Book Review: It Began With Ashes By D.E.M. Emrys

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Peace in Wroge came at a price.

The cost?


Wroge was divided by the Saive War. The Arneuton kingdom enslaved the Keltir clans into their invasion, and swept across the territory, converting and conscripting the weak, culling the strong. Five Years of war, the blood of four races, millions of deaths. The Arneut conquered. The Keltir were released from their imprisonment, but the Vikir and Narz were forever banished from Wroge’s borders.

Draven fought for peace. He fought another man’s war and paid for his freedom in blood. But even peace comes with its price. Taxes to another man’s king. Draven’s fight might have ended with the Saive War, but the struggle to afford safety for his family is far from over.

When the Vikir threaten Wroge’s northern border they come with a debt of their own. And it’s not taxes they’re after. They come because of the Keltir’s betrayal in the Saive War. They come from blood.

But Wroge’s fate won’t be decided by ageing warriors and old grudges. The lives of four young men, divided by peace, united by conflict, will shape the future of the war torn land.

‘It Began With Ashes’ is the story of how life’s greatest struggle is to accept who you are – a tale of broken promises, bitter grudges, and brotherhoods bound in blood.

16172345I enjoyed this 23 chapter book. My favorite lines: 1) It had gone too far for sense now. 2) The darkness offered no answer. It had taken everything from him. 3) “I was thinking on my feet–the plan was to find Draven, and he’d come up with the real plan!” 4) “Those Gore things may be demons for bedtime fables to scare the young but it t’ain’t just beasts roaming the forest no more.”

The tax collector, Draven, was away on a mission when his town was invaded by Vikings. Kale, his 12 year old son and Morgana, his wife, along with other people from the village were in grave danger–either they’d be killed on the spot or kidnapped and tortured.

I thought it was brave the way Kale and Morgana stepped up to the plate to protect their friends. Draven must have taught them well.

I loved that the plot was action-packed. Kale and his friends were little boys but had to grow up fast! Deuk was Kale’s best friend. He went crazy and slit another kid’s throat in front of the adults. That was a very intense scene. For the most part, I sat on the edge of my seat because no character’s life was guaranteed.

Besides suspense, there were also bits of humor with Draven’s co-workers, so I even laughed a little.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby


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