ARCs · Book Reviews

Daughter of Lies and Ruin by Jo Spurrier Review

If they didn’t want to get turned into beasts and used to fuel a ritual, they shouldn’t have attacked a witch. That’s all there is to it.

There’s something strange brewing in this tinder-dry forest – a girl with a sword and a secret, a troupe of vicious bandits vanished without a trace, beasts that don’t belong and a witch with a macabre plan.

Elodie hasn’t been learning witchcraft for long, but she knows enough to be worried, and the fact that her mentor Aleida wants to pack up and leave in short order isn’t helping to settle her nerves.

Elodie just hopes to get everyone out of this mess unharmed, but it’s looking more unlikely with every passing hour. And when the strange witch’s ire falls on her, Aleida’s wrath sparks a fire that threatens to scorch the earth itself

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

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, A Curse of Ash and Embers and was excited to be back in the world of the Blackbone Witches. I absolutely love our two main characters, Aleida and Elodie, and how magic works in this universe. In this book, Elodie is continuing her training as a witch when they’re attacked by bandits on the road, setting in motion a series of troubling and exciting events. Although I didn’t like the plot of this one as much as the first, it was still fun and full of action. It sort of felt like a transition book, setting up a bigger story arc for later in the series. I liked the new characters that were introduced, especially getting to see another type of witch. The ending was very cinematic and exhilarating, and while it wrapped up nicely, the story still has room to build and expand. I would definitely read on in this series and am looking forward to the next book!

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.