Book review – Ashes of Gold (Spoiler Free)

“If I’ve learned anything through all this, it’s that these moments, like this one right now, that define who we are. And when we mess up, because we all will, the people we keep around us hold us up through it. The goal isn’t to not fall, it’s to get back up.”

  • Title: Ashes of Gold
  • Author: J. Elle
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publication date: January 11, 2022

Since I liked Wings of Ebony, I had to pick up its conclusion, Ashes of Gold.

Ashes of Gold continues Rue’s story as she fights to get her people’s magic and home back from the Chancellor. After a catastrophe, she ends up in a locked cell with no memories of how she got there and no magic. But Rue isn’t a quitter. She ends up breaking out and fighting for her people once again. However, this time, a betrayer is in her ranks.

The book starts out a bit slow, and it doesn’t speed up for a while. Granted, living in a cell with almost no energy and no memories would be slow, but the story’s tone just has a sluggish start.

Yet it does take off as she escapes and makes a plan to take down the Chancellor and to bring back her people’s magic. The deeper she gets into her plans, the more immersive the story becomes. I liked the worldbuilding and the characters she got to travel around with. The war-torn city also felt realistic and kinda reminded me of Mockingjay.

My main critique was just how this book fell back on tropes, which is different from the first book. It fell upon the betrayer trope with a few false alarms before the real one is shown. But the last false alarm before the real one actually makes more sense than the real one. There’s also the chosen hero trope, the love triangle trope, etc.

That and Rue goes by Jelani, her love interest is Jhamal, and then her best friend is Julius. Then there’s also a Joshi. I ended up having to pause at some points to keep all the J names straight.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I liked how Rue’s story ended.

Score: 8.0
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.02/5

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