Melanie's Reviews > From Blood and Ash

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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really liked it
bookshelves: audible, fantasy, quarantine-reads, read-in-2021, romance, vampires, shifters, paranormal, buddy-reads, maëlys, new-adult

"From this moment until the last moment, I am yours."

At the end of 2020, I kept seeing this book all over book social media and it was being loved by such a vast range of bookish friends. And then it was the goodreads choice awards 2020 best romance winner! Up until this point, I had never really read anything by Jennifer L. Armentrout, but my curiosity was so very peaked! Then once I entered 2021, I still felt like I could not escape the hype of this series! Finally, I read a few reviews by friends and found out that this was a fantasy series,, with a paranormal romance, and that information, in addition to it feeling like higher powers were at work to get me to read this, made me finally give it a try. And one I read that first chapter I knew I couldn’t put this down.

From Blood and Ash introduces us to Poppy, who is a chosen maiden for the gods. She is not meant to be touched, to be looked at, or to experience anything that is not considered god-like. She is quickly approaching her nineteenth birthday and soon she will leave to the capitol and have her Ascension, where she will prove that she is worthy of the gods and will help protect her entire kingdom from a curse carried by those who are unworthy of the gods. Yet, there is another kingdom living in hiding, who will do anything to make sure Poppy isn’t able to make her Ascension and change anything. (I am trying to be kind of vague here, because I truly did not know before going in, or expect in my wildest dreams, the paranormal aspects of this book, and I believe it did heighten my reading experience!)

But Poppy has so many secrets, including her own kind of powers that are manifesting stronger and stronger to help read and sooth people’s emotions. And there is also the secret of what happened to Poppy’s family, that left her and her brother the only ones alive to carry out the will of the gods, while Poppy is also forced to carry so many scars, both physical and emotional, from that night.. And there are secrets in the palace where she is currently living with the Duke and Duchess and a lot of abuse going on behind closed doors that are only meant to protect her. But the weight of grief and expectations are getting too heavy for Poppy to bear, so at the start of this first book she decides to sneak away from the palace for one night where she can maybe experience things without being expected to be a pure vessel for only the god’s consumption. And when Poppy ends up at a tavern, and in a private room, with Hawke, a very young but very skilled guard, she gets a taste of what she has been missing and what she may want for herself, unapologetically.

"You're a perfectly normal girl. What is expected of you is what's bad"

I do think grief and abuse are a constant theme in this story, and we get to see how those two words can present themselves in so many different ways. Different fear tactics are constantly in play, both in this kingdom and in Poppy’s life, to keep people in check and to keep them abiding to a corrupt system. Serving evil can easily be masked by saying it is serving the gods. Ultimately, this is a swoon-worthy and angst-inducing paranormal romance story, but there are a few layers here that I hope people are looking and listening very closely to while reading!

"You deserve so much more than what awaits you"

This book has really good discussions about what it means to be a young person discovering your wants and needs, while also slowly growing into the person you want to be and how hard that can be to separate from expectations already placed on you. This book is very sex positive, and consent is always at the forefront. I am also just going to type this with my full chest and then pretend I didn’t but, for me and my body and my personal experiences, I thought that the building of orgasms (and just some body reactions in general) in this book were very realistic and very well done. But anyways, I loved seeing Poppy reclaim so many things, and this romance is the first one in what felt like years that I am trying completely head of heels in love with and rooting for. But, please allow me this one small mini drag for those of you who have read this book:

Overall, this book truly blew me and my expectations away and it was very much the perfect book for the perfect time in my reading life. I laughed, I smiled, I swooned, I cried, I gasped, this book truly made me feel so much and it was just an amazing journey throughout. I feel like the twists were very well done and laid, I feel like the romance was filled with yearning and angst on every page, and I was constantly left wanting more and more. And the last line of this book? Yeah, I will be picking up A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire immediately. This was a joy to read from cover to cover.

Content and Trigger Warnings: death, gore, talk of loss of a child, talk of kidnapping, talk of death of children, mention of loss of a child in past, loss of a loved one, mention of suicide, assault, physical abuse, blood depictions, mention of rape, anxiety depictions, self-harm to get blood, and general war themes.

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Buddy read with Maëlys! ❤
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Reading Progress

January 16, 2021 – Started Reading
January 16, 2021 – Shelved
January 16, 2021 – Shelved as: audible
January 16, 2021 – Shelved as: fantasy
January 16, 2021 – Shelved as: quarantine-reads
January 16, 2021 – Shelved as: read-in-2021
January 16, 2021 – Shelved as: romance
January 17, 2021 –
15.0% "every time they bring up hawke's dimples 😊
January 18, 2021 –
50.0% "i can't stop reading this ?! 😈🥰"
January 19, 2021 – Shelved as: vampires
January 19, 2021 – Shelved as: shifters
January 19, 2021 – Shelved as: paranormal
January 19, 2021 – Finished Reading
January 20, 2021 – Shelved as: buddy-reads
January 20, 2021 – Shelved as: maëlys
January 20, 2021 – Shelved as: new-adult

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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message 1: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley Rose I just got Stardew Valley after Christmas, so I 100% feel this on a spiritual level.

message 2: by SRS (new)

SRS hi , and i have a confesion to make . maybe i willl read it next week .

Michaela I am also currently reading this book! Hope we both love it 💜

message 4: by Janelle (new) - added it

Janelle Dazzlepants Stardew 💖💖💖

Navessa Ha! I just finished this one. Also listened to it on audio :)

Anurag what the f***k !!!

Ashley James Wow. Surprised and let down myself.

Georgina Ugh I feel you! I was wary about buying into the hype and being let down, but can safely say it held up to my expectations :)

Melanie Ashley wrote: "I just got Stardew Valley after Christmas, so I 100% feel this on a spiritual level."

heheheh! i hope you are having the most prosperous crops and happy reading, bb! 💕

Melanie SRS wrote: "hi , and i have a confesion to make . maybe i willl read it next week ."

ohhhh happy reading 💕

Melanie Michaela wrote: "I am also currently reading this book! Hope we both love it 💜"

im extra exited to see what you think of it, bb! 💕

Melanie Janelle wrote: "Stardew 💖💖💖"

me starting my 5 love story with Abigail 💕💕

Melanie Navessa wrote: "Ha! I just finished this one. Also listened to it on audio :)"

oh this makes my heart extremely happy after seeing that rating too! i hope the new year is treating you kindly. i miss you always! 💕

Melanie Anurag Dutta wrote: "what the f***k !!!"

at that ending? hard agree.. muahah 💕💕

Melanie Ashley wrote: "Wow. Surprised and let down myself."

i truly think my fantasy romance expectations aren't the highest and it was just like... the right book at the right time for me? if that makes sense. you and your opinion are always valid, sweetheart! 💕

Melanie Georgina wrote: "Ugh I feel you! I was wary about buying into the hype and being let down, but can safely say it held up to my expectations :)"

i truly am so surprised still 💕

message 17: by Lina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lina Same, I picked it up because of Bookstagram. But I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it so much in the end 😊

Ashley James Ah! Very good point! I read this RIGHT after reading Crescent City by SJM and that was my mistake. I should have just said "surprised."

Marley beth scott im going to get that

Marley beth scott im to young to get but when im older
Ill get it it sounds GREAT!

Melodiche Sansolini i love that book so amazing

Navessa Suuuper random question, but have you played Shadowlands (I remember some time back talking about WoW with you) and if so, HOW MUCH did Solis remind you of Revendreth???

message 23: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa The only person who can convince to read a popular book is Melanie!

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