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First the flames . . .

When Desfan Cassian, the future ruler of Mortise, skips his fifteenth birthday celebration so he can gamble in the slums, he knows his father won't be pleased. Then again, the serjan hasn’t been happy with him in years. And while Desfan anticipates a reprimand for his latest transgression, he doesn’t expect to be thrown out of the palace and exiled onto a patrol ship for the next year.

Then from the ashes . . .

Furious to be trapped on the same sea that stole his family four years ago, Desfan is fully prepared to hate his new life. After all, the Phoenix is run by a strict captain, and Desfan's annoying new bodyguard, Karim, is his constant shadow. But when Desfan learns that a group of dangerous pirates may have been behind the deaths of his mother and sisters, he's suddenly committed to hunting down the truth—no matter the risk.

He will rise.

*** Fire & Ash is a novella set in the world of the Royal Decoy series. While it is a prequel story, it is best enjoyed after reading Royal Spy. ***

235 pages, Kindle Edition

Published October 21, 2021

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About the author

Heather Frost

14 books349 followers
Heather Frost is a #1 Amazon Bestselling YA author who loves epic stories with breath-stealing romance. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. Her books have been Whitney Award Finalists and Swoony Award Finalists. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and re-watch Lord of the Rings. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in northern Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: www.HeatherFrost.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Cassidy Clarke.
Author 5 books60 followers
October 25, 2021
I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest review!

As with Royal Decoy and Royal Spy, I was utterly swept away by this novella! Desfan became a fast favorite of mine in Royal Spy (I’m a sucker for rebellious tortured princes with tragic backstories, what can I say?) and this novella only solidified that love! His and Karim’s friendship made it on my list of favorite bromances, and a couple of their moments in Fire and Ash actually made me tear up. This was a thrilling tale of finding friendship where you didn’t expect it and finding hope where you thought there could be none, and watching Desfan choose to rise from the ashes of his grief and anger was an absolute treat. I was already impatient for Royal Captive, but now I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle the wait! I NEED MORE DESFAN IN MY LIFE!
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,998 reviews251 followers
October 28, 2021
Oh Desfan. My heart breaks for you. Your life has not been easy and your own heart is battered. My mama heart wanted to swoop in to save Desfan, to love him. Lucky for Desfan, Karim enters his life. It's a long, hard road to friendship but Karim just doesn't give up. I loved him for that. He is such a good guy.

It was so good to get a look into the life of Desfan and see what made him into the person we see in the previous books. It's kind of like having "the rest of the story." I know this is novella length but it really felt like a wholly developed story. Maybe that's because of the previous books? I just know that I was worried it would be too short for me but it wasn't. I loved it beginning to end. It was nice to have something from this world of Eyrinthia to tide me over until the next MUCH ANTICIPATED book. 😍

Content: peril, violence, drinking and drug addiction

- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Sarah Hill.
Author 4 books39 followers
October 28, 2021
The Fate of Erynthis series is my current favorite series! I love it so much I almost wish I'd discovered it AFTER more books in the series were written, but I also enjoy being one of the first to fall in love with this series.
I am truly thankful that Frost decided to write a novella about Desfan, as it cures a bit of the hunger I have and she did another AHMAZING job!
If you've read the first two books you are going to enjoy getting a deeper look into Desfan's earlier life. In Royal Spy, we knew he'd been at sea for years, but we never knew what pulled him to stay out there for so long. Now I do! We get to know Desfan on a deeper level and we also get to see how he and Karim came to be such great friends. I especially enjoyed their relationship and seeing how it grew from mere forced companions to being willing to give their lives for the other. It truly is a beautiful friendship and it made love Karim, who I already liked after meeting him in Royal Spy, but this is a new level!
Favorite line was spoken by Karim himself, "You are so much more than the broken things inside you." Bam! A lot of us could stand to hear those words, yes? Learning Karim's backstory and seeing how wise beyond his years he is, was a treat.
In Royal Spy you instantly love Desfan, I never fully understood him though and this novella connected the pieces. I honestly couldn't choose which I adore most.
Pick up this novella, it won't quench your thirst for more of Erynthia because like the first two books, it ends way too soon!
BONUS!! We get a little bit of insight into Karim's mind with bonus material at the end! SCORE!
Profile Image for Girl and Books.
315 reviews
May 14, 2023
This book is the origin story of Desfan and Karim's friendship.
Someone was cutting onions throughout the entire book!
Profile Image for Anjali.
347 reviews21 followers
October 28, 2021
The Fate of Eyrinthia series is a favorite; I loved the books and the short stories set in this world. Desfan, the Serjah with the seafarer's heart is the regent of Mortise, and we meet him in Royal Spy, book 2 of the series. This novella is his backstory.

His is a strong character arc in Royal Spy, and this book does even more to paint a picture of Desfan's voyage towards realising who he is, from being a lost hurting teenager.

Fifteen year old Desfan...
𝗔𝗻 𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗶𝗰𝘁. 𝗔 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗲𝗳. 𝗔 𝗱𝗿𝘂𝗻𝗸. 𝗔 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗹𝗲𝗿. 𝗔 𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘁.

As Desfan sets off unwillingly as crew on a patrol ship, he starts off hating his bodyguard - Karim... You have to read the novella to believe how beautiful a non bromantic frendship they forge... That was what I loved the most about this story.

𝗜 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗸, 𝗵𝗲’𝗱 (Karim) 𝘀𝗮𝗶𝗱.

𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁’𝘀 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗲, 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗳𝗮𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗱. 𝗜’𝗹𝗹 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂.
Profile Image for Heather.
463 reviews40 followers
October 29, 2021
Thank you to the author Heather Frost for the delightful honor and pleasure to have received and read an ARC of Fire and Ash.

Listen my peeps. If you haven’t heard the name Heather Frost then wake up and grab your coffee and glasses (I prefer donuts and contacts) and check this author out! She is quickly becoming a new favorite author of mine!

I adored this novella in the Fate of Eyrinthia series. Best read after Royal Spy when we are introduced to Desfan. This novella is from Desfan’s perspective and takes place a few years after a tragedy steals the life of his mother and sisters. He is 15 years old and his life is spiraling out of control: gambling, drinking, drugs, fights. He is useless and feels worthless and then to top it all off his father sends him away. Feeling unloved and damaged Desfan does not take to his new life at sea - and particularly dislikes his new shadow, aka Karim his serious, young bodyguard.

This novella gives us the backstory that all us readers were DYING to know as we were introduced in Royal Spy to an audacious, playful prince and his loyal, stoic bodyguard.

Desfan was just as cheeky, reckless and mischievous at age 15 as when we meet him in Royal Spy. Read RS first! Well, actually, read Royal Decoy first first then RS then F&A.

Desfan, our reckless young prince, can’t help but find or make trouble wherever he goes. Like when he accuses a grown man of cheating:

”But you were cheating. And an ill-gained fortune is a curse, right? So, really, I might have saved your life.”

And then this line made me chuckle because it sounded exactly like something my son would have said when he was 15 (and would still say today):

”It’s not laziness....It’s actively choosing to do something that requires less energy.”

One of my favorite aspects of the story was watching the bond grow between Karim and Desfan. The two young men are complete opposites but they fit together perfectly like a puzzle piece. Not to mention they were hilarious together:

Karim grabbed Desfan and hauled him to his feet, fuming. “Are you incapable of being anything but a reckless idiot?” His bodyguard snapped.

“I don’t feel like I can say no, with the way you’re looking at me.”

And then my little romantic heart swelled when I read that Desfan’s own heart stirred when he watched his friend falling in love.

He had liked many girls, but he’d never minded when it was time to walk away. He didn’t think back on them or miss them. He had always been careful to hold himself apart.

OKAY!! Desfan needs to fall in love!! A love that will rip him apart but also hold him together! I’m hoping this is a little foreshadowing for our dear, audacious prince!

In a nutshell, Fire and Ash was everything I had hoped it would be. Heather Frost is a brilliant author who writes three dimensional characters with all their strengths and flaws that come alive amongst a story that compels the reader to keep turning every page until the very last. Fantasy readers will adore Heather’s The Fate of Eyrinthia series.
Profile Image for Anna (The_Reading_Pantry).
303 reviews38 followers
October 28, 2021
If you’ve read the other books in this series, you’ll want to mark your calendars for Desfan’s story. This was great!! It says it’s a novella but Fire and Ash really is similar in length to most historical fiction novels. I’m not complaining because I sure do love Desfan! Yes, he made so many stupid decisions in this book and was a little ball of pent up anger, but I still loved him. It probably helped that I became a major Desfan fan in The Royal Spy. 😅😍

It broke my heart to see the choices Desfan would make anytime he had to deal with his emotions. It was pretty heavy, but I’m glad to have read this novella. Also, I’m an even bigger fan of Karim than I was before. He’s such a strong and loyal character. Desfan really lucked out when Karim was assigned to be his bodyguard. 😍 Their friendship is the best!!

Heather Frost sure has a skill in writing an entrancing tale! Her world building is incredible and I’m so glad I’ve read this series!!
Profile Image for Silvia.
317 reviews58 followers
October 28, 2021
Fire & Ash is a novella that gets under your skin . . . At least that is what happened to me. Sure, I could easily say it’s Desfan’s fault—or Karim’s!—but, most of all, it’s the author’s writing that keeps strengthening my love for this unique series.

Following years prior to the events taking place in the novels, readers don’t just have the opportunity to know Desfan better, but they actually get to experience his turbulent journey. A journey that could very well make for an emotional one for you, too . . . How can it not when it involves loss, grief, and the strength to fight—the good fight—back everything bad life throws your way? But let’s not forget about the good stuff, too, like the friendship between Desfan and Karim. If I already thought their bond was amazing, thanks to this read I now feel like it’s wonderfully precious. And, yes, I’m not ashamed to say I fell a bit for Karim—all hail the bonus scenes!

An impeccable novella in a series I love so fates-blasted much! In case you are still pondering over it, there is no such thing as ‘maybe’ or ‘one day’, the time to fall in love with Eyrhintia is NOW!

I received a free copy of this book from the Author for an honest review. This does not affect in any way my opinion of the book nor the content of my revieworiginally posted on Darkest Sins.
Profile Image for M.H..
Author 20 books119 followers
September 6, 2023
This companion novel in the Fates of Eyrinthia series reveals more of the past of everyone’s favorite Serjah, Desfan Cassian. I admit, I was hesitant to read this one due to the drug addiction I knew would be front and center. But I trust the author to handle such matters delicately, so I finally took the plunge.

It didn’t disappoint.

Fire & Ash is a well written, fast paced, heartfelt journey of friendship, first love (between secondary characters), and healing. I enjoyed the growth of Desfan and Karim, the lush surroundings, and the underlying themes of grief and purpose. (And the bonus chapters were adorable.)

While it isn’t necessary to read this companion novel in order to appreciate Desfan’s character as an adult, or his friendship with his bodyguard, it does add new depth and dimension to them and to the world of Eyrinthia. Definitely recommended!

Content: Contains drug use/overdose, fantasy violence, and trauma. No strong language, no spice.
Profile Image for Candy Smith.
442 reviews36 followers
October 30, 2021
Love this Quote:
“And yet, every time the phoenix’s flame destroys, it also re-forges. Every time, the phoenix rises from the ashes, reborn.”The captain eyed him. “The phoenix is the only creature I know that can be utterly destroyed, and yet rise again. He does this not just once, but repeatedly. He always survives the fire. It’s what gives him new life.”“But why?”Desfan asked, his hands fisting against the railing. “Why would he go through the pain of a thousand deaths, only to know he’ll die in fire again? It’s an endless cycle. What’s the point?”“I suppose he has something to live for, and that’s more important than any pain. It is enough to compel him to rise from the ashes every time.”Seveh glanced at Desfan. “Pain, loss, disappointment—even death—is all a part of life. We may not be able to cheat death as the phoenix does, but we can rise, too, Desfan. No matter how burned. No matter how deep the pile of ashes. We can choose to rise. That choice is always ours, and ours alone."
I always loved the strength and resilience of the Phoenix.Now will the story that the Captain of The Phoenix he told Desfan resonate with him and help him rise from the ashes of grief to become the man he was meant to be? I loved this story, could relate with the characters and had me turning the pages to the very end!
229 reviews
October 27, 2021
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Fate of Eyrinthia series, so I jumped at the chance to read this prequel. It did not disappoint. I found it hard to put down so I could go complete all the "gotta-do's."

It has been some time since I read the other books in this series, so I couldn't remember much about Desfan and Karim, but I enjoyed getting to know their stories - even though I REALLY did not care for Desfan very much in the beginning.

This is a prequel to the series, but it works well as a stand-alone...although you really should read the entire series, because it's just that good.
6 reviews
October 15, 2021
I LOVED THIS! Of course. I wasn't sure how I felt about Desfan after reading the other books, but this was such a perfect look into his life. I love how real and believable he is. Also, Karim is just the best.
5 reviews2 followers
September 21, 2021
For those who have read Royal Decoy and Royal Spy and are looking for your Fate Of Eyrinthia fix before Royal Captive comes out next year... then Fire and Ash is the book for you! This novella brings a better understanding of Serjah Desfan Saernon Cassian the heir to the Mortisian throne. The heartache, anger and suffering that he has dealt with for years after the loss of his mother and sisters has made its mark on him. His bodyguard Karim has his work cut out for him tying to keep his Serjah safe and out of trouble. As always with Frost's writing style you can't help but fall in love with this character. She has a way of bringing such detail into her characters and in their adventures. Great read from start to finish. Fast paced and full of adventure! Loved it!
10 reviews
November 4, 2021
Love it!

It was so fun to get a peak into Desfans past! And to see how he and Karim became so close! You get bits of it when you read Royal Spy but this really dives into the details. And the writing is so good it just sucks you in and when it's over, you wish there was more!
Profile Image for K.M. Frost.
Author 4 books13 followers
November 9, 2021
I absolutely LOVED getting this jaunt into Desfan's past! I ADORED him in Royal Spy, and it was so much fun to see him as a teenager, and to see him before he's quite figured himself out. I also loved watching his and Karim's friendship develop. They are such great and close friends in Royal Spy, so it was fun to see how they started and how they built such an incredible friendship. The story deals with some heavy themes, which the author managed to explore and present in a very real way. I laughed and cried in this novella, and I can't recommend it enough. If you love Eyrinthia, if you love Desfan, or if you just want a witty, exciting, emotional adventure, you should definitely read Fire & Ash--you will not be disappointed!
Profile Image for Heather Coombs.
8 reviews1 follower
March 20, 2022
If you are following the Fate of Eyrinthia series, I highly recommend reading this before the 3rd book, Royal Captive. It gives you a glimpse into the troubled past of our favorite pirate-prince. We get to see enemies blossom into brothers, and a troubled youth find his way. It also introduces a vital character in Royal Captive. Of course, no FoE book is complete without a little romance. Just go read it already!
Profile Image for Michalla.
306 reviews1 follower
November 15, 2021
I loved this book so much. I love seeing the depth and change to Desfan and how his friendship started with Karim.
Profile Image for Pamela.
73 reviews5 followers
April 16, 2022
enemies to friends!

Love, love, love the novella! What nice enemies to friends trope. And the comedic relief amidst all the emotions was just perfect.
Profile Image for Mikkayla.
299 reviews9 followers
March 28, 2022
I loved this sneak peek into Desfans past! If you’ve read Book 2: Royal Spy, there is a scene where Desfan gave a brief glimpse into how his life at sea came to be and whatnot. This novella is basically the entire story with all the deets.
When I read that little glimpse in Book 2, that was my exact wish, that we could know MORE! And we got it!
The author recommends this novella be read after Book 2. If it had been released when I was reading Book 2, I would have read up to the point where Desfan is talking about his past, read the novella and then resumed reading the full book.
But reading it after Book 2 works nicely as well. I would absolutely recommend reading it before Book 3- there are characters you will want to know from Desfans past for the next book. It just makes the story more enjoyable.

Content: clean
Romance: kisses
Violence: some fighting, kidnapping
Language: only in foreign languages.
972 reviews
March 3, 2022
I don’t read a lot of novellas usually, but the first two books in this series are really good, and I wanted to learn more about Desfan, so I was happy to read his novella!

This story beautifully deals with grief and how it affects people. I was immediately drawn into the story and couldn’t put it down! I also desperately wanted to give Desfan a hug, because he needed one.

To balance everything out, there are some great humorous moments, sarcastic lines, and banter between Desfan and Karim! I loved seeing the development of their friendship.

I highly recommend reading this, especially if you’ve read the first two books! In terms of length, it’s actually as long as some of the shorter novels I’ve read, though it’s not that long compared to the length of the books in the series. I thought it was just right, and I’m so glad I read it!
82 reviews2 followers
March 1, 2022
I loved this book. it reall explained some of the characters that are in the three books that follow.
Profile Image for Marilee .
882 reviews98 followers
July 17, 2023
AHHHH!! I absolutely loved being back in the world of Eyrinthia!!

This is Desfan's backstory - how he ended up on patrol boats chasing pirates and how he and his bodyguard, Karim, became best friends. It also shows the first beginnings of the romance between Karim and Razan.

Desfan is one of my favorite characters from the series and it was so fun to read his backstory and understand his character more. Same with Karim. I love them both even more now.

If you have enjoyed the Eyrnthia books, you definitely need to read this book. Just wait until after reading Royal Spy. This one definitely gets 5 stars from me!
23 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2021
I really loved this novella. It's a great addition to this series and a fun look at a younger Desfan and Karim.
I was surprised at how emotional I got while reading this book. The author did a really good job of making me identify with Desfan and feel what he is going through. (Especially when it came to dealing with the death of his mother and sisters.)
I'm glad I read this. I feel like it has made me appreciate Desfan more as a character and made me even more excited to see where Heather is taking his storyline in the main series.
Definitely worth the read!
Profile Image for Tiffany.
412 reviews
April 7, 2023
Desfan has experienced great loss and made poor choices with little regard to himself (and therefore, others). Then his father sends him away and gives him a new bodyguard.
He is determined to hate Karim but Karim doesn’t make that easy. And I love him for it! Haha.
Desfan and Karim become a powerful team and loyal friends. I enjoyed getting to know more of their story. This book is a great addition to the series and a must read!
Profile Image for Nicole Dunton.
1,307 reviews31 followers
August 20, 2022
Title: Fire & Ash
Author: Heather Frost
Release Date: October 28th, 2021
Page Count: 235
Start Date: August 5th, 2022
Finish Date: August 6th, 2022

Story: For those who have read the three books that are currently out for A Fate of Eyrinthia, this book is definitely one that will cause happiness. The story in this book is referenced many times in the series. It's about Desfan and when his father sent him away. It's one of the stories I actually wanted to read about that are referenced in the series. One of. It really answers a lot of questions and helps make references in the series make a lot more sense. I almost want to read the series again just to read it in complete order.
Characters: I feel like this book really help us see Desfan's growth. It also shows a glimpse of Karim before he became harder as he got older. I also finally understand something that happens later in the series. I don't want to say what because of potential spoilers. But the anger Karim feels makes a lot of sense.
Critiques: None
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this story. I mean I knew most of the contents in the book due to the series, but it wasn't in a way that was "spoilers". It's kind of like when you watch a television show or a movie and the characters go to talk about something that happened in the past and then it does a "flashback" of it. That's the best way I can describe it. I fully recommend reading this book. Especially for those who read and loved the series!
August 7, 2023
This was such a great book! It was a little faster paced than the other books I’ve read in the series but it was so worth the read! I loved getting to know Desfan and Karim better, now they’re some of my favorite characters!
11 reviews
October 7, 2022
Such a good book! I loved seeing more of Desfan, who is one of my favorite characters from the main series.
Profile Image for Michelle Angus.
148 reviews6 followers
August 11, 2023
I hadn’t read any of the “In -between” books after reading the Eryinthia series, so when my bookstore buddies decided to read them all in preparation for the newest novella Crown and Serpent, we were all SO dang excited! It was so fun seeing these characters again. I loved being able to get to know their backstories and seeing how Desfan and Karin’s relationship started out and why they are so protective of one another.

It was also fabulous seeing the beginning romance between Karin and Razan and why it was the way it was in the other books. Ahh I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who haven’t read it.

Okay, now go read them all! I cannot recommend this series enough! One of my favorite series of all time!
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