Wednesday 12 February 2020

A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

Book 1 in the Gathering of Dragons series
Narrated by Nicole Poole
Publication date Feb 4, 2020
Running time 15 hrs 16 min
Published by Tantor Audio
In exchange for an honest review

I do have mixed feelings about this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but at the same time I do not like Maddek. And that first meeting was so dang rapey.

Plus everything else he does afterwards does make me think that Yvenne should dump his sorry barbarian arse.

Yes, very mixed feelings!

Fantasy world where someone named the Destroyer had reeked havoc decades earlier (what was up with that? More please.) Sure countries, gods and such are mentioned, but I would call the world building light. And please do not make me spell anything, oh audio, you are evil when it comes to fantasy. I had to look up both their names.

Maddec is a commander that helps contain some creatures at a border. Then his parents are killed and he is MAD. Which brings us to Yvenne who he wants to murder and throw off a wall. This guy is so unhinged. If he thought about it for 2 seconds he would realise that she would have nothing to gain, while her family had everything to gain. But he does not think about it, not for weeks. He is an arse to her for so long, all while they do it.

Mixed feelings people. I mean she is all sure, I will have a baby by him so he can kill my family so she is in on it. But love? He does not trust her. How can there be love. Also why would she fall for him, he is such a d*ck.

They are trying to get away for her family is a bunch of guys that needs to die! Violently.

And sure, they fall in love and will build an alliance to save the world.

I did like it! I promise. I just did not ever fall for Maddek. I liked Yvenne and her sharp tongue, and her desire to be more even though life has left her weak and crippled.

I guess, either you liked a certain GoT barbarian or you felt like me that he was a creepy rapist, and I guess that tells you how you will feel about this book.

And hey I do want to read more and I did feel a bit disappointed to see that the next book is about 2 strangers.

She did a great job with everyone. It felt so light you know, even in the face of death and danger.

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil—until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.

Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents' murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king's daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.

Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones—because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own . . .


  1. I haven't picked this one up yet, but a friend of mine is currently reading it and she said the EXACT SAME THING about Maddek! I love the premise though, so I might have to check it out so I know what's going on for book two.

    1. Really? Huh, someone who thought like me :D

      But I do say check it out, an interesting world with more to come

  2. It's hard to like a character when they act like a jerk.

  3. I would read it as creepy rapist so I'll pass lol

    Karen @ For What It's worth

    1. It was hard, haaard! I mean I still really liked it, but I got GOT feels

  4. Replies
    1. I just do not know! It was the guy, dang him

  5. Ugh barbarians can be such arses sometimes.

  6. Oh, Tantor and its covers...though this one makes it look Viking-inspired? Which intrigues me. And I like the sound of GoT barbarian vibes :D

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. I know. He does not look like that, and well she is black

  7. I loved this one. It is a bit violent and I get what you mean by rapey - she gave consent, but there was no joy in it. I loved how much he learned from her and how he learned to love her. I am disappointed the next book is a different couple, too.

    1. It was so double edged. Yes she gave consent, but at the same time, I just wish that first scene had not been like that. Sure he would still have been a dick, but...

      But I still liked it, very mixed feels



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