A Curse of Ash and Embers

A Curse of Ash and Embers she is sent to a new job working for…a witch.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Elodie is newly an adult and has been called to work in a faraway place. On the one hand, she’s happy to be leaving the farm and her abusive stepfather, and on the other hand, she’s scared of leaving her mother and the home she’s always known. Elodie journeys to her new job, and finds that not only is her mistress a witch- but one in danger at that. In a tale of ghosts, curses, and interesting crystal spirits, Elodie finds she may be braver than she thought.

This book was a solid 2.5 star read, up until the final 75%. From there, the story went from “just okay” to “pretty interesting.” You spend most of the book learning about the world, Elodie’s past, and the rumors surrounding Aleida and her previous mistress, Gyssha. I really wanted to like this book, and it had all of the elements to be incredibly interesting…but it missed the mark for me.

To start, the people talk in an old fashioned way that throws off understanding what the book is about. I’ve read plenty of books that place themselves in this “time”, and rarely does the way people talk make it difficult to understand what’s going on or enjoy it. It seemed that this got considerably better as time went on, but it was frustrating, to begin with.

As the main character, Elodie is…not particularly interesting. She follows rules, she tries to stay out of trouble, she’s stubbornly loyal, and she’s very predictable and boring. The most interesting thing about her is that someone, a mysterious someone, sent her to work for Aleida. Aleida is, by contrast, much more interesting. However, you see her sparingly till after the first 50% of the book.

You’re introduced to many side characters in this book. There is seemingly little reason for this. Some of them you never see again, and what they said or did is not referenced again. It felt like filler and it was really unnecessary. If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that character growth is incredibly important for my personal reading. There was hardly any, if any at all, in this story. Perhaps there will be more in the next book, but the lack of plot or interesting protagonist has really taken away any desire I had to read the next books in the series.

This all leaves us with a 3 star read, the last star is solely given to the last 25% of the book.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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