Armentrout’s ‘From Blood and Ash’ surprises readers in more ways than one

Autumn Page, Marketing Director

“From Blood and Ash” (FBA) is the most recent book to be released by my queen Jennifer L. Armentrout. Armentrout has released over 50 books during her career, but this one was more unique than the rest; this book was a surprise release.

By surprise release, I literally mean surprise release — there was no promotion leading up to it or any announcements. On March 30, email and text subscribers got a notification of a book release — I think I and everyone else about died. FBA kept me turning pages against my will, and it was amazing. 

This book is set in a medieval-esque time period with magic, gods and cursed supernatural creatures. The main character, Poppy, is the Maiden — a chosen one by the gods. The Maiden is protected fiercely in the kingdom and essentially has no free will. Throughout the book, the cursed supernaturals, called descenters and atlantians, attack her kingdom and the people inside. I’ll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, so that’s all I’m gonna say. I honestly didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. 

My favorite part of the book was the father-daughter relationship between Poppy and Vikter, her personal guard, and Poppy’s friendship with Tawny, a lady-in-wait. 

Vikter acted as Poppy’s father figure while she grew up, since her parents were killed when she was a baby. I’m always a sucker for these kinds of relationships, so when I started reading, I knew I was a goner. He taught her how to fight (even though it’s forbidden) and protected her with his life. 

The relationship Poppy and Tawny have is the kind of friendship that you’re envious of. They tell each other everything and get into trouble together. They are one of the few people they can trust and seeing their friendship grow throughout the duration of the book made my heart swell.

Another thing I really liked was the ideology and the types of beings in the book. Gods, goddesses, ascented (the “good guys,” if you will) and supernatural beings. Unpopular popular opinion, I don’t think there’s enough books that have mythology as the base for a book, and I liked that they were in this book. 

Something to note about FBA — she is thick. Clocking in at 613 pages, it’s definitely not a two minute read like this article is. 

The only downside to FBA is that this book ends on a MAJOR cliffhanger, and there are loose ends. Armentrout hasn’t announced if this book will become a series, so for the time being, we don’t know if the story will continue. The ending did leave a lot of possible routes for the second book to go in, and I think it’d be just as good.

With the uncertainty of my questions being answered and the possibility of there not being a second book, I’d still recommend this book and any other Armentrout book to someone. Armentrout is hands down my favorite author of all time — I’ve also met her in real life and talked to her online multiple times, so I may be a little biased. 

One thing about this book I’ll leave you with — if you read this book from start to finish, you’ll find out almost everything I’ve said about the plot isn’t true. You might be thinking, “cliffhanger much?” and I feel like Armentrout already. 

Rating: 5/5 stars