May 6, 2015

ARC Review: From the Ashes (Legend of the Liberator #1) by Shelby K Morrison

Publish Date: May 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: 3.5 / 5
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I received an Advance Reader Copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Blurb:
For eighteen years Aia Wynnald has lived a lie. Raised as a highborn in the Kingdom of Tharien, she’s filled her days with tutors and archery lessons. But simmering beneath her polite surface is a dangerous gift, one which she must keep a secret. Aia is a Bender. And in Tharien, Benders are feared and hunted.

When her unruly power breaks free with dire repercussions, Aia’s lifelong goal of independence shatters. As she scrambles to piece her life back together while evading capture, she disturbs a vengeful force intent on destroying the kingdom.

Now, with the help of an unlikely ally, Aia will decide the fate of Tharien. To rescue those she cares about will require accepting what she is. But can she risk becoming the monster she’s dreaded to save the very citizens baying for her blood?

*I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review*


First Thoughts

The cover for From the Ashes caught my eye on Azee's blog, The UnderCover Critique. I absolutely love the long red braid that Aia has going on. I commented on Azee's post, which Shelby K Morrison saw, so she reached out to me for a review!

I'm glad because From the Ashes was quite an enjoyable read! The opening scene grips you as terrified Aia runs for her life, having just been exposed as a Bender. Benders are feared in the Kingdom of Tharien because they have a magical power that can destroy.

The story reminded me of The Salem Witch Trials at times, which was pretty cool! There was such a hysteria surrounding Benders, it seemed like the Tharien citizens were just accusing anyone and everyone they disliked of being a Bender.


What I Enjoyed

Aia as a heroine. I admired the fight in her. She spent her entire life believing that Benders (like herself) were abominations that should be Cleansed. Still, when the very people that wanted to hunt her were threatened by an angry Bender, she stepped up to try and save them.

Cole. How awesome is he? Bender hunter by day, Bender savior by night. I loved his other secret, too! I never saw it coming!



What Could Have Been Better

I want more explanations! I appreciate that there was no info-dumping, but I wanted more information than there was! I wanted to know the history of the Benders, more about the Bender War, more about Bender powers, and more about the stones that Benders carry.



TL;DR

Long red braids on covers are cool. In Tharien, Benders=Bad. Reminded me of The Salem Witch Trials. The characters were cool. Cole has secrets. No info dumping, but I wanted to know more.


3.5 asterisks