Review: From the Ashes by Shelby K Morrison

From the Ashes by Shelby K Morrison
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Book Summary:
For eighteen years Aia Wynnald has lived a lie. Raised as a highborn in the Kingdom of Tharien, she’s filled her days with tutors and archery lessons. But simmering beneath her polite surface is a dangerous gift, one which she must keep a secret. Aia is a Bender. And in Tharien, Benders are feared and hunted.

When her unruly power breaks free with dire repercussions, Aia’s lifelong goal of independence shatters. As she scrambles to piece her life back together while evading capture, she disturbs a vengeful force intent on destroying the kingdom.

Now, with the help of an unlikely ally, Aia will decide the fate of Tharien. To rescue those she cares about will require accepting what she is. But can she risk becoming the monster she’s dreaded to save the very citizens baying for her blood?

Book Review:
I have always loved the fantasy genre. The thrill of getting to know a new society or a race or an entirely different universe than the one that we live in, has always excited me. From the Ashes definitely paid out in all the aspects that I look for in a fantasy book. The plot was intense, the characters were diverse, and the universe was rich!

I’ve always felt that the best thing about a book in the fantasy genre should be the universe. The amount of heart and soul that the writer has put into building a world that is more than the world we see in real life is what makes or breaks that book. And Morrison has done a great job of making the kingdom of Tharien and its society appealing to the reader.

Maia Wynnald, the protagonist of the story, is being hunted for being a Bender. Having known what she was and accepted that it was evil all her life, Maia must now learn to think differently about her powers and embrace them to save the kingdom. But heroes are not born in a day. The story gives her time and experiences and reasons to slowly develop into the hero that Tharien needs.

Other characters like the mysterious villainess – Illcina, the mentor figure – Eve, other friends she make in her journey like Dove and Lendor along with Cole Balain who is full of surprises add spice to the story. I would’ve loved to read more about other characters like her parents, Eve and the Emperor, Stephan. Maybe it will come up in a later book since From the Ashes is the first part of a series called Legend of the Liberator. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book, titled Among the Flames.

*A review copy was provided to Oh Just Books by the author in exchange for an honest review*
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