REVIEW: From Blood And Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
In From Blood and Ash, we follow our main character named Penellaphe Balfour, also known as Poppy. Poppy is what is known as the maiden. The maiden is a girl chosen by the Gods to lead one of the largest Ascensions that the Kingdom of Solis has seen in a while. According to Poppy, the ascension is a ritual is which people’s lives are extended for the purpose of doing the God’s work. Some people ascend, and other people are given as a gift to the Gods, so it is a great honour to be given one of the main roles in the ascension. The only problem with her being the maiden that she has is that it is quite a lonely life. Poppy must never be looked upon, so she wears a veil. She must never be touched or spoken to directly. Her only friends appear to be her guards as she must be protected at all costs. But knowing that she will never be normal, she strides to find some ways to rebel against the system that she grew up in. This means that she goes out without her guards late at night and even trains using a dagger and sword. She is forbidden from doing this, but that doesn’t stop her.
Long ago, a war was fought between the Atlantians and the Ascended. The Atlantians fought for Prince Casteel who they believed
to be the rightful ruler of the kingdoms. He was said to be the reason why a lot of people had died during the battles and why death was brought to their land. He was the thing that Poppy was told about and why little kids had nightmares. Knowing that the Atlantians could come for her at any time as she was precious to the ascended, that was why she had to be guarded at all times, but that didn’t stop her from sneaking away.
When he personal guard is killed by the Atlantians, she is given a new one. This guard is named Hawke. Hawke and Poppy become taken with each other but know that they cannot be due to what she is. So they decide to be friends but keep a close relationship with one another. Hawke is a very charming man and so they become close to breaking Poppy’s maiden vow many times. But when the attacks become prominent, they set off on a journey that changes Poppy’s life and challenges everything that she knows about the Ascended.
This book honestly kept me on my toes. It is a fascinating tale full of dark and dangerous twists that will leave you gasping for air. You truly care for these characters even if they are the ones on the bad side, and that’s due to the way that Armentrout writes. She creates these nuanced characters that are fierce and you want to root for them. The chemistry between Hawke and Poppy, is one that made me want more. I wanted so much more from them, not because what they had was lacking, but because they were so good together even if they are bad for each other. I would definitely say however, their relationship, like Jude and Cardan from the Folk of Air series, is not one to look up to, as it is filled with lies and deceit but cumulated together to bring something that the other was lacking. It honestly is a love to hate relationship that makes my heart pound.
4 out of 5 stars.