From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout Book Review


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content Warning: Blood, Violence, Smut, Death, Grief, Death


I’ve never read a Jennifer Armentrout book, so this was my first dive into her writing. And boy was I not disappointed! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it had its moments of cringe. It was still an adventure I will probably re-read in the future, just because it’s fun knowing what happens.


  •  Witty banter
  • Slow-burn romance
  • Regaining control of one’s life– discovering their needs and wants in a healthy way. 
  • 18+ scenes that were realistic and well-written
  • Twist ending


  • No map
  • Vague description of characters and places
  • Info-dumps galore!
  • Slow beginning/build up
  • Unnecessary violence



I enjoyed the build-up of this book. It took its time to explain the characters, their relationships, and foreshadowing. It felt like watching a movie in my head. I will say that this book left me with more questions than answers. The types of characters, such as Ascended, Craven, vampry, etc. were not well explained and left me confused at what the difference was. What is the Rite? What are the Ascended? I didn’t even know the Ascended only moved about at night until the end of the book. It wasn’t shown very well earlier on. 

It takes me a bit longer to pick up on things, so if you’re anything like me, you thought the Dark One was Prince Malik or someone else, but not Hawke. Or at least you thought that too and then dismissed the idea. So the plot twist towards the end was great and surprising for me. I didn’t read what this book was about, something I do with both video games and books alike, I just base it on reviews and the cover. I was not expecting to get into a vampire/werewolf-type book, but it is what it is and I enjoyed it.



I loved Poppy’s character. She’s stubborn and wants to break out of the chains she knows she doesn’t belong in (girl I relate). However, I didn’t get the feeling that she had been isolated for most of her life. Nor did I really buy into how good she was at fighting– i.e. dagger, bow, hand-to-hand, etc. But she is strong and just wants to live her life, which I respect. The book does a good job of showing us how compassionate Poppy is by giving the people infected by Craven a peaceful death. It’s the soft side to her and her finding out what she likes that I enjoyed about the character.

However, I don’t understand why her character is so violent as well. Like girl, chill. Who thinks about stabbing someone because of an annoying comment? Just roll your eyes and get on with your life. The violence between Poppy and Cas is something I will never understand and quite frankly it was the most off-putting thing for me. 

I did feel similar to how Poppy did about Casteel being a different person when he was known as just Hawke. I liked Hawke more than Casteel, but then again my weakness is protective (not possessive) men. I do love the internal conflict she has with liking him, especially between his Hawke persona and his Casteel persona, though. It’s realistic and valid. But, I’m a bit concerned about where this will go with Casteel, especially since he wants her to marry him without her consent. But, at the same time, I’m also excited to see where it will go and how Poppy will react.


I liked Casteel, however, he was over-sexualized and made too many sexual comments. He’s always trying to touch Poppy or do things forbidden with her despite knowing she could be reprimanded for it. It also felt like Poppy was more of a thing he could conquer. She’s sheltered, a virgin, and doesn’t act like she’s been isolated her entire life. So why wouldn’t he be interested in her? *sarcasm* 

However, he doesn’t take away her voice nor necessarily stop her from experiencing life outside of the castle. He just wants her to be careful. He’s also a morally gray character, which I love! I understand why he wants to use Poppy as a bargaining chip, but I also understand his dilemma in not wanting to do that. I think that internal conflict is portrayed well in his character. 

Side Characters

The side characters, Tawny, Viktor, Rylan, the Duke, Duchess, etc., were great. They revealed different aspects of Poppy’s life and beliefs, along with her understanding of the world. We got to see the conflict her guards faced when going to see the Duke and how Tawny was a real friend to Poppy. They are also nice pawns to rip away from Poppy and illicit different emotions, like with Viktor and Rylan it was pure grief, but with the Duke, it was joy and relief. 


The names of some of these places, too, were just common names but had letters switched out: Viktor, Masadonia, Pompay, etc. I honestly liked it though. I pronounce words exactly as I see them, so this spelling scheme helped me. But it didn’t feel like fantasy, more urban with a splash of fantasy. 

Armentrout used a lot of ellipses in the book, which I know turned quite a few people off from her writing, however, I see writing as a style and you can really bend the rules how you want to, within reason of course.

I would also like to add that the name of the book throws me off every time I go to look it up or talk about it. I want to call it “From Ash and Blood” not “From Blood and Ash.” It doesn’t flow right for me.

Overall, I enjoyed JLA’s writing style and how a lot of it was in Poppy’s thoughts. It makes sense that she would think a lot since she doesn’t have a lot of interactions with others. She’s had to internalize so much, that it only makes sense for her to ask so many questions and narrate the way she does. So I thought it was a nice touch. 


This book is a strong intro to what I know will be a bigger series. It sets the foundation and then slowly reveals how everything is a lie. The book also does the “there’s 3 sides: yours, mine, and the truth somewhere in the middle.” I’m excited to see where this story takes me and what lies ahead for the characters. I’m ready for answers and some clarity on the world/plot. 

What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Facebook Page  |  Goodreads TBR  |  Spicy Rating Scale | Jennifer Armentrout’s Website

Recommend a Book for Me to Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: