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Kings of Ash

(Ash and Sand #2)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  726 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Release date: January 17, 2019.
The much anticipated continuation of the Ash and Sand trilogy...

Follow the long, bloody journey of Ruka, son of Beyla through the islands of Pyu and the frozen wastes of the Ascom; see the return home of Ratama Kale Alaku, the 'Sorcerer-Prince', and the terrifying rise of his 'miracles'. Before the end, a shocking history will unravel, anc
Kindle Edition, 665 pages
Published January 17th 2019 by Richard Nell
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Richard Nell Hi Diego, sorry to be slow, it's been a cover issue that I think is finally solved. So I won't give an exact date but 'soon' might finally be true.…moreHi Diego, sorry to be slow, it's been a cover issue that I think is finally solved. So I won't give an exact date but 'soon' might finally be true.(less)

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 ·  726 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grimdark fans
Recommended to Petrik by: Bukayag
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Kings of Ash triumphed over its predecessor in almost every possible way.

Kings of Ash is the second book in Richard Nell’s Ash and Sand trilogy. It’s the sequel to the highly praised Kings of Paradise, but the fans of the previous book don’t need to worry about stumbling into the infamous middle book syndrome here. Kings of Ash surpassed the previous book’s quality and it can all be boiled down to one reason: this is Ruka’s book. I have
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We all should be familiar with the old saying, “time heals all wounds.” Speaking from personal experience, that’s not always true. Physical wounds leave scars, and emotional wounds linger in the mind. And although some details might fade over time, the pain doesn’t ever really disappear – you just learn to manage it. But what if your memory was flawless? What if, decades later, you can still remember what the wind smelled like when you held your dying mother in your arms? Or if you recall the ex ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
"One day he would grieve, and accept the price for all the lives snuffed for the great cause of the future, and suffer whatever came. But not today."

I noticed something early on while reading Kings of Ash. A lot of my assumptions after finishing Kings of Paradise were completely wrong. My assumption of where the story was headed in book 2, my assumption of Ruka's character, and my assumption of the time line. I'm sure if I were to go back and read book 1 I may be able to pick up on t
Richard Nell
Nov 25, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
*We have lift-off. Can't wait for you all to get reading. For those who haven't started the series, I'm running an ebook/audiobook give-away for Kings of Paradise on Reddit here for anyone so inclined: Give-away *

We have an ebook release date! On January 17, the Kings of Ash escape their frozen prison, and let the tears flow...

You can read the first two chapters right now on my website.

Pre-order available on Amazon.

Very excited to share this next installment of the story with you all. Pick your
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You’re all slaves. But I will free you. I will drag you from this place kicking and screaming if I must.

Sequels are hard. As a reader, I want to know what happens next but when I’m about to pick up a sequel to a book that devastated and enthralled me impatience and hunger mix with anxiety. What if the story I loved loses a sense of direction or disappoints? It’s happened more than once. 

After I finished Kings of Paradise, I wasn’t sure how and if Richard Nell could top himself. I mean, where
Jon Adams
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ruka may be my favorite character. That's a bold statement because I didn't specify that he was my favorite character in this book, in fantasy, or even in books. That was intentional.

The growth he experiences throughout this book is phenomenal.

I'm not going to say much about the plot. But, damn, the twists in this will snap your head back. I was blown away quite a few times.

If you're interested in reading this one, you've probably read Kings of Paradise. If you have haven't read that one, wha
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'll try to write a coherent review (who am I kidding?) when I find some time. Or maybe I'll just write about Ruka, who is one the most fascinating characters I've ever had a pleasure to read about.

But for now, I'll just leave a short message for Richard:

Also, thank you for the nod in the acknowledgment section. You're too kind.
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was one hell of a book. It’s taken me weeks to gather my thoughts which are still all over the place, meaning this is more me just talking it out than an actual review. And truthfully, I really didn’t have anything new to add to all the great reviews that are out there anyway.

Kings of Ash picks up directly after the first book and the heart of this story is of course, Ruka. It’s been a couple of years since I read Kings of Paradise and I was glad to see a “what came before” included, tho
The Nerd Book Review
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ll leave a more thorough review when I have a chance but this is getting a 5+ and will probably be on my favorite books of the year list.
I thought Kings of Paradise was a brilliant book but I didn’t love it, it was just a little too dark for my taste and my “movie in my mind”. The book felt like it was in black and white with the tundra and grim nature.
The setting of this book changed that black and white feel and the writing brilliance was still there. This book is just epic and the ending
Rebekah Teller
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This sequel to Kings of Paradise picks the story up where it left off, and we’re shown more progression leading up to a tragic and inevitable war. An attack filled with political risk jeopardizes the fate of the cultures on both sides. Three compelling leaders, each empowered in ways they don’t themselves understand, are set on a collision course that terrifies fate itself.

“I am not a man, Prince of Paradise. I am a thousand years of children buried nameless in rotten earth. I am the rage of th
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finishing the second book in Ash and Sand is like falling down a rabbit hole.

I read the first book and enjoyed it quite a bit. It was ALL about character development, characters beefing up (magically, I should add), and a ton of reversals that really spotlight a pretty vibrant world of much character.

The second book flips a lot of my expectations and gives us a VERY deep exploration of a character I expected to be a villain. Only... well. No spoilers. Suffice to say, I'm VERY happy to be going
Lynn K : Grimmedian
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Epic Grimdark fantasy readers
Kings of Ash is a searing second installment from Richard Nell continuing the epic grimdark piece begun in Kings of Paradise. Haunting and complex, with graphic and violent events, Kings of Ash burns itself into the reader's mind. Emotional, heartbreaking, and bloody.

This book is Ruka's nearly in its entirety. It is the missing narrative that tells Ruka's tale in the time between his first discovering the northern islands, when prince Kale Alaku was but an infant, and the time of his return whi
P.T. Hunt
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Words. How to use them? I've forgot.

Kings of Paradise was more or less my entry into the self-published world and it blew my mind. Kings of Ash has collected all of that brain matter, compiled it back together into a fleshy ball, and blown it up again. I'm still shocked that, at this moment, Kings of Paradise isn't over 1,000 ratings on GR. Blasphemous in my opinion, but again, in the self-published world there are so many amazing authors still hovering under the radar (though I think Nell is st
Mayim de Vries
Sep 09, 2020 is currently reading it
Halfway through. I have already been caught off guard by the surprises Richard Nell has in store for the reader. So far, no second book syndrome here.

I wanted to thank Richard, who is both kind and brave, for sharing his work with me.

Also in the series:

1. Kings of Paradise ★★★★★
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goat
I've read hundreds of fantasy books and this series is hands down my favorite that I have ever read. The writing is immaculate, the story intricate, complex and fascinating, the characters the most unique and wonderful that I've ever read. This series is a true feat of imagination.

This second installment sees the seeds planted in the groundwork of the last book come to fruition. It is better in every regard (not to say the first book was bad, it was phenomenal), from the character development t
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epic-fantasy
I loved this book and was genuinely surprised by a few of the major plot twists.

This book was better than book 1. The author has become more confident in his characterization and the prose is even smoother. The main character of this book was not my favorite from the previous book, but that didn't matter because this book really made me appreciate/understand him to a much greater degree.

Really enjoyed the setting and cultures of the world. These descriptions were a highlight of the book for me.
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Second installments of trilogies tend to sag more than women in their twilight, but luckily for us readers, Richard Nell is a master surgeon with the ability to lift the saga to new heights by rounding out the world and supporting it with deep dives into our favorite characters' psyches.

Kings of Ash grows with the series rather than apart from it, which means fans won't be tempted into trading up for another low fantasy half its age. Instead, this book is a reminder of why we fell in love in the
This was one of my most anticipated books for 2019 and it definitely lived up to and surpassed my expectations. Ruka was by far my favorite character sin the first book, him being the primary focus in this installment was a great.

This story told of a different side of Ruka that we had yet to experience in Kings of Paradise. We learn a lot more about what he is capable of as an individual and how he grows into a leader for his people.

Kale and Dala get very little time which was much different t
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
another impressive one from Richard Nell, and better than a healthy majority of traditionally published fantasy books out there. really makes me wonder what other gems publishers are passing on... remember Harry Potter almost didn't get published... -_-

I loved how heavy this one was on Ruka's POV. even though I really enjoyed Kale's parts in book 1, Ruka is one of my favourite characters -and I dont mean just in this series.

the ending of this book was also fantastic. the way each character cam
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Read full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: Sequels are incredibly hard as first time writers have often talked about. It gets trickier when your first book gets near universal acclaim. Richard Nell finds himself in such esteemed company along with Rothfuss, Lynch, and A. Ryan. For us reviewers it gets trickier as those first books are sheer magic. How does one compare the sequels to them?

To discuss this book will be very spoilerific and so I’ll do my best to reveal as little as poss
Solid Sequel to a Great Series So Far

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars.

Well, I can see why so many really enjoyed this second book. Despite my preference for Kale over Ruka chapters in the first book, I found the insight provided in this book on Ruka's background and motivations to be very beneficial in weaving the story of this series.

We spend more time in the past than the present in this book (at least compared to Book 1), but things that weren't clear at the end of the last book become a great deal c
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved how the characters developed.. this was such a good follow up to the previous book in all the glorious ways possible..
..was afraid at the Y/A turn around the end, but weirdly it was OK after all..
..can't wait for the next book..
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Masterfully Written

It’s depressing reading this book 20 days into the new year. I KNOW this will be the best (at least top 3) book I’ll read all year.


1) The authors use of the staggered/flashback timeline was so seemless with the other MC’s POV I didn’t notice it until the SECOND book of the series.

2) The author must see everything in shades of Grey. The “villain” was so obscure I didn’t realize it wasn’t someone even seen in this book until the epilogue. Once again the author shows a fa
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am at loss of words. Utterly stunning and satisfying second installment that left me with my mouth wide open in disbelief about what happened in the last 70 pages.
I am a fanatsy lpving book aficionado for more than 20 years now and hardly ever have I read such a masterfully crafted second book.
I don‘t like to compare authors to other authors but if you have read Sandersons „Mistborne“ Trilogy and couldn‘t grasp how artsy he drafted his books and the conclusion you will LOVELOVELOVE these book
Neena Margarita
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow
Okay. Wow. That is all.
Scott M.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, dark-fantasy
I am really growing to like the land of Ascom, the people of Sri Kon, the Empire. More importantly I still love the characters. Ruka has slowly grown to become one of my favourite characters of all time, no question.

This book is a continuation of the story, I was not awed at the depth of the world like in the first book. Instead this book provided a lot more meat (haha) to the characters from the first. I had thought I understood Ruka from the first book, I was wrong, this book really expands up
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just...

You know how after rereading a book sometimes people decide to rate a book lower than they did before?

That's not what happened.


But the problem is I can't because there's only five stars.

Goddamn Nell is a genius. A bloody awesome genius.

Ruka is a love letter to the Barbarian character, and he's so, so damn good.

Ruka, in the books, eats teenage boys because he's hungry and has nothing else.

Ruka spends years saving a people who shunned him.

And Ruka hasn't e
Chris Hazen
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This episode of Nerd Book Review is primarily a spoiler-free discussion of Kings of Paradise, but Kings of Ash was too good to stick to our normal format. I'm still having trouble coming up with another fantasy character that is as awesome as Ruka. I already want to read this series again. ...more
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

I'm a little behind on this series considering the third and final book in the Ash and Sand trilogy just came out on September 1st, but fortunately that doesn't take anything away from the fact that Kings of Ash was just as incredible as Kings of Paradise and I can't wait to finally get to Kings of Heaven! A quick note before diving into this review: I'll keep it spoiler free for this book and I'll try to keep things vague so as not to spoil too muc
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this novel. When I started the first one I didn't realize it was self published since it was sitting on my to read list and had forgotten about how it got there. The characters and world are so rich that I was completely engrossed in the story and only realized it was self published after seeing how few people reviewed this book. If you like fantasy with rich flawed characters and you don't shy away from violence this book is a must read. ...more
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Richard Nell concerned family and friends by quitting his real job in 2014 to 'write full-time'. He is a Canadian author of fantasy, living in one of the flattest, coldest places on earth with his begrudging wife, who makes sure he eats.

His debut novel, Kings of Paradise, is the first of an epic, coming-of-age, low fantasy trilogy, and a Canadian Amazon best-seller in dark fantasy. It's available

Other books in the series

Ash and Sand (3 books)
  • Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand, #1)
  • Kings of Heaven (Ash and Sand, #3)

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“There is only fear and failure. The world is cruel to the weak. How they suffer does not matter.” 0 likes
“Ruka was a lone wolf in the shape of a man,” 0 likes
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