Book title: An Inheritance of Ashes
Author: Leah Bobet
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release date: October 2015
Format: Egalley, 336 pages
Source: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Clarion Books and HMH Children’s Book Group!
The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.
When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.
An Inheritance of Ashes is a really unique fantasy-dystopia that takes place right after a war has just ended. It’s about a girl, Hallie, who runs her family’s farm with her difficult older sister Marthe, whose husband hasn’t yet returned from the war. Part mystery, it’s a book about fighting through things and fighting through them with other people.
I loved the dark, creepy atmosphere of the book. The paranormal and fantasy aspects really made things eerie, what with the Twisted Ones (monsters) showing up everywhere. The farm setting really worked to isolate Hallie’s home, as well as were a large place where anything and everything could happen…
The book is definitely slow-paced, but the plot is very interesting and the characters, while none of them completely lovable, are compelling enough. I haven’t read a book like this before, and I was always constantly engaged by what was going on and what could possibly happen next. As for the characters. I liked Hallie, I liked Heron, I liked Tyler, I liked Nat. They felt like real people with their own hardships to deal with, and grew to be a group of people who were willing to work together to accomplish a common goal. No one was very warm and open about things, nor totally optimistic, and there is absolutely no comic-relief or humor in this grim and serious novel. But that’s okay. Sometimes funny wit isn’t necessary. It actually might have seemed really out of place had there been a character cracking jokes or being sarcastic.
Romance-wise, it was meh. It was fine and serviceable, but I at first through the ship would go one way and then it totally didn’t. Sigh. Hallie and her romantic interest didn’t have much chemistry I felt, but they were good people and cared for each other. The romance isn’t the focus of the book at all, though — saving Hallie’s farm, getting Marthe’s husband back, and figuring out how to rid the world of Twisted Ones was the main plot.
I did really like An Inheritance of Ashes. It’s well written and doesn’t shy away from being gritty and depressing. I liked how all the characters were flawed and actually pretty scared in their given situations. I loved the dark, haunting atmosphere and really enjoyed the fact that the book deals with the aftermath of war. An Inheritance of Ashes is a great, slower-paced (but never ever boring) and fascinating original fantasy. ♦
Have you read An Inheritance of Ashes?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
What’s a fantasy book you’ve read with a wonderfully dark, creepy atmosphere?
Comment below letting me know!
And, as always, happy reading!