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Book Review: From the Ashes

Table of Contents

The civil war ends now.

Igtheos and his rebels have fought tirelessly against a would-be dictator and his army for almost two years. The city they’ve holed up in has become a prison, soon to be a tomb if they cannot arrange a means of escape.

When the enemy leader offers an armistice that’s too good to be true, Igtheos reluctantly accepts, thinking it will buy him enough time to smuggle those loyal to him out of the city. But he quickly learns the cost of choosing hope over caution as he finds himself caught in his enemy’s sinister plan, fighting a final unexpected battle. Failure means death, or worse, the loss of his loved ones.

And he only has one night to determine everyone’s fate.”

Title: From the Ashes

Series: The Heart of Quinaria #0.5

Author: B.S.H. Garcia

Page Count: 76

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: February 14th, 2024

From the Ashes was a prequel novella by BSH Garcia. I read book one from The Heart of Quinaria last year and really enjoyed it. I was looking to squeeze in a couple of novellas recently so picked this one up to visit this world. To be completely honest, I was a bit rusty as things relate to book one, yet still found myself enjoying this short read. I think even reading this as a standalone would be fine just as a sample of the author’s work.
I’ve lost count now of the number of books I’ve read the last couple of years that continue to contribute to me not trusting authors and their characters though. Without providing any spoilers for this one I will simply say not once did I trust the deal that was made in the beginning of this tale.
The pacing was very smooth for such a short read. I mentioned this could easily be read as a standalone and I think this is part of it. I’ve read some short stories and novellas in the past that just seemed rushed. But this seemed very thought out and executed. No issues with names of places or characters to trip me up. There is plenty of action but also solid setup and conclusions.
The world building was solidly done as well. We still get a fairly good amount of detail within our starting city of this story but also quickly find out more about the surrounding regions as well once our surviving characters are forced to venture out. I hate to sound like a broken record here but again this is a great example of providing plenty of details in such a short amount of pages. We have several different factions and cultures represented in this story as well. All of these aspects are things that make reads far more interesting for myself.
The character development follows along with the above as well. We find ourselves hopeful if cautious along side these characters. Once tragedy strikes it’s easy at that point to feel sad regarding the loss and anger towards the antagonist. I’ve read books near a thousand pages that I just couldn’t find myself invested in the characters. Yet here we are with this short read giving me the feels in multiple directions toward characters. As far as development goes we don’t’ see too many grand arcs to play out but we still see a fair amount of change in our survivors from the beginning to the end of this installment.
All in all this story definitely got me hyped for From the Depths which was scheduled for release in February which I had pre-ordered. Now I just need to do what I can to get that one into my rotation coming up!

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

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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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