Hello friends! This month has been crazy with travel and work and life and I’ve had no time to write any blogs (well, let’s be real, I’ve started like four blogs, but I haven’t finished any of them and I wrote one for an ARC review, but I’m not planning on posting it until next week because the book doesn’t come out until June 11). I have been reading but reading doesn’t always translate well to reviewing haha
Let’s talk about a book I read (listened to actually) this month that I was very very meh about- Lady Smoke! I enjoyed Ash Princess and I finished reading (again, listening to) it in April, so I started Lady Smoke as soon as I finished Ash Princess- not a great decision…
Ash Princess 3/5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
So this is the second time I’ve thought that a trilogy was actually a duology (the first was with Rebel in the Sands) so maybe this is a me thing, but like also, if you’re not obviously promoting your book as a trilogy, with the influx of duologies these days, I’m just going to assume that that’s what it is. That didn’t really change my rating very much, but it’s definitely something I wanted to make sure to call out.
Here’s why I actually rated it as a 3 star book- I was SO BORED throughout! I thought there was so much intrigue in book one and Theo grew so much as a character in book one, and book two was just like… there. I started and stopped the book so many times- I took a week or so break in the middle of listening to it to listen to music because I was that bored (and I really need something to hype me up in the car or else I’ll just decide never to leave my house). Also, how do you ***SPOILER ALERT*** kill off your main villain in book two when all of book one and pretty much all of book two were about trying to defeat said main villain??? I think having Cress kill the Kaiser would have been a great ending to book 3, but making her the villain in book two seemed… rushed.
I did like some of the characters we got to spend more time with in this book- Soren and Theo annoyed me, but I liked hanging out with our supporting characters. I’m definitely planning on reading book three (because book three looks like it can be promising for sure) but book two just wasn’t for me. Have y’all read Lady Smoke? What were your thoughts on it?