Monday, January 22, 2018

Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

Title: Kingdom of Ashes (A Wicked Thing #2)
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.
Review by Nara

I remember A Wicked Thing finishing on quite an interesting note, but starting on Kingdom of Ashes, unfortunately that did not continue. I think one thing that perhaps didn't help was that I didn't remember a whole lot about the minor details of the story, and could only remember some of the main events towards the end of the first book. Often when I read the sequel, the first couple of chapters will jog my memory, but that wasn't the case with Kingdom of Ashes.

I think this was most likely because the writing was not engaging. It felt oddly formal and stilted- a lot of this for me personally stemmed from the inconsistent use of contractions (i.e. do not vs don't). A lot of fantasy novels have the no abbreviation style to make the speech sound more "medieval", and I don't mind seeing it in general, but when it's done inconsistently I just personally really dislike it.

I'm not sure if it's just me but I felt a bit like this dragon storyline came a bit out of nowhere, and that the focus of the novel has shifted a fair bit from the first book. I guess this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I didn't really find the dragon story that interesting to follow (which is surprising because I really liked dragons). The story overall just really didn't grab my attention, and I ended up putting the story down at around the 25% mark.

Overall, I can't say that I recommend the novel, but I won't warn people to stay away from it since I didn't get too far in (and the book may have brought it back in the middle and end).

Didn't like it
Overall: 4/10
Plot: 2/5
Romance: -/5
Writing: 1.5/5
World Building: -/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 2/5