In this From Blood and Ash book review I will be talking about the first book in the Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L Armentrout. As usual I will try to make sure that this review is as spoiler free as possible. However, there may be a few small spoilers.
“Nothing is ever simple. And when it is, it’s rarely ever worth it.”Jennifer L Armentrout From Blood and Ash
I have not had an adult fantasy series hook me quite like the Blood and Ash series. I’ve read this series twice now and it’s been just a couple days since my second read through and I want to read it again.
I read this series because it came highly recommended for those who liked the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. It quickly went to the top of my list for favorite series for a multitude of reasons.
Since we don’t always get trigger warnings on books I like to give trigger warnings in my reviews. This can help people avoid certain triggers that could hurt their mental well being.
Possible Triggers in this book are:
- Emotional Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Sexually Explicit Scenes
For a list of the triggers I look for you can check out this link here. This may or may not be a complete list of triggers for this book, I do my best to make sure I mark anything that could be a potential trigger but I may accidentally miss triggers.
Synopsis and Author
The maiden was born in a shroud, protected by the queen, and watched over day in and day out, or so everyone thinks. For Poppy though, she just wants to live before she hands over her life in service to the gods.
We follow Poppy as she struggles with choices to learn to choose for herself, face her past, and discover what she wants for her future. She must decide if she will follow her duty or if she will finally do what feels right to her.
Jennifer L Armentrout is one of my most favorite authors at this point due to her ability to bring entire worlds to life and write characters that you become extremely attached to. The Blood and Ash series concludes with the release of the fourth book in March. The prequel to this series is the Flesh and Fire series and the second book releases this fall.
From Blood and Ash Reading Experience
Most of From Blood and Ash takes place at Castle Teerman in Masadonia. Jennifer L Armentrout brings this world to life filled with monsters, magic, gods, and mystery. A horrifying system built on fear and turning mortals against each other in order to keep power.
We see other locations a little later on in the book like the Blood Forest. Monsters hide and roam through this location and it’s so expertly crafted that you can almost feel the chill creep into your bones while our characters travel through the location.
Finally, we see New Haven, a small town just past the Blood Forest in The Kingdom of Solis where all of this takes place. Not all is as it seems in New Haven though.
Penellaphe Balfour is our main character and point of view throughout the entire book and her emotions and being just seeps right into you. You see a maiden who’s questioning everything, a warrior who wants to fight, and a young woman who wants to experience life.
Jennifer L Armentrout is an amazing author because she builds a world that is so manipulated and broken with amazing characters you immediately feel attachment to. She does this in a way where everything that is written is necessary at some point in her series. I am blown away by how perfect her writing really is.
The main theme in this book is absolutely Fate vs. Free Will. Our main character has to decide if she will follow a fate that has been already laid out before her or choose to follow her heart.
This book is 614 brilliant pages and 41 chapters of storytelling that makes it hard to stop. Heart stopping scenes, heartbreaking moments, and brilliantly timed reveals make this book extremely hard to put down.
While the world building and character development is perfect and detailed there is barely any fluff in this book.
Even with a few parts of the book making you look at our characters and say “what are you doing?” It’s all a part of what needs to happen. You think you know where this book is going and then it turns it around and changes everything.
From Blood and Ash Book Review
From the moment we met Poppy I immediately fell in love with her. Who she is, what she stands for, what she wants to give and get out of life makes you fall for her and grow attached. Her willingness to fight and not just cower from danger. She’s absolutely an amazing character that you’ll want to know more about as you continue reading.
Hawke is our typical overly confident protector who quickly learns he doesn’t need to protect because Poppy can protect herself. Even though we don’t get his point of view Jennifer L Armentrout does a fantastic job about revealing his feelings without dialogue.
Vikter is the father figure of the book. While he can’t get involved in everything to protect Poppy he is a source of support and a friend. He tries to do everything he can so he can stay in his position to provide Poppy with what she needs to survive.
Everyone should have a bff like Tawny. She’s witty, smart, even protective over Poppy. In her own way she is a badass. In one scene in particular she finds her own bravery even though she isn’t quite able to do everything that Poppy has been trained to do.
Finally is Miss Willa. We do not actually meet Miss Willa but Miss Willa is someone we want to meet. Without actually being a character we meet in this book she provides a lot to the story.
There are three characters that I absolutely hate in this book. The Duke, the Duchess, and Lord Mazeen. While the Duke and Mazeen are at the top of that list, the duchess is in there because she did fuck all to stop things that were happening to Poppy at the hands of those assholes.
Kieran and Delano are going to grow on me. I knew it from the moment they were introduced. I didn’t want to like them because of what Poppy was dealing with at the time, but both of these characters just strike me as characters I’m going to fall for.
This book starts off with a steamy scene and dives into a story that is brutal and sucks you in. There is a slow burn romance, spicy scenes, loads of action, and mystery that just has you continuously turning pages.
There are a few extremely heavy scenes in this book that will likely hit triggers in the sexual assault and abuse areas. Those scenes can be intense but they are not there specifically to cause a trigger, they actually enhance the story.
It is not something I would have liked to see removed or changed because they are necessary in the story, but it can be difficult to get through.
There were parts of the book that had my heart beating so fast I couldn’t stop reading if I tried. It took me through every single emotion and then left me on a cliffhanger that had me screaming “Say what now?”
I cannot praise Jennifer L Armentrout enough for just how amazing this book and her writing is. If you like high fantasy with gods, vampire-like references, and dragons, this series is going to be for you.
Alright so I want to make a couple of things clear about this series. While Blood and Ash can likely be read on it’s own as a series, there is a prequel series currently in the works that I believe will go really well reading it all together.
My current reading order is:
- From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash Book One)
- A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash Book Two)
- The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash Book Three)
- A Shadow In The Ember (Flesh and Fire Book One)
- A War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash Book Four Out March 2022)
Before I rate this book I want to give you a bit of background about what my rankings mean. I typically read books that I check out through the Libby app with my local library or through Kindle Unlimited.
I rarely buy ebooks unless they are cheaply priced or on sale. I also very rarely buy physical copies of books. I’m a bit of a minimalist so I have to absolutely adore a book to buy a physical copy that will be proudly displayed in my home.
So my ranking system is as follows:
- 5 Stars equals I am buying a physical copy of this book. I will read this book at least 10 more times, it is the best ever.
- 4 stars equals a great book. I might buy an ebook version when it’s on sale so that I can re-read it at least one more time.
- 3 stars equals a good book. I likely won’t read again but I appreciate the story.
- 2 stars equals “Meh.” I will not read this book again, it had a lot of problems and I did not care for it.
- 1 star equals a bad book. I barely finished this book and I will never recommend anyone waste valuable book reading time on this book.
- 0 stars is a did not finish book. I will never finish that book and it is banished.
From Blood and Ash gets 5 out of 5 stars. There are a lot of reasons why but what stands out to me the most is just how I want to read and reread this entire series over and over again. There is something new to catch each time and the emotional scenes get better with each read.
- The characters and the character growth
- The storytelling is almost addictive
- The emotional roller coaster is perfect
- There are a few scenes in this book that are extremely heavy and brutal against emotions and triggers. Be aware of that.
Final Thoughts on From Blood and Ash
I’ve read this series so far twice, and I cannot get enough of it. Even though I know what’s going to happen and when I still pick up little things that start to play out later on in the series. I feel the same waves of emotion and it even gets worse because I know what’s going to happen later.
A great book will emotionally ruin me and this book did that for me while leaving me sitting on the edge of my seat unable to wait to read the next book. This is a fantastic binge series that I will likely binge repeatedly throughout my life.
More Book Reviews For The Blood and Ash Series
Have you read From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout? What were your thoughts on the book? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite book boards.