Book Cover and Info
Title: Memories of Ash
Series: The Sunbolt Chronicles, Book Two
Author: Intisar Khanani (http://booksbyintisar.com)
Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek (http://www.seedlingsonline.com)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Publisher: Purple Monkey Press
Price: US $3.99 (eBook), US $TBD (paperback)
Goodreads Rating: (To early to determine, April 2016)
In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.
Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.
If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.
I'll start by stating that I usually love YA Books, and the plot pf this story had me really excited. I hadn't read the first book, but I'm pretty good at jumping in the deep end, so I was ready to go. Magic, adventure and a daring rescue sounded great, but I was mostly disappointed, however,I will start with what I felt was good.
I loved that the main character was from, what I believe to be, an Asian and Middle Eastern background. It was nice to see some diversity. I also love the use of language to describe the scenery. Ms. Khanani has beautiful grasp of words, and the descriptions are easy to see.
Now, the bad... unfortunately, mostly for me I know, this book is written in first person present. I must say that I loathe first person present, but if you have no problem with this, please don't let this hinder you. I tried desperately to feel something for the characters in this book, but to no avail. I just didn't care. I never made a connection. So, for me, this book never made it out of the gate. In addition to the lack of connection, I also felt the dialogue was stilted.
This book is a Fantasy YA, and if first person present doesn't bother you, and you're looking for an alternative world/ dimension, this might be your cup of tea, it just wasn't mine.
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Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar's current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, featuring the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles.
I start forward, my eyes on the bundle ahead of us. I cannot quite make out what it is. Something sticks out from the bulk of it, reaching across the floor like an errant branch, dried twigs.
Filled with foreboding, I draw closer, straining to make out the thing in the light of the glowstone. The mage slows beside me. My throat closes up. I stare, frozen mid-step, at the shape stretched out before me: a body that is nothing more than papery skin curled over the brittle bones within. A mummified corpse, preserved by the endless heat, untouched by nature, its clothing long since dissolved away. Its bones protrude obscenely: each rib tracing a line around its chest, the pelvic and hip bones encased so tightly in skin that the gaps, the natural spaces formed by the bone, seem translucent, as if the light were shining through thin parchment.
My stomach tightens into a ball. I swallow hard, forcing down the bile in my throat. The skull bears no expression, dull teeth showing through leathery lips, the eyes long since shriveled away. But that hand, outstretched... A plea. Or a single, hopeless attempt to escape death.
Beside me, the mage breathes a curse.