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Book review: A Soul of Ash and Blood By Jennifer L. Armentrout

A Soul of Ash and Blood


Only his memories can save her…

A great primal power has risen. The Queen of Flesh and Fire has become the Primal of Blood and Bone—the true Primal of Life and Death. And the battle Casteel, Poppy, and their allies have been fighting has only just begun. Gods are awakening across Iliseeum and the mortal realm, readying for the war to come.

But when Poppy falls into stasis, Cas faces the very real possibility that the dire, unexpected consequences of what she is becoming could take her away from him. Cas is given some advice, though—something he plans to cling to as he waits to see her beautiful eyes open once more: Talk to her.

And so, he does. He reminds Poppy how their journey began, revealing things about himself that only Kieran knows in the process. But it’s anybody’s guess what she’ll wake to or exactly how much of the realm and Cas will have changed when she does.

Book review: A Soul of Ash and Blood

A Soul of Ash and Blood took us on a BREATHTAKING journey between the past and the present. It was an incredible addition to the From Blood and Ash series that exceeded all my expectations! I thought I was prepared, but boy, was I wrong. This book shed new light on familiar scenes, raised burning questions, and delivered a heart-stopping ending. Cas’s story will steal your heart! A Soul of Ash and Blood was intoxicating, gritty, smile-inducing, and absolutely impossible to put down!

The story kicked off in the present, and within those initial pages, my heart was already in my throat. It was emotionally intense, and I found myself shedding tears—both happy and sad, with an underlying sense of fear for what was to come. Something was off with Poppy, and Cas and Kieran could feel it. Nektas seemed to possess secret knowledge that I desperately wanted to pry from his mind. That draken could be brutally blunt, and he had me cracking up time and again! As Poppy entered stasis, Cas took us back to a time before he met her. I loved how JLA skillfully immersed us in a world we already adored, but through Cas’s perspective, it became unique, addictive, and even more extraordinary than I could have hoped for. The alternating chapters between the past and the present made this book everything I never realized I needed!

Cas took us back to his days as a guard before he met Poppy. I adored his moments with Vikter—I’ve missed him so much! Their interactions were absolutely phenomenal. But what I loved most was witnessing Cas’s preconceived notions about Poppy, even as he received clues about who she truly was from those around him. And when he finally met her in person, his reactions consumed me, leaving me eager for the next moment they would share. I couldn’t stop smiling, shouting, and screaming with joy. Inappropriately enough, there were times when I burst into laughter. Viewing the violence through Cas’s eyes, it was hard not to think exactly how he thought. His anger and thirst for vengeance were electrifying, simmering just beneath the surface. I fell even harder for him every time things turned violent. However, delving deeper into Cas’s character and witnessing his haunting past and the horrors that plagued him in the present broke my heart. It felt like I was drowning at times. While Poppy had mentioned in From Blood and Ash what she sensed from him, I never fully realized how all-consuming it truly was for him.

Cas’s explanations for his actions were absolutely phenomenal! His dark, humorous thoughts were addictive. And just when you thought you had a grasp on what he was doing, be prepared to be surprised again and again by this story! But one of my absolute favorite aspects was seeing Poppy through Cas’s eyes. The impact she had on him, the way she seeped into his thoughts, and how his perception of her changed over time—it was all-consuming and filled my heart with joy! Remember how we got to learn about the world alongside Poppy in From Blood and Ash? 

Well, with Cas, I experienced that same sense of discovery all over again. Yes, he has certain knowledge about what’s truly going on, but there are still many aspects in the dark for him. Watching as certain things were illuminated for Cas blew my mind. We got to witness so many different sides of him—the self-saboteur, the savior, the bringer of doom—and above all, how he enchanted Poppy’s heart and soul.

As the story unfolded, we were treated to beloved moments from From Blood and Ash, as well as entirely new scenes. However, some of our favorite scenes had hidden depths that we were oblivious to. So when Cas filled in the gaps, it was mind-blowing. You think you know something, but you truly don’t! Experiencing how he felt during those pivotal moments, fans of this series will hang onto his every word and thought! We also got to see Kieran through Cas’s eyes, and witnessing Kieran handle certain situations was both epic and shocking—no other words can describe it! And poor Emil. I laughed so hard at a certain situation involving him that I probably should feel guilty about, but I don’t.

 While I desperately wanted to stay in the past, there came a point in the story where the present had us hanging onto every word and moment. And those final pages? Hold on tight because they’re heart-pounding and leave us desperately craving the next book!

A Soul of Ash and Blood will make you fall in love with Cas, Poppy, and the entire series all over again. Plus, the steam in this book, as seen through Cas’s eyes, is scorching hot! I’m incredibly grateful that we got this story. See you in the next review!

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