Monday 17 September 2018

Book Review: A Curse of Ash & Embers by Jo Spurrier (YA/Fantasy)

Title: A Curse of Ash & Embers
Author: Jo Spurrier

Publication Date: 24 September 2018
eBook - EPUB
ARC via NetGalley


A dead witch. A bitter curse. A battle of magic.

Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.

But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it's Elodie's job to clean up the mess.

When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she'd find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.

Gyssha's final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie's help, whether she likes it or not.

And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it's still better than going back home.

A Curse of Ash & Embers is a fun fairytale/fantasy read. The story has a familiar feel, but also maintains an air of originality. The pacing is good, and there is plenty of action. Meanwhile, Elodie is a well-crafted and interesting character with whom I felt an immediate connection. Two of the things I like most about this work are the slightly darker storyline and the fact that romance, though loosely present, doesn't become the principal focus of the piece. For me this is a solid 4.5 stars, and I recommend it to YA fantasy fans looking for something a little different that will take them away from the standard tropes while still feeling like a familiar friend. I am certainly keen to read on in the series and find out what will happen to Elodie and Aleida next.

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