Please note: if you are new to the series, this review has minor, unavoidable spoilers to previous books in the series. I highly suggest reading those prior to this review….unless you like spoilers…than by all means keep reading ?
I received this book via Lady Amber's Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Dawn of Ash by Rebecca Ethington
Series: The Imdalind Series,
Published by Imdalind Press on 2016-02-23
Length: 371 pages
Reviewing eARC from Lady Amber's Book Tours
Underneath the deep red barrier Edmund has placed over the city, Prague is in ruins…
Vilỳ hide in the darkened alleys, waiting to attack anyone who passes, while Edmund’s men roam the blood-soaked streets, scouring every crumbling building in a mad attempt to flush out Ilyan and his men.
Among the danger, Ilyan and Joclyn are trapped, unable to leave the city. trying to keep their people safe behind a powerful shield, unseen from Edmund and his scouts.
Wyn spends her days haunted by her daughter and watching Thom waste away from the mysterious curse slowly taking him.
Ryland has risen above his father’s control, ready to take his place as his brother’s second. However, Sain needs his help first for a simple assignment, or so he thinks.
Their safety is about to be shattered.
A mole behind those safe, Cathedral walls has begun whispering through the survivors that Joclyn is unstable, that her magic is an uncontainable force that will destroy them all in the end.
Determined not to let the rumors affect her, Joclyn battles ahead, only to have reality and sight intersect in an explosion that shatters the walls between future, past, and present, leaving her imprisoned in a seamless existence she must learn to control … before Edmund and Ovailia control her.
Before Sain unfurls the plan he has been orchestrating for centuries.
I went into Dawn of Ash by Rebecca Ethington with a lot of trepidation. Burnt Devotion about killed me, especially that massive, game-changing ending. As much as I love the series I was NOT looking forward to this book. I was afraid what I would find in its pages. But really, I shouldn’t have been. Rebecca Ethington has never let me down before and she didn’t this time!
Dawn of Ash starts a few months after the end of the last book. Ilyan, Joclyn, Ryland, and Wyn along with the survivors from Edmund’s attack are still under Edmund’s dome in Prague. They’ve not found a way out or why they’re trapped. The Vilý’s are still hunting them when they leave the cathedral they are holed up in. Thom is still dying from mysterious causes, Dramin is slowly dying as well. Joclyn is hiding the truth from Ilyan, desperate to change his end, and she is seeing broken sights. Wyn is hearing her daughter more and more and her actions are becoming volatile. BUT the real story is Sain —evil little man! He’s playing both sides, but what’s his game?
Truth and Lies
I have always loved Joclyn! She is courageous. Thrown into this world where magic is real, she’s taken it all in stride., including her heritage as a Drak. She can see the future with haunting clarity. It’s enough to make anyone go insane and that is exactly what she thinks is happening. She changed the future in Soul of Flame and now according to her father her sight is “broken.” She believes him to an extent, her sights keep changing, but from what she’s learned that isn’t possible. So she begins to question her sanity, her power, and if she really is the Silny they all claim she is.
Ilyan *sigh* really Ilyan has been my ship since the first time he spoke in Kiss of Fire. He’s the King, made Joclyn his Queen, and he is good, genuinely and honestly good. He cares more about others than himself and in this book it really comes out. His worry for Joclyn, those under his care, even those who his father has manipulated, he still cares for. I want an Ilyan….just saying 😉
Perhaps my favorite character (in a really demented way) is Sain. At least he’s my favorite to hate. After 5 books, Sain finally gives some clues, some answers to what is happening in the magical world. He is the first Drak, climbing from the mud of the wells of Imdalind. He is the first and plans to be the last. He twists everything and from what we saw of him in Burnt Devotion, he has his own motives. He’s the evil to Ilyan’s goodness. And he will stop at nothing and bulldoze over anyone that gets in his way. He’s one scary dude!
The Plot Thickens
Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Sain truly changed everything at the end of Burnt Devotion. In this book, the reader finally gets a glimpse at what is happening, the truth behind all the lies. Sain has his own agenda and is playing both sides: Edmund and Ilyan, Ovalia and Joclyn, even Ryland and Wyn. He uses them all, playing them like pieces in a twisted chess game. Truly the twists, surprises, EVERYTHING in the series to date is sheer genius on Rebecca Ethington part!
While I was seriously impressed with the way all the loose ends and questions I’ve had are starting to come together, I was a little disappointed in the execution. The plot moved really slow. Despite this though, I couldn’t set the book down. How’s that for an oxymoron? I felt like while there was a lot of info dump and tying the ends together, there was also a lot of redundancy. The last half of the book flips between many different characters: Ryland, Wyn, Ovalia, Ilyan, Sain, Dramin, and Joclyn. While I like the head hopping and it flowed well without me getting confused who I was reading, it was basically the same scene from different perspectives over and over again! My personal opinion is this could have been done a little better or with fewer characters.
The Ending That Wasn’t an Ending
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I’m SO excited there is one more! That ending though….I have no words for it! After such a build up, I wasn’t let down that’s for sure. If anything I was left wanting more! If you are a fan of the series or you’re a fan of fantasy, I highly recommend you grab a copy ASAP!