by Katherine Bogle
I received this free digital copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.
The world is made of monsters.
Adni might be one of them.
After the Evil Queen Kadia razed Warshard, leaving thousands homeless or dead, many of Salander’s people fled to the Cinder Mountains, east of the six kingdoms, seeking refuge.
Adni, the daughter of a treasure hunter, has always despised her father’s bizarre occupation and loathes every family trip in search of riches. Always desperate for more, her father shoves her off a waterfall to retrieve treasure at the bottom of a lake. Instead, Adni is swept up in a violent underwater current, only to be rescued by Julian, a mysterious woman with a flirtatious smile.
Desperate to flee the oppression of her family and the mountains, Adni escapes with Julian to Salander in search of her real father – who might just be a worse monster than the man she left behind.
I quite enjoyed the idea behind Ashen and the rest of the Chronicles of Warshard, which are all tied together in one giant finale. Additionally, this particular segment of the series offered more to the wondrous, magical, unique world of Warshard. These two aspects really pulled me in and kept my attention as the story progressed. Though, a little more explanation on some pieces of the world would have been nice, but I just like knowing everything. 😉
A little Flat
I’ll be honest, I found the main character, Adni, to be a little flat. She’s not a particularly active character in the story and has a lot more happen to her than she actually does on her own. It gets a little better as the story progresses, but I would have liked more from her throughout the course of the book so that I could have connected with her better. Or perhaps just offer more of her personality as I didn’t really feel like I knew much about her as a person.
The pacing was a bit off for me. It felt a little fast, like the story and scenes weren’t fully fleshed out. I would have liked to have it slowed down more and given more visuals and more interactions between the characters. This would have really helped to develop the character relationships better as they felt a little forced at times and like a few steps of their interactions were skipped. Slowing down would have been great for fleshing this out, especially since the character relationships seem to be a large part of the story.
I would definitely say the romantic aspect is better in Ashen than the other books in the series. It was much slower, more believable, and progressed to become a focal point without overshadowing the rest of the plot. That being said, part of me was kind of hoping for an unhappy ending with the romance, especially because of Adni finding out the rest of her family is alive. It just felt a little too perfect of an ending to me.