Updated: Apr 30, 2022
Howdy Write Voicers,
I know, that greeting was weird. Probably my weirdest because I just didn't know what to use. Anyways, I know I just posted a review yesterday, but since Wings by J. Elle is a duology, here's the second book in the series: Ashes of Gold. If you missed yesterday's review, you can find it here.
This review was supposed to coincide with the release of Ashes of Gold but, again, as explained in previous posts, I just had too much going on. So, instead of this post coming out in January, here I am with it two months after all the hype is gone. Typical.
However, I was given an ARC by Simon and Schuster, so it's my obligation to make sure that I write an honest review for Ashes of Gold. With that disclaimer out of the way, here is my 100% unfiltered opinion of this book. Like with Wings, this review is going to be short. I tried to avoid it, bkut be warned that there may be a few SPOILERS, ahead.
What's the novel about?
Ashes is the sequel to Wings of Ebony. In short, the book is about Rue escaping her captives and reuniting with her friends so that she can restore their magic. But, Rue has two homes to protect: Her people in Ghizon and those back home in East Row. She spends a lot of the novel trying to decide which place she truly belongs too, only to discover that she is a daughter of both. But, as she tries to navigate her new reality, she'll also have to face some uncomfortable truths-- like the fact that one of her own has betrayed her.
What were some of the themes in the book?
Like with the first book, there are several themes in Ashes. Some of these themes are: You can put anything you put your mind to. Things aren't always what they seem. Be careful who you trust. Sometimes the ends do not justify the means. And, of course, love is the root of all things good.
As you read Ashes, these themes become evident in how Rue tackles issues such as becoming the new leader of the Yakanna, navigating the death of people close to her, learning the truth about how the Chancellor gained his power, and--most importatnly-- in her discovery of how to return magic to her people.
What I loved about it.
I loved that this book answered all the questions that were left unanswered in the first novel. Like, how did the Chancellor become the Chancelor? How did Rue's people lose their magic? And most importantly, who will Rue choose: Jhamal or Julius?
The answer to that last one is truly heart-wrenching and I'm not going to spoil it.
I also loved how much detail was put into the novel about the delineations between the Ghizoni tribes (e.g. the Yakanna, the Berchi, etc.), the meaning behind each of the tribe's armors, and the governing system of the Ghizoni people.
I also really loved how seamless the transition was when Rue traveled back and forth from Ghizon to East Row. Sometimes when you read books about characters who have to travel between two different worlds, it's hard to tell the difference between the "real world" and the "magical one," but J. Elle does a good job distinguishing between the two.
What I disliked about it.
That the book ended.
No. I kid. Honestly, the only thing that I didn't like was that we never saw Julius come into his magic. I was really looking forward to that and It. Just. Didn't. Happen.
What's up with that Jess?
Ashes also gets five stars out of five because IT'S JUST SO DAMN GOODT! But, like I said in my review from yesterday, you don't have to take my word for it. Just check out all of J. Elle's recent accolades, awards, and nominations!
J. Elle is the author of Wings of Ebony and Ashes of Gold. Her middle-grade novel A Taste of Magic is now available for pre-order.
For information on what she's up to, and adventures with her characters, you can visit her website.
If you want more J. Elle, you can also read this review.
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