds like a great read and very well written! I don't mind lack of romance once in a while - I find so many books have it as the focus and it makes for a good change of pace!ReplyDelete
I usually don't mind lack of romance because sometimes it seems like an added-on because it had to be there... Thank you Giselle!Delete
Thanks so much for this wonderful review, Pili! I am so thrilled that you enjoyed it so much. :) Hitomi is so much fun to write in part because she seems to be the problem and the solution all wrapped up in one bundle. She definitely has her flaws, but it's fun to write a heroine who is at turns self-aware and able to observe what others think of her. Thanks again!ReplyDelete
Thank YOU for the fantastic stories Intisar! I'm so looking forward to the next book!!Delete
Yaaaaaaaaaaay! This review makes me happy Pili, I'm so glad you loved both Sunbolt and MoA:)ReplyDelete
But of course! Loved the inside and the outside!Delete
Your review was great, not spoilery at all! No cliffhanger at the end of this one, like book one? I probably would want to see some romance but sometimes, there is no need (like, for example, in This Savage Song! SO GOOD! I just recently read it so I'm still gushing lololol). This seems very appealing! I love this book's cover, so that's an added bonus. :DReplyDelete
Wonderful review, Pili!
Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
It's an open ending leaving you wanting the third book but there's no real cliffhanger!Delete
And man, I cannot wait to read This Savage Song!!
Aw, YAY for liking this book so much sweetie :D Thank you for sharing about it. <3 New to me, but seems interesting. Not for me, sigh, but maybe one day :D Yay. And aw, I'm sorry you are in a blogging slump sweet girl :\ I hope you are still managing to read lots. <3 Hugs. Hope you are having an awesome week :)ReplyDelete