Saskia, a NetGalley and Goodreads reviewer, reviews August Li's "Ash and Echoes".
A fantastic journey you don't want to miss.
4.5 Stars for this wonderful piece of fantasy, full of spicy, hot scenes that take your breath away, three-dimensional characters and a story line that makes you hungry for more.
The first thing to greet me when I opened the book was a seemingly endless list of Names, Places and Persons with a neat explanation. My first thought was 'please don't let me have to know all that to be able to understand the book properly'. Well, not exactly what I had thought, there were way more swear words involved...Don't let the long list at the beginning scare you away, the world isn't hard to understand and it won't take you long to get a hang of the culture and history. August Li explains everything that isn't self-explanatory and sees to it that you don't get lost in his world. At least not in a bad way.
The story starts when Yarroway L'Estrella returns home at request of the current king to guard his cousin Garith on the way to the princess Garith is to marry. One of the guards is the gruff knight Duncan Purefroy. Duncan doesn't really know what to make of the slender mage who doesn't look at all capable of protecting even himself, least of all the future king should they get attacked by anyone.
Soon, Duncan gets proven that Yarroway is more than capable of taking care of himself.
Lies and betrayal come to the surface and Yarroway, Duncan and the assassin Sasha find themselfes in a fragile alliance in order to expose the truth and stay alive. The vast differences between the three man make it difficult for them to understand and accept each other, or even find common ground they can step on. Their developing takes time, errors as well as change in each of them but the emotional pull towards each other is too strong to ignore and simply continue walking ones own path.
Never have I ever read a book that had a threeway relationship and I wasn't sure whether or not I was gonna like it. Boy did I like it! The scenes between the three of them were smoking hot and just as detailed as the gruel and violent fighting scenes. As bloody and graphic a lot of the book is as cute and loving are the three of them together without seeming sickeningly sweet.
The plot takes unexpected twists and turns and is all in all very entertaining and I can't wait to read the other books of the series! It leaves much open and there is a lot of unfinished business mainly Sasha and Yarroway have to deal with.
The ending was horrible, not in a bad way horrible, but in a 'omg my poor feels it hurts so much' way horrible. Lucky for you and me the two following books are already released so we don't have to suffer long.
Recommended for any lover of a good fantasy world with an interesting plot and lots of hot scenes. Since I already read the two following book I can already tell you that it only gets more interesting and unexpected.