Kingdom of Ash and Soot (The Order of the Crystal Daggers #1) by C.S. Johnson (2018)
YA Fiction | Historical | Fantasy
For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.
But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup. As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators. Now, Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of others.
Can Eleanora find a way do the right thing and still find freedom?”
Expected Publication Date: July 03, 2018
pooled ink Review:
This book was more than I hoped for. Not only do you get everything a good YA Fantasy promises but it’s filled with intrigue, family, and an energy that will sweep you away. Thank you Johnson for sending your book my way!
I didn’t realize this book was a bit of a Cinderella retelling until I began reading (although after I picked up on it the title made even more sense haha) but what makes it great is that although the idea is there embedded in the plot it doesn’t take over. The common themes are there of course but this book really takes on a life of its own with a cast of characters that will have you laughing, biting your tongue, seething, and more. Overall I really enjoyed it. Not too heavy on the world-building and not too slow (or fast) with the character development. This story definitely brings a presence and a fantastic tale that I think most YA Fantasy fans will enjoy.
And as a bonus it’s written by an indie author! I’m always happy to spread the word about great books written by indie authors. Just because it’s not from a Big 5 publishing house doesn’t mean it’s no good and this is certainly an example of that.
Kingdom of Ash and Soot is almost a Cinderella retelling but darker and more exciting. Set in an alternate 1800s Prague, Eleanora survives the deaths of her parents, strengthens beneath the abuse of her step-family, and rises in a world of magic and dark destiny. This YA Fantasy is a must-read for fans of adventure told at midnight.
Purchase here: Kingdom of Ash and Soot
Meet C.S. Johnson!
C. S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family.