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A Soul of Ash and Blood Book Review

Grace Alatalo

On July 18, 2023, the fifth book in the From Blood and Ash series was published. Fans had been anxiously waiting for its debut since the release date was announced. A Soul of Ash and Blood is the second to last book planned for the installment, with the final book set to release in May 2024.


People have been throwing out mixed emotions on the substance of the story.


Spoilers Ahead!!!


The book starts out right where we left off in The War of Two Queens, with Poppy having overthrown her mother. But all the primal power she’s exerted is too much for even her to handle. She falls into a stasis, and Cas is left to wonder when and if she’ll wake up. Although, he’s given some very important advice: talk to her. 


And that’s exactly what he does. He retells the story of how they met, divulging some key information about himself and their relationship as he goes. 


The Two Main Opinions


There are two main ways people are receiving Jennifer L. Armentrout’s newest work. 


On one side of the spectrum, they’re excited by the idea of the story from Cas’s point of view. Especially since the book is basically a retelling of From Blood and Ash, placing it high on the podium for fans who call that their favorite out of the series. It finally puts the spotlight on our favorite comedic love interest.


On the other hand, some people feel as though it was unnecessary, and just a desperate “cash grab” from Armentrout. They see it as being better off as a novella, mainly since the series was supposed to be a trilogy to begin with. A lot of people are starting to lose interest in the series, so this was an attempt to bring back readers, which a lot of people didn’t enjoy. Fans’ attention spans are already being cut short as it is, and lengthening the wait for the conclusion to the series isn’t helping. 


My Thoughts


Personally, I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was very well written and definitely one of Armentrout’s best first chapters to date. Seeing the events unfold from Cas’s point of view really helped to develop the story more. It even made me fall for the couple all over again by revisiting how in love Poppy and Cas were.


I really liked seeing From Blood and Ash from Cas’s perspective, and would honestly prefer the next book be written like that, or include a few chapters with his input. The writing was definitely up to par with Armentrout’s usual work, even exceeding some of my expectations with beautiful figurative language descriptions and charged dialogues.


Nevertheless, I do see why people have been looking down on it. Only a few moments throughout the book are set in the present, and even when they are, not much is revealed. Most of the writing is centered around things we already know such as how torn Cas was between saving his brother and keeping the love of his life safe. This definitely could’ve been skipped or turned into a novella. But I might be a little bit biased since I just want to see how Poppy and Cas’s story ends, without ruining it with endless amounts of useless writing.


One thing I know for sure is as soon as the final book comes out, I’ll be one of the first people to read it.

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About the Contributor
Grace Alatalo, Reporter
Grace Alatalo is part of the Oakmont Class of 2027. This is her first year being a part of The Oakmonitor team. She was a member of the school’s girls’ JV soccer team in the fall, and is also a part of creative writing club. In her free time, she enjoys writing stories and reading, as well as spending time with her dog. “My mother always used to say: The older you get, the better you get, unless you’re a banana.” —Rose (Betty White), The Golden Girls

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    Maria AlataloDec 1, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Great opinion piece Grace!