Saturday, May 2, 2015

From The Ashes~Shelby K Morrison | Review

Title: From the Ashes (Legend of the Liberator #1)
Author: Shelby K. Morrison
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 285 Pages
Release: May 2015
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

For eighteen years Aia Wynnald has lived a lie. Raised as a highborn in the Kingdom of Tharien, she’s filled her days with tutors and archery lessons. But simmering beneath her polite surface is a dangerous gift, one which she must keep a secret. Aia is a Bender. And in Tharien, Benders are feared and hunted.
When her unruly power breaks free with dire repercussions, Aia’s lifelong goal of independence shatters. As she scrambles to piece her life back together while evading capture, she disturbs a vengeful force intent on destroying the kingdom.
Now, with the help of an unlikely ally, Aia will decide the fate of Tharien. To rescue those she cares about will require accepting what she is. But can she risk becoming the monster she’s dreaded to save the very citizens baying for her blood?

If you've read the excerpt I posted on my blog March 1st, then you already know that this story begins with action. It doesn't let up much throughout either. It is truly an excellent read. 

Shelby K Morrison certainly knows how to weave a compelling story. The writing here was beautifully done. The world building was superb. Fantasy is my favorite genre and world building is always what has me wary of a new read. There are so many that promise greatness just to fall flat. That's certainly not the case here. The magic system with the Benders and their special abilities is developed and explored as the story progresses, so nothing is thrown at you all at once. The descriptions of the world and society are woven very nicely through the story.

The characters were all beautifully portrayed and their struggles were so real. You could feel what they were feeling, understand their emotions, and wanted to be there helping them along. Most of the book is spent with Aia as she faces her once suppressed abilities and must decide where she stands with the Tharien. Does she try to protect them from the evil that would see them destroyed? Or should she turn her back on the people that have tossed her away? Her development as she faces these challenges is beautiful.

The rest of the characters are just as excellent. Cole, a Breaker (the people who track down Benders), is one of my absolute favorites. There is so much going on within his head. His loyalties are split in so many different directions and he faces some really hard decisions. Watching him grow was one of the highlights of this story.

The Kingdom is on the edge of destruction as a force of great power returns to exact revenge. All of the characters must decide where their loyalties lie and who they will fight for. There are some excellent action sequences throughout the novel that had me flipping page after page. It was a hard book to put down.  

If you're a fan of fantasy novels, this is one to pick up. The ending is perfect for the first book in a series. Enough of the main conflict is resolved so that it stands well on its own, but enough is left open to keep you interested in book two. No over done cliffhanger here. I am very excited to see where the story will take us next.

So go read this book. You won't regret it.

Buy your copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble.
Shelby K. Morrison is the author of Shattered, devout member of the Pointless Research Addicts support group, and was voted Most Likely to Be President in high school. She believes fiction should be an escape and any great escape involves a world of wonder, characters you wish you knew, and good food. She can usually be found in three places; her office, the couch or....well just those two unless an overcast day calls her out of doors. She has a particular weakness for animals, Studio Ghibli movies, and Flamin' Hot Cheetos (resulting in a frequently stained keyboard). She is not opposed to tokens of appreciation, particularly edible ones. But if you really want to make her smile, drop her a line! 

You can visit Shelby online in the following ways:


  1. I honestly loved this book and I'm not much of a reader myself! The characters were just developed so well, especially Cole! I can't wait for the next book :)

    1. I loved Cole too! His story was just great. I am so excited for the next book! There are so many things that could happen!