I want to thank Rockstar Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian, the next book in the Ash Princess trilogy. I could not believe that I was approved for this tour!
Now…to what you’re all here for…details about the first two books in the trilogy!
I’ll start with the synopsis of Book 1 Ash Princess just to recap for anyone, or introduce it those who haven’t read it yet.
I know it looks like there is a lot to read…but I promise it’s totally worth it. Apparently there’s some sort of giveaway at the end. So read on!
Also definitely take a look at my review of the first book which I have linked below….or you can look further back in my reviews!
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess—a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.
For ten years Theo has been captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.
Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon; her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.
For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.
There is one other thing, I need to mention before I get into what you all came for.
Just a little about the author, Laura Sebastian 🙂
About the Author:
Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories—many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her firsts book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.
After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still there and madly in love with it.
When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.
On to Lady Smoke
The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” (Bustle) , Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.
The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess—a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.
Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage—Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.
To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.
Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.
My thoughts: FAIR WARNING….I DO GET A BIT SPOILERY (SORRY)
I will admit to having some high expectations about the sequel to one of my favorite books of 2018. And this book beat those expectations by a mile!
This is definitely the perfect way to continue this incredible fantasy with a narrative of girls reclaiming themselves and fighting back against evil, this series is for you.
Lady Smoke picks up where we leave our fearless Queen at the end of Book 1. She and her “advisors” are aboard the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane’s ship. Dragonsbane is also her mother’s twin sister, so Theo isn’t as much of an orphan as she believed.
They are bound for a kingdom who offered them refuge, Sta’Crivero. When Theo finds out, they’re headed there with the purpose of finding her a husband. The deal that Dragonsbane struck with the King of Sta’Crivero was for a cut of Theo’s dowry in exchange for troops.
However throughout Astrean history there has never been a Queen who has taken a husband. All the while meeting with these suitors, Theo is trying to work out a plan that would get her country back without her having to marry.
If I have to choose one thing about this book that sticks out to me, it has to be the fact it is a sequel that lays out something new. The main characters set out on an all new quest, with raised stakes with the cliff hanger of Book 1, you couldn’t be certain you’d be satisfied. BUT YOU ARE. New dynamics have emerged between each of them. We even see further development into the characters themselves. It was something to see a different side to each. Even better is the way it ends. It’s an open ending (let’s just say L.Sebastian loves a cliff hanger) which is a perfect set up for the third book in this trilogy!
I need to mention something else that popped out to me as I read this. It was Laura Sebastian’s writing. She paints these vivid images, the way she gives us a look into the characters’ psyche and their innermost consciousness. It is so genuine and unique to each of her characters. For example, Theo’s problems were specific to her world and her character. Not to forget different from Artemisia’s or Erik’s.
Yes there is a bit of a love triangle in this book. However it is so faint you don’t really notice unless you’re looking for it specifically. It was like this book laid the ground work for the real choice, Theo will have to make in Book 3. So I suppose we shall see.
Overall, I’m giving this book 5/5 Stars. Seriously ya’ll go add it to your TBRs.
If you haven’t read Ash Princess yet I suggest that you do so!
Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy Book #2) Comes out February 5th, 2019!
I mentioned a giveaway didn’t I? Well here you are: 3 lucky winners will receive a finished copy of Lady Smoke, US ONLY.
I am only the fourth stop in this five week long blog story. So you’re interested in other thoughts, definitely stop by the other stops!
1/1/2019- To Be Read– Review
1/2/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Review
1/3/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
1/4/2019- Random Bookish Banter– Review
1/7/2019- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews– Review
1/8/2019- Jrsbookreviews– Review
1/9/2019- Omg Books and More Books– Review
1/10/2019- Fiction Fare– Review
1/11/2019- Du Livre– Review
1/14/2019- Loie Dunn– Review
1/15/2019- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review
1/16/2019- Paws and Paperbacks– Review
1/17/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review
1/18/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review
1/21/2019- Paper Reader– Review
1/22/2019- Adventures and Reading– Review
1/23/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review
1/24/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review
1/25/2019- YA Books Central– Interview
1/28/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review
1/29/2019- Colorimetry– Interview
1/30/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review
1/31/2019- Kat’s Books– Review
Happy Reading 🙂