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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

Kingdom of Ashes  by Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #2
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
A Young Adult novel
Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, Fairy Tales, Romance, Magic
Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.
Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.
As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.
Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.
*Received an advanced readers copy from the publisher for the blog tour and an honest review*

There is something about a princess in charge that really gets me going. Kingdom of Ashes leaps off where A Wicked Thing left off: Aurora on the run, her magic out of control. King John warranting her arrest, and with only one place left to go, with Prince Finnegan and his home kingdom, Aurora fights to remain alive and understand her powers all while plotting to regain her lost kingdom.

Dragon lovers, this novel is right up your alley. Dragons dominate this entire second book, as well as Aurora's thought process. The obstacles in which Aurora fights to overcome with politics, magic, dragons, witches, and a kiss fuel this second novel. Despite the slow start, Kingdom of Ashes takes the tale of Sleeping Beauty way off the rails, much more than the first novel. And I loved it. With Aurora fighting the passion of a kiss and the fire burning inside her, the battle between good and evil rages as well, and evil may be winning? I hope that there is a third book, otherwise the ending provided to this story is not satisfying enough!!

Two things that stood out as sub-par while reading were one: Aurora's obsession with kissing Finnegan. Any reader knows that this was bound to happen since book one, but the necessity to wonder upon it for pages on end ruined the anticipation and the climax. On the other hand, Finnegan waiting for Aurora to kiss him was lovely and powerful and how many significant love interests should be! My other gripe, the conjectures and info-dump by the end. I like puzzles and clues when it comes to garnering information, having a character do a grandiose reveal and drop information like a hot potato is more of a pull at the reader for sitting through guesses and discussions without any proof, and finally getting to the end and the author dumping everything you wanted to know in three chapters or more. It doesn't prove to be satisfying or rewarding.

Other than those two things, A Wicked Thing  brings an extremely strong female character against the canon in which she was written into. Aurora is anything but a pushover. A tad overzealous and headstrong, but never the pushover. She has a motive. She has questions. And she has a freaking dragon. If you don't like powerful women with dragons than I don't know what to tell you.

I give this one three targets and hope for a final book

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About the Author

Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England. 

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective. 

I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.