FeaturedYoung Adult Fantasy

Ashes of Revival


Loved it! 😍

This is a harrowing thrill ride with a wise understanding of how easy it is for deceitful leaders to craft societal enemies.

When I was reading this book, I was surprised this was a debut. It has the aura of an author with vast love and skill for teen fiction. I guess Alex Shobe's a YA book junkie like me too.

The beginning is one of the best ways to start a book I've read in ages. In life, fantasy or otherwise, there are laws, but it takes resources to enforce them, and sometimes whether the law will be respected is dictated by those with the weaponry, coin, and commitment to wreak havoc. AKA, the resources.

When Leona enforces the release of all prisoners, it essentially means the end of a cherished sport by those privileged enough not to care that it is forcing people who may not even be charged as guilty yet to fight to the death. And there are things in lives that the privileged and carefree will fight to keep, and in this case it's entertainment. Plus it sends fear in those people they'll be robbed or attacked. Leona having to pay the price for her groundbreaking decision was both realistic and monumentally infuriating. I was forced to ask myself how I would react if I loved a sport and it got not just cancelled but outlawed. Would I be willing to listen to the corruption and torture that caused it to be shut down? I like to think so, but so many in the world wouldn't.

The main idea of this story is the disgraced queen and a warrior brutalized by the system must try to take back a kingdom and town that wronged them and don't regret doing so, and when it sticks to these roots, it's deliciously entertaining.

Some of the sublime fast pace gets diluted after the second half of the book while getting to know side characters who aren't quite as interesting, and there's a third act that gets a little weird (why would Leona's sworn enemy let her sleep in the same bed as him, as he's sleeping, without proper cuffing?). But I will admit, this is beautiful work. Alex Shobe's writing is naturally medieval and scrumptiously edgy. She's always immersed in the crumbling, poverty-stricken non-technological world she's crafted.

The ending may be a tad discomforting to some, but there's also a sense of satisfaction that, when you compare it to the world right now, makes you wish for a similar kind of revolution. Ashes of Revival is a book that understands how doing the right thing can lead to enemies who'll never tolerate those deviant from them, but there are heroes out there, who do it anyway.

Reviewed by

I'm an entertainment critic from Canada. I've been blogging about movies of all genres and books of all shapes and sizes since 2014. Meanwhile, I'm also an aspiring author and actor, so you could say I have big dreams on both sides of the table. I really love the world of storytelling.


About the author

My name is Alex. I currently reside in Indiana with my husband and two daughters. When I'm not getting lost in a good story, or working on a good story of my own, you can find me binge-watching Netflix and strumming my guitar. view profile

Published on September 25, 2020

Published by Vulpine Publishing

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

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