Will the whole place burn and become a... Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas (Blog Tour Review & Giveaway)


Welcome to my stop for the second book in this Sleeping Beauty retelling, Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas! (You can see my review of book one here.) This was a crazy, exciting, and romantic story. Check out my review and enter the giveaway below...

Kingdom of Ashes (A Wicked Thing, #2)Kingdom of Ashes
(A Wicked Thing #2)
by Rhiannon Thomas
YA Fantasy, Retelling, Fairy Tale
Hardcover & ebook, 368 Pages
February 23rd 2016 from HarperTeen

Summary

Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.

  
  
(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

KINGDOM OF ASHES was gritty, heroic, dark, passionately romantic, scary, and sweet. Yes, I realize that some of those contradict each other, but it was all those things and more. I literally could not turn the pages fast enough. The characters become more loved as they developed or chose sides, and as they fought, even if they weren't completely right. The romance was right on. It was intriguing and driven. A fabulous sequel to this series! Well written, fabulous complex characters, mysterious dragons, believable romance, and one princess who desperately wants to save her people and also find her own freedom. I can't wait for more!

In the first book in this series, Aurora (I love Finnegan's nickname for her - Rora) was so naive and unprepared for what she faced. She made some poor choices or none at all when she should have. This book picks right up where the first left off and she's already changing, forming into who she is at the end of the book. I really liked how she weighed her options and how she tried to figure out those around her and their intent. She does have some desperation still in her since time isn't on her side and some other things drive her, but I felt like she was consistent and authentic and it all worked for me.

I also loved getting to see more of some other characters. Nettle was such a good, calming, safe presence. Finnegan is as dashing as ever, but with an added depth and honesty that wasn't present before. There is the witch, Celestine. She's a little mad, but she definitely fits the story and plays her role well.

This story was so driven! There was a constant underlying tension as Aurora tries to figure things out with her magic, the dragons, her heart, and as she attempts to work on a plan to save her kingdom. There also was constant tension between her and Finnegan as they dance around each other. I loved how their friendship developed and how it changed. Then the ending... There are so many ways this could go and there is still such a battle to be fought both inside Aurora and with her kingdom. I literally could not put this one down!

If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, the first book in this series, or dragons, I would highly recommend grabbing KINGDOM OF ASHES!

Content: Some violence, but clean

Source: I received a complimentary eARC from the publisher through Edelweiss, which did not affect my review in any way.

Other Books in the Series

A Wicked Thing
(A Wicked Thing #1)
by Rhiannon Thomas
YA Fantasy, Retelling, Fairy Tale
Hardcover, Paperback, & ebook 337 Pages
February 24th 2015 by HarperTeen

Summary

Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

  
  
(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England. 

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog FeministFiction.com, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective. 

I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.


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Tour-Wide Giveaway


Win (1) of (2) signed sets of A Wicked Thing and Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas (INT)

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