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Ash and Echoes

(Blessed Epoch #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  64 reviews
For the past few years Yarroway L’Estrella has lived in exile, gathering arcane power, but that power came at a price. Now it’s time for him to do his duty: his uncle, the king, needs him to escort Prince Garith to his wedding, a union that will create an alliance between the two strongest countries in the known world. But Yarrow isn’t the prince’s only guard. A whole comp ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published June 22nd 2012 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 21st 2012)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  428 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Sep 19, 2013 marked it as dnf
DNF. I usually try to make it 50% into a book before quitting, but I just couldn't. Was it the menage? No (I didn't actually get to the menage, but I went into this book knowing that the relationship is M/M/M). Was it the plot? No.

What I couldn't tolerate was the characterization. There are three characters: Yarrow, the mage that shares his body with an evil entity; Duncan, the knight who is loyal; Sasha, the assassin that denounced the ability to love. All characters felt flat and, quite frankl
What happens when one throws a knight, an assassin and mage together on a journey? Add some battles, betrayals, secrets and lust and you have some of the cornerstones for Ash and Echoes. Ash and Echoes is a good high fantasy book and I would recommend it for the fantasy part. It reminded me a bit of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books, having in common Yarrow being the youngest, liked by his aunt but not by his own family and of course him being the most powerful mage.

Yarrow is a mage with a troubl
Deja Dei
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book pushed all my right buttons. I'm a happy fantasy fanboy. It has all my favorite things: magic, adventure, huge battles and an unpredictable, fast-paced plot. The world building is intricate and detailed enough to be believable and interesting without slowing down the action. The details of the society are sprinkled in nicely throughout instead of being dumped on you. It wasn't long before I felt very familiar with the kingdoms and could picture the cities and environments the character ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was very disappointing. I bought this after reading the good reviews it received, but it didn't live up to the hype.

The good - the plot felt fresh, not new, because most plots have been done, but it felt original and different. Although the ending was somewhat predictable, it wasn't trite or contrived. It worked in the context of the story.

The not so good - I freely admit that sex in a story isn't really that appealing to me. I prefer the author set the table, then let me imagine the detai
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews
4 1/2 Hearts

First published at MM Good Book Reviews

Yarrow is called upon to escort his cousin to his wedding. It is something that he would rather not do, but for his aunt he will. It is a journey that brings him into contact with Duncan, a Knight who thinks little of him and Sasha, an assassin who could end up betraying them. It is a journey that brings danger, betrayal, political intrigue and exposes secrets and all three men have to band together to sur
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was nothing short of amazing. The world building was complex and engaging. The characters and their relationship were realistically developed. There were no easy answers here but the conflicts weren't trite or overly angsty. I can only hope that the author is able to maintain this quality for the rest of the series.
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: text
Great world building, reminded me of RPG video games. Glad that the main characters were not portrayed only as good lawful heroes archetype, but a variety of views and beliefs between them.

Definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
Lena Grey
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” ~Lao Tzu

From the time he was a young child, Yarroway L. Estrella of 'Ash and Echoes' by Augusta Li has had a special talent for conjuring. Over the years, he's become even more adept, skilled to the point that men fear his abilities. Even so, Yarrow is uncertain about them. He hasn't yet figured out just how powerful he truly is. Yarrow has the knowledge but has yet to acquire the wisdom it takes to wield such power effectively.
Magda Żmijan
You're probably thinking "not another love triangle", but bare with me, you won't regret it. After reading this let me know your thoughts, I'm curious to know what you think of this kind of triangle :D.

Since the Goodreads summary is rather long I'm simply going to tell you few words about the story.

Yarrow - a powerful young mage with quite a history and an unfortunate, permanent companion is made to accompany his cousin, the prince, on his journey. He has no idea what fate has in mind for him.
Andrew Gordon
I read this a few months ago, but never got around to writing the review, so I went back and re-read it to remind myself how much I liked it. I will point out at the start this overcame a personal pet peeve of head hopping. I don't typically read on when the head hopping starts, but I really found the plot and particularly the characters gripping.

Yarrow is the magi of mages in this world, only he's really not, but he. That makes no sense until you read the story. He's powerful, beyond what peop
Eon Beaumont
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is proof that even an author you read consistently can surprise you.

The layers to this story are intricate and beautiful. If you're a fan of high fantasy, this is definitely a must read. The world, the kingdoms- amazing. The settings come alive and the characters are unbeleivable(in a good way). I LOVED them. Well. Most of them. One I really liked but didn't love. Not the writer's fault, I'm just not a fan of big muscular, manly men. He's a great character, well-written and likeable bu
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This one deserves a 4.5 star. Less than five because it ended and I was crying. I need the book two of this blessed epoch!
Marianne Boutet
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sadie Forsythe
I found this book to be a disappointment. It's unfortunate too, because it has (or suggests it has) so many elements I love. I'm attracted to well drawn covers (not the horrid CG things so many authors use, but actual art) and this one has a very pretty cover. Fantasy. Check. Demonic possession. Check. Moral ambiguity. Check. A threesome. Check. Strong, dangerous men. Check. Looking at it from the outside, I really should have loved this book. But I just didn't and I didn't half because of objec ...more
This was so close to being fabulous for me. I loved the characters. The twisty and torn assassin in Sasha. The loyal, stalwart knight with Duncan. And the darkly ravished mage in Yarrow. Together they were just awesome. I just felt overall their lacked the little extra element of storytelling that would have made this truly special.

Yarrow left home years before, running from things he didn't want to face. Blessed with his magic he thought he'd be safe. But a dark cave and near death burdened him
Anna C
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, lgbtqqiaap
3.5 stars

Ash and Echoes...of screams.

As much as I love M/M/M in manga medium, I've not yet found great and believable polyamory in novel medium, not even this one. Well, it's not like I actively hunt menage novel, and Ash and Echoes is my second menage after the first one failed big time.
Despite many negative reviews and the menage, I was willing to give it a go. And then I fell in love with its world building (magic and powerful mage? SOLD) and the writing style (especially the similes, love i
Elaine White
** This review is word-for-word as that contained within the Blessed Epoch, Vol. 1 review **

Book 1: Ashes and Echoes
Length: 0-23%
POV: Yarrow, Duncan, Sasha
Star rating: ★★★☆☆

Confusingly, I enjoyed this but it wasn't one of those books I read and thought “OMG, I'm in love” like I have with other books by this author. I feel a little bit torn about it, as in some ways it was fantastic, while in others it felt really long (even for a book of 330 pages) and it dragged in places where it really should
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
From the blurb, the story seemed promising, and for the most part, it lived up to my expectation. I loved the world building and the use of magic in the world. The author also created rather interesting characters, three of them in fact – Yarrow, Sasha, and the entity living inside Yarrow. Duncan wasn’t exactly interesting, but with Sasha and Yarrow being the way they are, the three-way relationship seemed to work. He has grown on me somewhat.

My problem lay mostly with the sex scenes, and some o
Maiko-chan [|]
another case of the Buddy read with Tenae who left me behind to finish the book without me lol ...more
Whoa. Um. Wow. Really. It's taken me three days to be able to get my thoughts in order enough to write some sort of review. I did read the first three books (Ash & Echoes, Ice & Embers, and Iron & Ether) in a row, so I was probably asking for it, but, really, WOW.

Okay, fair warning: this is not a book to read if you want light, fluffy, and happy. BUT, if you like intrigue, layers upon layers of it, combined with three very spikey personalities who each have their own issues, set in a complex fue
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, reviewed
Augusta Li's one of those weird authors for me. Her blurbs always look so interesting, but I have such issue reading her work... Her and Mary Calmes =_=
They make me feel cheated, sheesh.

It's...well...chaotic. The MCs (all three of 'em) aren't exactly likeable people. At first, Yarrow was this beautifully tragic, angsty character, but then...I dunno. I guess I got tired of how inherently selfish he seemed? It's true, you know. All he seems to do is take and not give.

The plot itself is a
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a fascinating new world the author created. I'm hit or miss on fantasy as a whole but this one drew me in from the beginning. Yarrow, Duncan, and Sasha were very unique characters and I admit to wanting them the get together long before they actually did. Some have mentioned the head popping but for me I loved it. The ability to get in all of their heads helped pull me into the story and see the situation from their standpoints.

The biggest niggle I have is the weakness as Yarrow as a mage.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
well, I don't know. I liked this. I liked the characters and how they came together and how they complement each other.
I like Yarrow a lot. Poor guy, I felt so badly for him and his little "presence" was creepy as fuck.
Duncan was loyal and good and I liked him once he stopped being so judgmental of Sasha.
Oh Sasha, I really loved him. He might have been my favorite.
The sex scenes really did nothing for me, and I could have had a few less I love yous. But overall I enjoyed the evolution of their
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's become really hard to find good fantasy because all the possibilities have been done, done, done to death! And then along comes the Blessed Epoch! It is truly excellent high fantasy with the added twist of an unusual and unconventional love story. Ash and Echoes introduces the world and an excellent cast of well-written characters. All of the usual suspects are here - kings and nobles, soldiers and knights, mages and assassins - but there are no cardboard cutouts. The characters all have re ...more
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
This is actually the first book that i have read by this author. And i have to say, it was EFFING AMAZING. I can not wait to read the next book. I would love to see what has become of Yarrow , Duncan, and Sasha's relationship. I want to know if Yarrow and "the voice" finally connect or if Yarrow finally accepts "the voice". I have my own suspicions that "the voice" is the old king who was that powetful mage that everyone feared and worshipped. ALL IN ALL, I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this and there are two more books but I know they separate in the other books until they get themselves together. Not sure I want to go through the separation phase. :-) Even though I know it's not permanent, I have to be in the mood. I really liked the world and I love the cover, so I'm sure some day I'll get back to the rest of their stories.
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm, on-my-kindle
This is one of those books I must have found when I was in the right mood. I knew it was terrible, but it was entertaining, and it kept me amused on a rainy day. Not really well written, or developed, but sort of fun in a silly way.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, kindle
Great story. I hope the author will give us more soon. Why did it take Sasha two days on horseback to go five miles to Taran's camp??
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Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Good start to this epic series. Book #1 of 5 doesn't end with a HEA. I'm hoping that will eventuate as the series progresses
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Buddy Read of Ash and Echoes 18 4 Jan 28, 2018 04:26PM  
Dreamspinner Press: Ash and Echoes by Augusta Li 1 20 Jun 22, 2012 08:32AM  

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Other books in the series

Blessed Epoch (5 books)
  • Ice and Embers (Blessed Epoch, #2)
  • Iron and Ether (Blessed Epoch #3)
  • Cairn and Covenant (Blessed Epoch, #4)
  • Calling and Cull (Blessed Epoch, #5)

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