Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on October 6, 2015
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The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.
When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.
(WARNING: To my Southern friends- I may use a couple of Northern slang words in place of ”awesome” or ”super cool”. I don’t know why. Can you spot them?)
I’m not really a Fantasy fan but damn, this book was wicked good.
An Inheritance of Ashes is one of the BEST BOOKS I’ve read so far this year. I was completely taken by the atmospheric story world and the haunting characters. Hallie, the female protagonist, is fantastically developed and I was addicted to her internal monologue. The supporting characters are equally stellar and they all fit together like a technicolor cast from an old Western television show with a couple unexpected character dynamics.
There’s a wee bit of romance that satisfied my sweet tooth for it and added another interesting layer to the main character’s already complicated life. I always find it interesting to see how characters/people handle something like romantic feelings or romantic relationships in the midst of life and death crisis.
“Tyler’s lips moved, weird and living, against mine; small, infinitesimal spaces meeting and parting. His fingers leafed lightly along my cheek, warm in their knit woolen gloves. I fought the sudden urge to lean against them; fought and equal urge to pull away and run. My mouth flooded with the taste of him: soup-sweet and faintly metallic with fear. The world shrank to fingertip details, and then he broke and stepped away from me.”
The dialect, mannerisms and story world painted a picture of the Civil War era with dystopian overtones. The strange, fantasy like elements start to seep into the story quickly and it is such a satisfying and smart juxtaposition the author works throughout the novel.
The pace of the novel breeds the perfect levels of anticipation and curiosity. I didn’t want to put this book down. The story progresses with the same kind of delicious intensity and suspense of a Stephen King novel.
Leah Bobet’s writing voice was sick. There’s this musical, poetic rhythm to her writing that forced me to read out loud on more than one occasion so I could feel the magical sentences on my lips.
“White stains roped around the sides of the tree, and where they spread, the wood buckled and fissured deep. There were strange flowers growing through those cracks: moon-bright, delicate white, their striped petals warm and glowing. They’d brought the tree into leaf out of season: a full head of brilliant green glittered on the branches, each leaf half uncurled when it had frozen solid. It was an incandescent nightmare, awful and beautiful, begging to be touched.”
An Inheritance of Ashes really set the “October” mood for me with its creepiness and bad-ass syntax. Definitely one of the best fiction books I’ve read this year and one of those books that I will force the hubs to read because it’s so dang good. ENTER TO WIN a finished copy of An Inheritance of Ashes BELOW!
3 winners will receive a finished copy of AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES. US Only.
And just for fun:
The whole feel of An Inheritance of Ashes was like the theme song for AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies and a couple of other songs by The Civil Wars, Laura Marling and Johnny Cash. I listened to these artists while reading the book because it really set the mood for me. You can have a listen of the more instrumental version of TURN’s theme song below and some of the other songs from my reading soundtrack.
Leah Bobet is a bookseller, publisher, and editor as well as a Pushcart-Prize nominated author.
She lives in Toronto.
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