ARCs · Book Reviews

A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier Review

A dead witch. A bitter curse. A battle of magic.

Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.

But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it’s Elodie’s job to clean up the mess.

When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.

Gyssha’s final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie’s help, whether she likes it or not.

And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it’s still better than going back home.

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review!*

A Curse of Ash and Embers was an absorbing YA fantasy novel and I fell in love with the world of the Blackbone witches. The story was beautifully told through the eyes of Elodie, who is hired as a servant at Black Oak Cottage, under her mysterious mistress, Aleida. Elodie was an easy character to connect to. She had a quiet strength and a loyal and empathetic heart. Her journey throughout the novel was great, and I can’t wait to see how she grows in the next book. Aleida Blackbone was a fierce witch and I loved her. She has a cold demeanor, but you can see underneath that she has warmth and a huge sense of compassion inside her. She struggles a lot with her past actions and I thought that the layers of her character were fantastic. I loved the progression of her relationship with Elodie and the strength they drew from each other. The world-building was really cool and I only wish we could have gotten more into how their magic works (which I’m thinking we might get in the next book..). There were a few twists that I saw coming, and a few that I didn’t, which was fun and exciting. I really enjoyed this quick, witchy read, and I will definitely be continuing on in the series.

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