Q: what’s been one of your fave non-house places to read? I love reading in cars, planes, & trains.
Book 1 in the Tales of the Blackbone Witches, A Curse of Ash & Embers is the story of a young woman’s entree into a world far away from her former constrictive family life & into one of magic & monsters.
16 year old Elodie “Dee” is unexpectedly sent away from her home to be a servant for someone she’s never met. Her mother offers no explanation & before she reaches her new home Dee learns how poorly the villagers regard her new employer, a witch named Aleida Blackbone.
Aleida has replaced Gyssha, a very cruel witch who was her “mother” & teacher, & whose legacy continues to haunt the landscape through the monsters she fashioned.
& then a warlock comes to their door, & Dee & Aleida must do what they can to get rid of the threat. If they can.
A Curse of Ash & Embers feels very much like a coming of age story, as Dee travels to the cottage on her own & must decide who she trusts & if she can trust in herself.
The world is inventive & the magic descriptions are visceral (sometimes disturbing) & engrossing. Add to this a writing style that feels personable & ACoA&E offers a story that I think many fantasy-lovers could enjoy.
There’s promise in this series but I did miss some depth, both emotionally & in characterization. I want to know more about the characters & this, coupled with the fact that the action takes place only over a matter of a few days, gives the book a slight superficial air.
But I really enjoyed what Jo Spurrier does here, & she’s a writer that I’d like to read more from.
3.5 ⭐️. A Curse of Ash & Embers is available now. Thanks to Harper Voyager for the complimentary finished copy. All opinions provided are my own.
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Give me that HEA, please.
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