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ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Bloodsworn by Scott Reintgen

Thank you to Crown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Bloodsworn goes on sale February 16, 2021.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Ashlords #2
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: The Races are over. War has begun.

Ashlord and Longhand armies battle for control of the Empire as Dividian rebels do their best to survive the crossfire. This is no longer a game. It’s life or death.

Adrian, Pippa, and Imelda each came out of the Races with questions about their role in the ongoing feud. The deeper they dig, the clearer it is that the hatred between their peoples has an origin point: the gods.

Their secrets are long-buried, but one disgruntled deity is ready to unveil the truth. Every whisper leads back to the underworld. What are the gods hiding there? As the sands of the Empire shift, these heroes will do everything they can to aim their people at the true enemy. But is it already too late?

 

My Review: Bloodsworn is a breathtaking story in which our three incredible main characters now work to defend their people, end a war, and defeat meddling gods. If you enjoyed Ashlords, then you are going to love the awesomeness that is Bloodsworm.

The reader is dropped right into the ugliness of war a month or so after the events of Ashlords. Through the alternating POVs of Imelda (a Dividian), Adrian (a Longhand), and Pippa (an Ashlord), we get a feel of where things stand, what the two warring sides (Ashlords and Longhand with Dividians stuck helplessly in the middle), and how the war has been internally affecting the main characters. For me, this part went on a little too long because I was super eager-beaver to get the action going and learning what it would take to stop the war.

The story is a thrilling and sometimes emotional escapade. I (and our protagonists) was surprised by how much deeper the situation was. How far the animosity went back. Revelation after revelation, surprise after surprise, further entrenched me into the plot. I loved learning the who-what-when-where-why-how of it all, about the ash horses, and how the Ashlord gods changed everything.

But what I loved most were the three young characters who spearhead this story – their strength, courage and leadership. They and the other young secondary characters close to them are indicative of how youth today have the power to make a difference and change the world for the better. Imelda, Adrian, and Pippa make something out of nothing.

The world-building is so fresh, magical and amazing. Very rich and complex. The author has truly crafted a unique world with unforgettable characters (new and old). The whole idea behind the horses made of ash is so fascinating and works as a great metaphor to the overall story. And I like the physically active role gods play in what’s happening, which I hope to see more of in fantasy in general. It adds an extra layer that can affect the plot and/or characters.

The last third of the story was heart-stopping action and several emotional (for me) moments that all led to a very satisfying conclusion. I wish there was more to read because I want to know what’s next for certain characters! I really enjoyed this duology. The promise of romance – as small as it was – was unexpected but I liked it and it is well deserved. What a great read!


More by Scott Reintgen

Ashlords (#1)

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Waiting On Wednesday – 11/11/20

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.


Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

This Wednesday I am waiting for part two of a duology, Bloowsworn by Scott Reintgen, which I was recently approve to read (*insert happy dance*).

I was blown away by the world of Ashlords. This book wwaias a total cover buy but it’s fantastical story did not disappoint. The ending left me with such a book hangover! I’m so worried for our three main characters, Adrian, Pippa and Imelda but, at the same time, I’m excited to see how this series ends.

Bloodsworn is set to be released February 16, 2020 from Crown Books for Young Readers.

Image via NetGalley

ABOUT: The Races are over. War has begun.

Ashlord and Longhand armies battle for control of the Empire as Dividian rebels do their best to survive the crossfire. This is no longer a game. It’s life or death.

Adrian, Pippa, and Imelda each came out of the Races with questions about their role in the ongoing feud. The deeper they dig, the clearer it is that the hatred between their peoples has an origin point: the gods.

Their secrets are long-buried, but one disgruntled deity is ready to unveil the truth. Every whisper leads back to the underworld. What are the gods hiding there? As the sands of the Empire shift, these heroes will do everything they can to aim their people at the true enemy. But is it already too late?


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Ashlords by Scott Reintgen

Image via Goodreads

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.

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It’s the Weekend! | What are you reading?

Happy Saturday, Bookworms!

I recently finished Alpha Erased by @aileenerin (ARC) after binge reading it for the past few days. The book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

This weekend I’ll be continuing reading Ashlords by Scott Reintgen and Harry Potter. I’ll also be starting Stolen Songbird by @danielleljensen either Saturday or Sunday.

I have to write and post two reviews to NetGalley for Alpha Erased and Breath Like Water. Both reviews will be posted to here on the blog, Instagram, and Goodreads early next week.

Happy Reading!!!