Friday, May 27, 2016

TOUR: Memories of Ash

Pages: 363
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication Date: May 30, 2016
Initial Reaction:
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.

Sunbolt (Book 1) Amazon
The first book in this series ended on a note that left me wanting more. Memories of Ash picks up with Hitomi living with Brigit Stormwind and honing her magic under the High Mage's guidance. The peaceful environment is disrupted when Stormwind is charged with treason and convicted by the Arch Mage Blackflame who played a key role in Hitomi's experience in the first book. Hitomi decides to travel to where the High Council of Mages resides to try to save her mentor and regain the memories she lost after she cast her sunbolt. 

Sunbolt gave us a glimpse of the Eleven Kingdoms and in Memories of Ash gives us a wider tour of the Kingdoms from the desert to the Mage School where the council is currently residing. We are also given more insight into the structure of mages and the Council as well as the sheer power of Blackflame. On the topic of Blackflame, he continues to embody the role of the greedy, power hungry villain and continues to terrorize every opponent he has.

Hitomi really gets an opportunity to re-develop her character and recover her memories. She strengthens her inner resolve and power and comes into contact with so many different people who are equally as complex. It was really interesting to see how Intisar Khanani made the villain of the story sort of flat and typical and created these three dimensional characters that contributed a lot to the story. You're constantly left guessing to see who will help or hurt her because each character has a place where their loyalties lie and you don't know what they will do.

I have to admit that my favorite part of this novel was being reunited with some of the old characters because Sunbolt did a great job in just giving us a glimpse of the characters and leaves you wanting more develop in those relationships, especially since she lost her memories. When Kenta showed up I was so happy and then Val. I really loved how Intisar Khanani just developed those relationships and the characters. 

While the first book ended on a note that left me satisfied but intrigued to find out more, Memories of Ash leaves me desperately wanting more. With all the events that happened in this book, I'm so interested in finding out more and exploring more of the Kingdoms.

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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.

3.5 out of 5 stars


  1. Great review, Rivalie! This sounds like a great sequel and def lives up to the first and more!

  2. Thanks so much for your review, Rivalie! I'm so glad you enjoyed Memories of Ash, and especially meeting up with some of the old cast from Sunbolt. :) Blackflame will definitely develop more over the next book or two as we get to see more of him. I've struggled a bit with how to round him out when Hitomi really only sees him for short bits and pieces. I actually really don't like the "innately evil" kind of villains, so Blackflame is going to have to show himself a bit more. We'll see what happens! Thanks again for the wonderful review.