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Book Review: Kings of Ash

Table of Contents

“Ruka, deformed genius, has destroyed the priestess who ruined his life. Yet instead of redemption, he found a life without meaning. Seeking death, he sails North beyond the edge of the sea, but instead finds a new world beyond his imagination.

Meanwhile, Kale Aluku, the young sone of the sorcerer king, struggles to survive. With his new powers and allies, he must cross a continent and return home to save his people from an unknown threat, before all he once knew and loved is destroyed.

In this second book of the Ash and Sand series, follow the long, bloody journey of Ruka, son of Beyla, and the rise of Kale’s ‘miracles’. Before the end, a shocking history will unravel, ancient connections unfold, and all will learn the price of unleashing… The Kings of Ash.”

Title: Kings of Ash

Series: Ash and Sand #2

Author: Richard Nell

Page Count: 515

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: May 18th, 2023

For anyone keeping up on my reads, I just knocked out book one a couple of weeks ago. I’m making a bit of a blitz through the series as our buddy read group is planning on tackling book three in June. I don’t get a chance to read sequential books very close together like this. But in this case it just worked out that way with Kings of Ash.
With that being said, I continued onto book Kings of Ash listening another great performance by Ralph Lister. He really does do an excellent job with so many characters in this series.
For quite the epic fantasy story, the pacing is done rather nicely in Kings of Ash. The only warning I’ll give readers is the fact we do have a bit of timeline hopping here and there so you have to make sure you’re paying attention you may miss those shifts. Other than that this was another smooth flowing pace with plenty of action or emotion to keep you moving along.
The world building continues to be on a grand scale. Not only do we still have different regions, nations and cultures but we also expand even more into Ruka’s realm of the dead. I believe the latter mentioned realm is the part that stands out making this series unique at this point. This magical realm is so interesting to me. The things that can and do happen there. Another aspect that kind of touches on the pacing (timeline), world and characters is how so much is interwoven through out this story. You will come to find some many connections later on as you progress through book two, which will make you look back and think, wasn’t that… oh yeah!
Lastly is the character development. We certainly see many unique characters throughout this series and Kings of Ash seems to be no exception to this. The relationship between Ruka and Kale is amazing too. So different yet still such a strong connection between them that I don’t think we’ve seen the extent of even yet.
So far the Sand and Ash series has only gotten better as the story progresses. It does get rather dark and depressing and times but there is often just that glimmer of hope to keep things alive. I think for me one of the unique aspects of this series is my ability to feel both for Kale and his situation as well as Ruka and his. It’s a constant emotion struggle.
As usual I’d certainly recommend this book and series to fans of epic fantasy! I anxiously awaiting next month when our little group wraps up the trilogy with Kings of Heaven.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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