From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout is the first book in the Blood and Ash series. I discovered this book through BookTok actually. Now From Blood and Ash is not a young adult book. This book is definitely an adult fantasy. I will officially add a “spice” rating at the end of my review. Like always, I will not have any spoilers for From Blood and Ash.
Poppy has been chosen from birth to be the Maiden and will usher in a new era. Being the Maiden means her life is not her own. Poppy must live a life of solitude, never be touched, seen, spoken to, or experience pleasure. However, while Poppy waits for her Ascension, she would rather help the guards defend against the evil that killed her family instead of preparing to be deemed worthy by the gods. Although it has never been her choice.
While the fate of the entire kingdom rests on Poppy’s shoulders, she struggles to determine if that is what she wants for her life. Even though she’s the Maiden, Poppy still has a heart, soul, and desires. This struggle increases when Hawke, an honor bound guard with golden eyes enters her life to ensure her Ascension. Now Poppy’s duty and destiny are intertwined with her growing desire and need. Hawke sparks her anger, forces her to question her beliefs, and tempts her with what she shouldn’t want.
Despite being abandoned by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is beginning to rise again. Using violence and vengeance, this kingdom is determined to take back what they believe to be rightfully theirs. With the shadows of the cursed crawling closer, the line of what is forbidden and what is just is blurred. All while Poppy is in danger of losing her heart and being deemed unworthy by the gods, her life is also at risk when the bloody threads that hold her world together start to disentangle.
In From Blood and Ash, the story centers around the Maiden, whose name is Penellephe, better known as Poppy. The position Poppy holds is a huge honor and the whole kingdom anticipates her Ascension. As the Maiden, Poppy is expected to live a life of seclusion and purity. However, that is not who Poppy is on the inside. Poppy is a badass rebellious girl who wants to devour all the experiences life has to offer. Even though her personality conflicts with what is required to be the Maiden, Poppy finds a way to stay true to herself and her beliefs. This is how Hawke enters her life, opens her eyes to how she’s living, and encourages her to rebel against her title and the Ascended that control her life.
I love Poppy individually because she’s badass, even though she’s isolated and her restrictions. However, when Hawke enters her life, Poppy opens up, expresses her personality and desires more freely. Despite the growth that Hawke pulls out of Poppy, he does it in ways that sets Poppy’s blood boiling. I love Hawke because he’s very wittily charming, loyal and protective of Poppy, and doesn’t compromise or hide his beliefs. Their quick bond and how they work together brings me joy while reading about them. Not only that, but there are quite a few spicy scenes between them. As the story progresses, the level of spice increases as well. For that reason I have included a spice scale at the end of this review. I cannot wait to read A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire and continue to learn more about Poppy and Hawke’s relationship and the role of the Maiden.
“You’re an absolutely stunning, murderous little creature.”
“Nothing is ever simple. And when it is, it’s rarely every worth it.”
“When you listen to me, I think the stars will fall.”
“Only the bad can be influenced, Princess.”
“I have a feeling that if there’s something you want badly enough, nothing will stop you.”
Star Rating: /5
Spice Rating: 🌶️🌶️.5/5
Add it to Your List: Add to your Goodreads
Snag a Copy: I will always suggest getting the hard cover, but buy in any format on Amazon
Interested in other books that I’ve read? Check out my other book reviews here!