Title: Kingdom of Ash and Soot
Author: C.S. Johnson
Genre: Historical Fiction – Retelling
Age Classification: Young Adult
Publisher: Prodigy Gold Books
Release: July 3, 2018
Eleanora Svobodová and her brother, Benedict, have worked as servants for their stepmother since their father’s death ten years ago. Now nineteen, Eleanora’s life is about to be turned upside down when Lady Penelope, her estranged grandmother and leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, arrives at their estate one night.
Eleanora, who is also called Nora by her brother and Ella by some other characters, is a strong and confident young woman more than up to the tasks required from a member of Order of the Crystal Daggers. Her life becomes quite different as she discovers the truth about her mother’s family while also looking into a string of suspicious deaths. Her new acquaintances add a bit of spark to her previously dull life and also help Eleanora to grow as a character.
Ben is a less agreeable character in that he is very sceptical and untrusting, though the reason behind his attitude is to protect his younger sister which is rather admirable. Ben also has the misfortune of an injured leg which not only makes movement difficult but prevents him from being considered valuable to many. This, of course, is not the case for the Order of the Crystal Daggers who improve his movability and teach him their ways of investigation and fighting. Ben developing a purpose in life besides watching out for his sister gave him more depth and it worked into the plot well.
Lady Penelope, or Lady POW as her grandchildren call her, is quite a stubborn and is not very affectionate. However, she seems to be very wise and well trained in the skills necessary complete missions for the Order of the Crystal Daggers which makes her a valuable mentor. The fellow members of the Order, Harshad and Amir, were interesting characters, though there was considerably more of Amir and his role, in my opinion, was far more interesting.
I found the writing quite enjoyable and the plot itself was rather thrilling, continuously holding my attention and drawing me back when I regrettably had to put it down. The only thing that took me away from the book was my assignment and the much-needed sleep to recover. The plot was full of twists and turns, something in every chapter to entertain and intrigue me. I also enjoyed the mystery of trying to work out exactly who everyone truly was, as there were many secret identities throughout the story.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Overall, I really enjoyed Kingdom of Ash and Soot and look forward to reading the next book in this series. Thank you very much to Prodigy Gold Books for supplying me with a copy of this wonderful book.
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Until next time bibliophiles!