BP Note: Check out the later post today for an excerpt and giveaway sponsored by Lia
Publisher: Fated Desires Publishing
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the author
Ashlynn Blake, minor goddess of the hunt—lethal, beautiful, and able to connect with animals on a psychic level—is the perfect person to place judgment upon an accused dragon. But first she has to prove to the gods that Ty Sullivan is innocent of his crimes. If she fails, she’s doomed to lose her heart along with him forever.
Ty’s been beaten, scarred, and betrayed by females. He doesn’t trust them, can’t stand being around them for longer than he or his dragon needs to be. Yet, when he meets Ashlynn, his dragon is ready to mate, but the man believes she’s no different than the others.
The Fates have thrown them together, forcing secrets to be told and igniting a passion so fierce it may destroy both of them.
This blurb came from the author’s website.
When I read this blurb and saw the combination of dragons, mythological gods and goddesses, and life at stake I thought it was written just for me. As a result it was with great anticipation I opened Ashes of War and settled in to read. Sadly my anticipation was met with disappointment. Some of my letdown might have stemmed from not reading the first installment so I had to infer a lot of the history and world-building. However, that doesn’t account for the lack of character depth, multiple plot lines that were not fully developed, and a vast array of different types of characters introduced throughout the story.
From what I could gather hundreds of years ago descendents of the Greek Gods and Goddesses with various permutations of their powers were quite numerous. Then there was a war of some sort, resulting in vastly diminished numbers. Some descendents, hunted for their powers, went into hiding while others no longer exist. In this particular installment a feud of sorts has arisen between some of Ares descendents who could be considered dragon shifters. This particular disagreement started because of a woman’s murder and subsequently spread to involve descendents of other Gods and Goddesses. The fallout of different violent deaths has embroiled the Gods and Goddesses themselves, which to me seems a precursor to another great war. Granted that might be the intent because someone is setting all of this in motion.
Ash, a descendent of Artemis, was assigned as an investigator to determine the mental state of Ty’s dragon and also find out why one of Eros’ daughters was found dead. Ash had so much potential that was left unused. She was supposed to be lethal but ended up getting her rear kicked in every fight she was in. I was also told she had the ability to connect with animals on a physic level but it was never used. Granted she deliberately decided not to use that power to gain the trust of Ty’s dragon but it also never manifested in any situation. I was very disappointed Ash was reduced to providing suggestions and falling in love with Ty. She really didn’t demonstrate any level of competency.
I also wanted more from Ty and his dragon. While he resisted his urges to mate with Ash he never seemed to avoid her company and I didn’t see him openly mistrusting any other woman he encountered. I did feel for him because he had been horribly tortured and was probably suffering from PTSD along with the residual effects of the drugs he received in captivity. However, for someone who was very good at fighting and had spent years involved in this feud, he seemed much better at one on one confrontations than having any grasp at tactics. He just seemed like he was there and everything was happening to him instead of trying to step up and reclaim his life. Other people were the ones pushing and trying to find out what really happened in an attempt to save his life.
Unfortunately, I was so focused as I tried to understand the overall plot and different aspects of this world that the romance between Ash and Ty didn’t make much of an impression on me. It also didn’t help that I wanted a lot more from both characters in order to be invested in their survival and chance at happiness together. It seemed like the deck was stacked against them and yet somehow everything worked out just the way they wanted. Again it appeared as if everything that came before was a set-up for something else that is coming and most of it didn’t directly impact the reason Ash met Ty to begin with. That investigation, which according to the blurb, should have been the central element along with their romance seemed to take the side as new factions, deals between enemies, and hidden secrets were revealed.
Ashes of War had an interesting premise and showed the promise of a series I could have really enjoyed but I needed more characterization and less unexplained complexity in the world especially as the second book in the series. As a result I highly recommend that you start at the beginning of the series because I think I would have understood the world and different factions much better. Understanding that would have helped me enjoy this story.
I give Ashes of War a C-
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