Published by Voyager on November 3, 2018
Series: Tales of the Blackbone Witches #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
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.
Praise for Winter Be My Shield:'Unlikely heroes, villains you will cheer for, and cold that eats your bones. "Winter Be My Shield" will take you to an unforgiving place, but you won't want to leave it.' Robin Hobb
A Curse of Ash and Embers is the first book in the Tales of the Blackbone Witches series by Jo Spurrier. I would classify the Tales of Blackbone Witches series as an upper young adult fantasy series with new adult and adult crossover appeal. I think this novel was a really good start to what seems like it will be a very interesting series. I enjoyed the plot of A Curse of Ash and Embers and I became very invested in the characters. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen with them in the next installment.
In A Curse of Ash and Embers, we meet our main characters Elodie and Aleida, who find themselves as an unlikely pair on a journey to try and help Aleida from a predicament that she finds herself in. I liked the mysterious air surrounding the story, from the initial letter that Elodie receives which led her to her current job at Blackbone Cottage to the warring witches and warlocks that might be pulling some strings throughout, there is enough unanswered questions to keep my interest level high throughout the story. I appreciated that mysterious element because the pacing of this story felt a bit slow at times. There are certainly action packed moments and scenes, which were some of my favorite, but a majority of the story takes place surrounding the cottage, which sometimes made me feel like not a whole lot was happening. It didn’t bother me much because it allowed me to get to know Elodie and Aleida rather well. Character driven readers will enjoy that aspect of A Curse of Ash and Embers.
I loved how different Elodie and Aleida are at first glance. Elodie has suffered a few forms of abuse at home and she is not well connected within her community. Aleida by outward appearances is much more self assured and confident, but she too has suffered from someone else controlling her, though it is a different type of manipulation in her case. Either way, watching them come together, learn from each other and help each other was my favorite aspect of this story. I can’t wait to see it developed further in the next book. This was a great fantasy story that is full of magic and gives off fairytale vibes. I think readers of fairytale inspired fantasy will really enjoy A Curse of Ash and Embers. I can’t wait for the next book.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2020