by Scott Reintgen
In Ashlords we meet three characters from very different cultures, and they are all competing against each other in a horse race of a lifetime. One is an Ashlord golden girl, born into a position of power and fame, one is a revolutionary’s son who bears the fate of his people’s freedom on his shoulders, and one is a determined alchemist protégé who hopes to show the Ashlords her people are done bowing to them.
When I got the chance to read and review Ashlords I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve read several books from Scott Reintgen and I’ve truly loved all of them. As I stared reading Ashlords, I had no idea what this book was about. I hadn’t read a single thing about it, nor did I read the blurb, all I did was begin at page one.
The first thing I noticed was how unusual this world was, and I really fell in love with the whole concept of riding horses that had died and burned to ashes every night and had to be revived at sunrise. It was so fascinating to see the alchemy and what could be done with it, and the girl we got to know in the first chapter was so lovable that I couldn’t stop reading. And before I knew it, the book was over, and I had finished all of it. That’s how much I enjoyed it.
What I loved about the book the most was the horses and how the characters used alchemy and different components to give their horses different abilities each time. It was so interesting and unusal, and I think Reintgen did an amazing job at explaining all of it in a way that made it feel so natural and normal. It was as if I was there with the character and I understood what they were doing and why. The world was never confusing despite all the details and all the information the reader had to learn, and confusing is exactly what a complicated system like this could’ve easily been.
I also liked the characters for the most part, even though I had different issues with each one of the three.
Imelda, the poor alchemist protégé who was never meant to stand a chance at winning the race because she’s not an Ashlord, was an instant love for me. I wanted to hear her story, and when her chapters ended, I couldn’t wait to get back to her. That is until the race began. Not only did she get a little lost there and her chapters all of a sudden stopped coming. I didn’t like where the story brought her, and I didn’t like how we didn’t get to follow her anymore. She was the character at the beginning, she was the one I fell in love with and what made me want to read the story, so it makes little sense for me that she should take the back seat after half the story has been told.
Adrian, the revolutionary’s son who’s supposed to win so his father can start the revolution that will give their people the freedom and revenge they’ve longed for, was a tough start for me. I didn’t care for him at all in the beginning, and I found his POV to be boring and unnecessary. But as the race began, something happened to Adrian and he was interesting and fun to follow. I have a feeling it was because at that point we saw Adrian and not his father working to put ideas into Adrian’s head. So, as the story progressed, Adrian grew on me to the point I was rooting for him. I wanted him to make it.
Then we have Pippa, the Ashlord “princess” who was born to win the race. Her POV is written in 2nd person, which honestly threw me off so much at first. Every sentence I read just sounded wrong to me, and I had a really hard time getting into. Then, all of a sudden, I realize that I’ve read a whole chapter with Pippa without even noticing all of those “you”. I had become her. Pippa and I were the same person and from that moment on, I enjoyed her POV so much. There are not many books out there with a POV written in 2nd person, and I applaud Scott Reintgen for daring to try it here. It works, even if it took a while to get into it.
To stop a long review from getting any longer, I’m just going to jump straight for the only thing that I really didn’t like with this book. It was like reading Hunger Games all over again. I liked Hunger Games, and I also liked reading Nyxia (also by Reintgen). But now this is the second book I’ve read from Scott Reintgen that’s basically a new take on the Hunger Games. And Ashlords didn’t have to be Hunger Games all over again, it was so unique that it broke the illusion for me when I got the Hunger Games plot all over again. I just…it didn’t have to be that way, and it would have been so much better if there hadn’t been such a clear resemblance to Hunger Games.
Still, I read this book in one day and I really enjoyed it, and I’m still going to give this five stars because you all need to read it. This is the best book I’ve read in a long time and I’m so thankful that I got the opportunity to read it.
Schedule for release on January 21st 2020, so make sure to pre-order you copy now. You can find it at Amazon.