RRP Paperback: $25.00 NZD
In a world like ours, Mystics once ruled the night. Well, so long as they were men. On Ash’s day of naming, she chose the Mystic path nonetheless. The same illusions that garner gasps of awe from the lamp-lit crowds earn her scorn from the basilica. There is only one way forward: a perilous quest – earn the Queen’s Seal, a badge of honour, and immunity. She’ll simply have to avoid being hanged, burned or drowned first.
First of all I’d like to give a huge thank you to the author, Angela Armstrong, for giving me not only an electronic copy of The Unflinching Ash, but also the beautiful physical copy you see in the photo above. (Seriously, how does any book have the right to be this gorgeous?)
Diving straight in, this book was fantastic! I really found myself enjoying it the whole way through. The Unflinching Ash tells the story of Ash, a female Mystic (kind of like a modern day illusionist or escape artist) who strives to win the Queens favour and gain protection from those who seek to harm her from within the bigoted and cruel Church. This book was full of grit and perfectly timed humour, but also touched on some very heavy topics. I absolutely loved it.
I found the beginning a little bit slow and confusing, but it didn’t take long before I got myself situated within the world and the story really took off. I loved the writing style and felt it fit perfectly with the world and the characters that Armstrong built. Speaking of which, I fell hard for these characters! Especially Ash and her love interest, Ren. This book is perfect for those who enjoy a bit of romance within the plot, but aren’t looking for it to completely over power the story.
Ash herself was a total badass and I kind of wish I was more like her. She’s completely headstrong and sure of herself (even if sometimes my introverted ass was screaming “PLEASE DON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID!”). I just found it hard to sit back and relax when she wouldn’t take help from anyone… but I mean, if I was as much of a badass as she is, I probably wouldn’t need any either.
The fact that the author drew a lot of inspiration from real historical events made a lot of what I read a whole lot more harrowing, but I loved seeing our girl, Ash, navigate through these situations and come out stronger.
Over all, this book was amazing. I really loved it. I think the characters were just *chefs kiss* perfection and I’d definitely pick up another book if it meant seeing more of them in the future (please, Angela… PLEASE? CAN WE HAVE MORE?!)