Title: Ashes of Chaos
Author: Amelia Hutchins
Pub. Date: September 29, 2020
Pub: Not Listed
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance
Creating a new House of Magic is hard work. Aria knew she had a tall task ahead of her, cleaning up the mess her family had made in the Nine Realms, but nothing could have prepared her for the horrors that awaited within the Nine Realms.
Dark magic has taken hold of the lands as Aria finds herself in the middle of an ongoing war while playing cat and mouse with Knox, who hunts her relentlessly. To make matters worse, Aria’s creature has grown impatient and is doing everything she can to get back to the monster within Knox, even knowing that Aria’s heart is on the line.
How far will Aria go to protect those she loves from Knox’s wrath? How long can she evade the man stalking her every waking hour as her body and mind fight against the growing need for him to claim her? Can she break the curse that has plagued the Hecate bloodline for over 500 years while protecting her heart?
Maybe the answers lie with the mysterious silver-haired men that have come to Aria’s aid, or perhaps they are just like everyone else wanting to kill or claim her, realizing she is the key to winning the war. Aria intends to bring the Nine Realms and the male stalking her to their knees in this fast-paced, action-packed, and sexy epic fantasy adventure.
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. You can check out my spoiler free review for book 1 in the Legacy of the Nine Realms Trilogy – Flames of Chaos – here. I won’t lie, I had really high expectations for this book. I expected more spice and more plot.
It delivered on the plot – I thought this book was much stronger in the plot department. Overall, I think this a stronger story over book 1, but it took me longer to get invested. Mainly due to the whole cat and mouse nature of Knox and Aria’s relationship. I thought it dragged on for too long. Though the prolonged cat and mouse game gave Aria plenty of time to show over her clever scheming skills. She kind of reminded me of Aelin in that regard. Not quite as terrifying in her brilliance, but still wickedly sharp.
I will also say, that I definitely expected more spice. After the contents of the first book, I was pretty disappointed. LOL
While I can appreciate that there was a better mix of spice and plot – something I love in high fantasy romances – my expectations were a little missed.
As for the characters – I liked the growth they both had. Aria felt like less of an airhead, and more like a cunning, smart badass. She had more depth and dimension and it made me enjoy her character so much more. As for Knox, I loved that his whole thing was more of an internal battle. He fought the whole book over his feelings for Aria and the promises he made to his dead wife and child. He’s still brutal and a pretty big ass, but the whole dynamic of him fighting his feelings and coming to certain realizations made me love him. It didn’t subtract from the fact that he’s Not Human and a Monster, but it gave him a smidge of humanity.
But can I say – I’m really not a fan of the male narrator. I don’t know if it’s the tone of his voice, how deep it is, the way he just reads the lines, or the writing itself, but I cannot take it seriously. Anytime Knox is talking, I’m cackling. No lie, I think it’s hysterical. The way he talks dirty – I don’t buy it. Though I do really like that if is Aria’s POV, Knox is voiced by the male narrator, and vice versa. I love that. It was an element I loved in the first book as well.
I need book 3 to come out on audio so I can find out what happens next – I’m kind of in love with this trilogy so far. I kind of hate that there are only 3 books, because I have a feeling I’m going to want more. I like that they get better with each one and honestly, I’m not mad I dove in. Overall, this was a pretty good read, despite my few little qualms. It kept me hooked and wanting to know what happens next. I did have to keep reminding myself that Knox isn’t going to be a Rhys or anything that sweet and romantic, but boy did my heart keep wanting that. LOL
I really can’t wait to see what happens next, how Aria brings the Nine Realms to its knees, and if Knox will get his ginormous head out from his ass. But whatever happens, I know it’ll be good.