Ashes to Fire
by Emily B. Martin
Harper Voyager Impulse
Fantasy / Romance
Publication Date: January 31st, 2017
Get a copy here!
An adult fantasy tale that will surely resonate with young adult readers, Ashes to Fire is the story of a queen’s desperate journey to secure peace, and the even greater journey to discover herself. Ashes to Fire is the captivating and adventurous follow-up to Emily B. Martin’s Woodwalker—once more with cover art by the author!
“You are a country.”
Those words have been the guiding force behind Queen Mona’s every move since she was a little girl—the idea that all her actions and desires were, first and foremost, decided based on what was best for Lumen Lake. It had kept her alive after the Alcoran invasion, it had driven her to retake her country, and now it is the steely resolve she needs to finally confront the despotic Seventh King, Celeno.
But when her diplomatic mission finds herself on the run through the swamps of Cyprien—accompanied by the unlikeliest group of companions—Mona discovers that while she is her country, she is also someone who has been sheltered by principles and bound by past mistakes. Now she must struggle to reshape her view of the world and face intimate new truths—not only for the good of her country, but for herself, as well.
Other Books in the Series:
About the Author:
Park ranger by summer, stay-at-home mom the rest of the year, I am also a freelance artist and illustrator. An avid hiker and explorer, my experiences as ranger helped inform the character of Mae and the world of WOODWALKER.
When not patrolling places like Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, or Philmont Scout Ranch, I live in South Carolina with my husband, Will, and two daughters, Lucy and Amelia.
Find Her Online:
Quick Reasons: the page count lied to me!; well-rounded, complex, endearing, and totally human characters; action-packed and full of surprises; Emily B. Martin has me hooked, for sure; I almost threw my kindle, AGAIN, though for entirely different reasons this time
HUGE thanks to Emily B. Martin and Harper Voyager Impulse for sending a free digital galley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
Okay, Penguins, let me just start with this: at around the 330? page mark, I (for whatever reason) realized that there were, at least from what I knew, only like 10 pages left…and I started panicking, because there were HUGE unanswered questions still left to be entertained and just how in the ever loving beak was Emily B. Martin going to traverse such long distances in such a short amount of time?! Of course, once I kept reading, I quickly realized there weren’t actually only 10 pages left–more like 100, honestly–but STILL! For that brief window of time, my poor Penguin heart nearly shattered in confusion; as much as I (sometimes) love cliffhangers, I felt this book ending on one would have been a poor decision. I am, of course, super stoked that that didn’t end up being the case. (I did try to throw my Kindle across the room again, though–for entirely different reasons from the first book, I swear!)
Once again, there is a very finely tuned balance between characters and plot–the former are compelling, believable, and complex. The latter is entertaining, fast-paced, and FULL of surprises. While I was a bit surprised, heading into this installment, by the change in POV, I found myself absolutely loving the technique by the end of this read. We got to see the world–and different characters–through another set of eyes, and this helped to bring a second perspective of events and situations into focus for me. Because there are SO MANY things happening in these novels in terms of political upset, it was interesting to be given two intimate and separate glimpses into the same world!
I also felt it was super interesting, the path that Emily B. Martin took with the relationships in this installment. There are a couple of characters who are, for lack of a better word (and in attempts to avoid spoilers!) thrown together who wouldn’t otherwise, necessarily, “get along.” It was both endearing and nail-biting at times, watching these characters tip-toe around and fall over or blur the lines in their interactions with and reactions to each other. The two women, especially, were an interesting experiment in political and personal cooperation. I was intrigued by the ways their viewpoints of each other shifted and changed depending on the day, the situations they faced, and the mounting tensions between two very stubborn factions. Overall, Emily B. Martin walked a very fine line–and crafted it beautifully!
I absolutely CANNOT wait to dive into the third installment and see where the adventure leads us! I definitely recommend this series to all lovers of fantasy, political tensions, and strong-willed characters. Emily B. Martin has got me officially hooked! Take a deep breath, Penguins–the water’s getting just a little rough.