[GUEST REVIEW BY AMANDA] a Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane (#1 a Gathering of Dragons)

Today I have a book review not written by me but by a bookish friend of mine: Amanda. She has recently read a fantasy romance book that she thought would be perfect to share on the blog. I’m happy to share it with you guys, because the review is definitely a great addition to the website. If you are interested in doing a guest review or another book related article on here, please let me know by using the Contact page! I’d love to host you! If you like to read more by Amanda; she has her own section on the blog now, which can be found in the menu > GUEST POSTS > BY AMANDA. On her page, she has also written a little introduction so that you get to knew her a bit better! – Love, Melissa


Alright, so.
Was this the best literary work I’ve ever read? No.
Was this the most exciting plot I’ve ever read? No.
Was this a fun and entertaining book? Yes, it surely was.
Let’s just dive right into the review!

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil – until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.

Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents’ murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king’s daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.

Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones—because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own…

The book is off to a slow start. It took me several chapters before I thought, okay this is going somewhere. Which is alright. I find it unbelievably annoying when readers demand that books should be exciting from the first page. Uh, no. Sometimes it takes time to built the story up otherwise you will be left with no foundation to continue on. So if you always give up after the first chapter, well, then you are not a great reader in my opinion.

‘Marriage to a woman who had lured his parents to their murders? Everything within him revolted at the thought.’

This story gets interesting around page fifty and then it takes off. The first erotic scene followed soon after which took me by surprise. Many of you who know me, know that I dislike sex scenes in books, especially in Sarah J. Maas books. Horrid scenes I’ve read that no acid could remove from my sight.

I didn’t mind the erotic scenes in this book though. Perhaps because they were written a lot more primitive than those in SJM’s books. Which is also helped by the use of language, which, truthfully, I had to get used to in the first half of the book.

‘So close he had come to losing her. So very close.
Because of a vow made in grief and rage and haste.
But a clear view of her he had of her now.
And a much clearer view of himself.’

Plot wise it is definitely entertaining but nothing sort of WOWTHATISANUNBELIEVABLYGOODANDORIGINALSTORY. Which is fine. It makes for easy entertaining reading, something we all need to wind down from our ordinary lives.
The main characters are written well and I took a liking towards them. You see them grow and learn with every move they make, they are fun to read.

So overall, this book was a fun and entertaining read. I started reading and only put it down once or twice. The reason it got four stars is because I didn’t like the ending a lot. Not that it wasn’t good or totally weird but because it felt a bit like an anti-climax after such a long built up. This book is part of a series but the next novel takes place with different characters so I am not sure if I will read that one.



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