Genre: Young Adult Fanasy
Series: Untitled Duology #1
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: Every year since the Ashlords were gifted phoenix horses by their gods, they’ve raced them. First into battle, then on great hunts, and finally for the pure sport of seeing who rode the fastest. Centuries of blood and fire carved their competition into a more modern spectacle: The Races.
Over the course of a multi-day event, elite riders from clashing cultures vie to be crowned champion. But the modern version of the sport requires more than good riding. Competitors must be skilled at creating and controlling phoenix horses made of ash and alchemy, which are summoned back to life each sunrise with uniquely crafted powers to cover impossible distances and challenges before bursting into flames at sunset. But good alchemy only matters if a rider knows how to defend their phoenix horse at night. Murder is outlawed, but breaking bones and poisoning ashes? That’s all legal and encouraged.
In this year’s Races, eleven riders will compete, but three of them have more to lose than the rest–a champion’s daughter, a scholarship entrant, and a revolutionary’s son. Who will attain their own dream of glory? Or will they all flame out in defeat?
My Review: Ashlords was a great read! It’s an epic story for sure, very different and fresh from other YA fantasies I’ve read.
The cover is stunning! The red and black catches your eye and makes you take notice. There’s a flaming horse on the cover and I am here for such awesomeness. The jacket art was made by Sammy Yuen. This book is definitely a cover buy and the synopsis sold me. I just had to read this book!
The main characters were alright in the beginning but I grew to love them the closer it got to the Races. All three want to win not just for themselves but for others. Towards the end my heart hurts for each of them.
The standout part of this book for me was how the author wove Imelda, Pippa, and Adrian’s stories together and the serious impact their participation will have on everyone. The Ashlords (Pippa) are on top and they rule over the Dividians (Imelda) and do not care for the Longhands (Adrian). It’s an intricate dynamic that brings up a lot of thought-provoking questions that even I have yet to be able to answer. You get a full history lesson on how these three groups of people came to be were they are at present.
Another cool thing about this book is that the gods play an active role instead of being in-passing characters. They are as deeply rooted into this story as they are in the lives of the Ashlords.
The ending was chaotic action and revelations and feelings! Whatever happens next in book, Blood Sworn, to is going to be a game-changer.