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Kingdom of Ash and Soot

(The Order of the Crystal Daggers #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Everyone Lies. 

PRAGUE, 1870.

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother's household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.

But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throu

Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Prodigy Gold Books
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C.S. Johnson
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
C.S. Johnson It's got the paperback up on Amazon and other sites now. :) …moreIt's got the paperback up on Amazon and other sites now. :) (less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  140 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, read-in-2018
*** 3.5 STARS ***

*Thanks again to Prodigy Gold Books for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

The first half of „Kingdom of Ash and Soot“ was absolutely amazing and I was so invested in the story, I couldn’t put the book down anymore. Back in high school, I always hated history classes but ever since passing my a-levels and leaving school, I’ve become more and more interested in history and have also found out that I actually really enjoy reading historical fiction.
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
3.5 stars

Enter Giveaway at the bottom!

A beautiful historical setting invites you to a bohemian adventure of a servant girl blossoming to a fierce and dagger-wielding protagonist with a rightful place in society.

Eleanora Svobodová’s father has passed away, and ever since, she and her brother have been serving at the house for her stepmother without question albeit not without dreaming of a free future.
One day, Eleanora is heading into town with two special books from her father’s collection she
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by Prodigy Gold Books & C.S. Johnson in exchange for an honest review - thank you so much!

Throughly enjoyed this a beautifully written Cinderella/Spy story by C.S. Johnson - was such a vivid and fantastic adventure.

”The devil always offers you everything you want, but there is always a price to pay. Always.”

It was a slow burning plot and very character driven but it was so good! The descriptions and writing really made you feel like you were there with the characters in Pra
C.S. Johnson
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Hi again, everyone! This is my upcoming novel, published through Prodigy Gold Books, and it's my editor's favorite so far, and I can think of no higher praise considering she's seen the worst of my work. I hope you enjoy it!

Here's the blurb I've written:

“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.

“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.”
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy of the from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
This book was so intriguing. I really enjoyed watching Elenora go from a maid to a lady, as she was mean to be. The Cinderella vibe along with the spy part of it is very neat. I like the 2 love interests, esp Ferdy and did not predict the twist. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
It does end in a cliffhanger
Jillian Reynolds (Jillian Loves Books)
Imma be real here.

I was sent this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. (That happened like, a minute ago, and by a minute, I mean a few years--I hate myself, too.)

And I never got to the review because I couldn't even make it through the damn book. It's a real shame. Honestly, I liked the premise, but 90% of what I read was dialogue--no real world-building, nothing to make me feel connected to the story, just dialogue upon dialogue.

I liked the premise, but the characters d
C.S. Wachter
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ms. Johnson whisked me away to another world with her characters and magical location, Prague, mid-eighteen hundreds. The attention to detail brings to life a story rooted in the Cinderella tales, yet completely its own in form and substance. A secret international spy network and a mystery surrounding the deaths of several important men give the tale added dimensions as brother Ben and sister Eleanora are rescued from an evil stepmother only to be plunged into international intrigue.

Though I en
Laura Grace
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This story was fantastic! Definitely one of my favorite reads of this year!

It was packed full of political intrigue, but not so much where it went over my head or was hard to remember. The Cinderella twist honestly made it even cooler and will forever look at her story differently, imaging if she became a secret, undercover spy.

The characters were just as amazing as the storyline. (Well, except the bad guys, but even they were "well played." Hehe!)
Dee/ bookworm
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read! And what an ending!! ( am so excited to see what happened I stayed up way to late to start the next book in the series!) This book, Kingdom of Ash and Soot, really allows you to follow Eleanora through her life, which in the last 10 years has gone downhill, but while on that downhill run she has made some unbreakable relationships, like her brother Ben and Tulia. Then when we meet her for the main part of the book her life seems to mostly improve, even though she makes a few mist ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Woah! That’s ending totally took me by surprise. I WANT THE NEXT BOOK PLEASE!
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
We received an ARC of this book from Prodigy Gold Books in exchange for an honest review. Thanks again, Prodigy Gold Books!

Overall Rating: 3 stars
Heroine: Survivor by Destiny’s Child
Dude: Can I go on walks with him in Prague!??
Romance: Sweet and slow burn
Brutality: I’ll never trust wine again

This story is an interesting twist on Cinderella that adds in history, political maneuvering and assassins. If you love a good regency novel with multiple balls, discussions of what is proper behavior for
Angela Cuéllar
pooled ink Reviews:

Kingdom of Ash and Soot is almost a Cinderella retelling but darker and more exciting. Set in an alternate 1800s Prague, Eleanora survives the deaths of her parents, strengthens beneath the abuse of her step-family, and rises in a world of magic and dark destiny. This YA Fantasy is a must-read for fans of adventure told at midnight.

Read my FULL review here:
Terri Rand
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was given an ARC of this book and this is my honest review. If you have never read anything by C.S. Johnson, then this is a wonderful way to begin a wonderful relationship with a terrific author.
From the moment Nora is introduced along with her brother Ben, I was hooked. Both characters are relatable and easy to like. The evil step-mother is just that - evil. Each new character that was introduced just made me want to get more lost in this world. Having the story set in Prague was a treat for
Janeen Ippolito
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great story with intriguing politics, fun character dynamics, and a breathless conclusion!
Ashy Khaira
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.

Nora was a very easy character to fall in love with. It stays true to the typical Cinderella retelling, however Nora is a beast! She became stronger with her life that she was dealt and worked for something better, than accepting her fate!

This story just went somewhere completely different than I was expecting! The writing was well executed and it was a little hard to follow at
you can find this review on my blog as well!
I’d be lying if I said the cover wasn’t my main reason for wanting to pick up this book. But after reading the synopsis, I got some interesting Cinderella vibes, and, well.

I was sold.

Kingdom is not a retelling. It has some elements, definitely—an Ella working as a servant in her own home after her father passes, dancing amongst the elite, things like that. But it’s definitely not a retelling. Despite that, I was intrigued by the time period and the
Another read for the Indie Fantasy Bookclub! CS Johnson has written a lively YA tale of murder, romance, secret societies and political intrigue in nineteenth-century Prague that ALSO happens to double as a Cinderella retelling. This one is overtly written for a Christian audience, but I really loved the themes of power versus freedom, the breezy chemistry between the heroine and her highly lovable brother, and the glimpses caught of the (likely very highly fictionalised version of the) politica ...more
Rebecca Brice
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Received this book as an ARC.

A must can I say. A great read that will get you hooked right from the start.

This first book in the Kingdom series is excellent. I love the character and the interaction they have with each other, and how they develop. There are so many different types of characters and personalities that you find you like and others not so much and some you like even more as you learn about them.

The twist and the turns in there and the final realization when thi
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I love this story! It blends history and great storytelling together, along with a Cinderella vibe. Eleanora and Ben and Ferdy, and all the secrets and political intrigue was fantastically blended together. The ENDING THO! You’re going to want to have book 2 queued up on your kindle or in your possession. This story sucked me in immediately and didn’t let up. Can’t wait to read the next books!
Lawrence Levee
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book as a favor to a friend, not expecting what I opened was going to be that good. For a work of historical fiction and with a good amount of romance and intrigue, I quickly became occupied in the web of events portrayed therein. It is now 2am the day after I began reading, this alone should tell you something of the quality of the text! A real page turner. From its funeral prolog, through its twisting plot, the main character Elanora pulls you in and keeps you reading cover to cove ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book to read and am so glad that I was given the opportunity to read it!

This book held me to the very end (I love stories like that so much!) I love how it brings in the dysfunction into the plot (a bit of reality mixed to make it more real to me. I enjoyed the way the words painted a story I could easily visualize, pulling me into the story too.

This is not the first book that I've read by CS Johnson, and will certainly not be my last!
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first-ever eARC and that is why this book will forever be etched on my memory. Thank you Prodigy Gold Books for providing me an advance copy of this book.

Kingdom of Ash and Soot is a tale of survival, mystery, lies, love, secrets and freedom. I was once again plunged into the mystical city of Prague for this historical fiction and the place still held its old magic which makes it perfect for a story such as this. Siblings Eleanora and Ben were stripped of the comforts of life when the
Sarah Ashwood
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting mix of themes. At first, I thought it would mainly play out to be a Cinderella story, but Nora/Ella isn't rescued from her stepmother just to leave a glass slipper on the prince's stairs. No, she's inherited a place in the Order of the Crystal Daggers, along with the danger and intrigue that goes along with it.
My favorite part of this book, besides the gorgeous cover, was the rich historical detail. The author clearly knows her stuff. She did a fantastic job sendin
Jacob Rundle
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have a lot to say about this novel. There is nothing bad to say for the first half of this story. The characters were strong and relatable, the story held my attention the entire time. The pace was perfect, and I flew through the chapters with ease. I had high hopes since the story is based in Prague.
However, the last half of the story, I found that my attention wasn't held firmly the whole time. I will say though...the ending...GREAT, but leading up to that point, I was disappointed. I still
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: got-review-copy
Kingdom of Ash & Soot is set in the past, 1870 in Prague. Eleanora is only 9 years old when the story begins and she is at her father’s funeral with her older brother, Benedict, her stepmom and her two step siblings who are spoiled and used to getting their way. Eleanora was very close to her father and mourns him the most whereas Ben didn’t share a good relationship with him and holds bitterness at the man’s memory. Their mom passed away years ago and their stepmother immediately makes them bot ...more
Nina Silva
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars

This is a novel that packs mystery and intrigue into historical fiction… what fun. It’s 1870 and Prague is a hotbed if political machinations, assainations and secret societies. There were many aspects of the story that I enjoyed.

The orphan story: Eleanora and her elder brother Ben are orphans living as servants to their stepmother in their own father’s home. They dream of a feeedom that is simply a life away from obligation to Lady Cecilia and her unkindness. Despite the hardships un
Nikole Clow
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Kingdom of Ash and Soot is beautifully written, offering alluring and intense character-driven scenes that make you feel like you are standing next to Eleanora the entire time. The historical parts of the novel are compelling and so intricately woven into the plot. The twists and turns will leave you guessing and when the pieces finally come together, you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve read a ton of books that have traces of Cinderella, but never one that includes action scenes, political intrigue,
Anna Tan
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Right. I think I'm gonna put this at something like 3.5 stars.

Kingdom of Ash and Soot starts off with a very Cinderella vibe. After the death of her father, Eleanora and her brother Benedict are treated as servants by their (evil) step-mother. The plot does veer away after that, but the Cinderella-ish undertones remain throughout the rest of the story, especially when she's later given the nickname "Ella." Lady Penelope appears on the scene, the siblings are invited to join a secret society, spy
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C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at ...more

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The Order of the Crystal Daggers (3 books)
  • Prince of Secrets and Shadows (The Order of the Crystal Daggers, #2)
  • Heart of Hope and Fear (The Order of the Crystal Daggers, #3)

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