February 19, 2016

Kingdom of Ashes Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Kingdom of Ashes! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Kingdom of Ashes (A Wicked Thing #2)
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen


Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairy tale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.
Kingdom of Ashes is the second book in an original and truly enchanting young adult fairy tale retelling series about Sleeping Beauty. The original spin that the author puts on the book is the continuation of the story - what happens after Sleeping Beauty wakes up. I'm really loving the fairy tale retelling trend that's going on lately. I adore the different twists and spins authors are putting into the stories - giving them new life and bringing them back into the reader's radar. As soon as I finished reading the first book in the series, I immediately wanted the second novel so I could continue on Aurora's journey. After loving the first installment, I had some really high hopes for this book because it sounded so different from everything else out there. I'm so incredibly glad to report that it not only lived up to my high hopes and expectations, but it far surpassed them. Every aspect of the novel is mesmerizing - the characters, the setting and world the author created, the plot itself, and so much more. I absolutely love the world that the author creates in the book (and series). It pretty much goes along with what the original story says - castles, royalty, kingdoms, etc. - and even the world Aurora wakes up to is incredibly realistic. The author uses a great amount of vivid imagery and detailed descriptions in every little aspect of the book, which makes it really come alive for the reader. I found myself slipping easily back into Aurora's world and didn't come back until the very last words of the book. It was incredibly easy to lose myself alongside Aurora during the story - I could basically see, hear, smell, and feel everything just as she does.

Aurora continues to be a fantastic main character for the book. She is a strong, opinionated, and determined woman who must make life-altering decisions and then live with the consequences of her actions. She's easy to identify with and I absolutely loved her right away. I enjoyed watching her character continue to change and grow throughout the book as she faces several difficult decisions and situations. The plot was exactly as advertised and all of the obstacles and problems that Aurora must face and go through - both good and bad. The last thing I want to talk about is the writing style. The author uses the third person point of view in the story, which normally is my least favorite style, because I don't feel as connected to the characters or as deeply involved in the story. However, I was able to connect with Aurora right away, just like in the first novel. I felt like I knew her as a person and, as I mentioned earlier, I could easily slip inside the world the author created. It takes true talent, in my opinion, to be able to transport a reader that deeply into the story, even using first person point of view - but to be able to write it with such clarity and intensity from a third person perspective is astounding. When I found out that the first book in the series was the author's debut, I seriously thought that my mind would explode. There's no way anyone would be able to read either of these books and know the first was a debut. The amount of raw talent and storytelling ability that this author has cannot - and should not - be overlooked. The novel was enchanting, thought provoking, and wholly unique (as well as many other things). I absolutely LOVED this book and I'm SO excited that it's part of a series! I can't recommend this book highly enough! If you're a fan of the fairy tale trend happening; or if you enjoy romance, historical fiction, action, adventure, fantasy - basically any type of fiction - you need to read this book/series. Seriously. READ. THIS. SERIES. NOW. I promise that you won't regret it!

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Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England. 

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog FeministFiction.com, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective. 

I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.
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