BOOK REVIEW: An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

I received an ARC for this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

If absolutely nothing else, the initial blurb of this book is enough to make me grab it off the shelf. Dark things happening! There was a war! Ugly truths! Risks being taken and secrets being kept! Woo! What more could a reader ask for?!

This book is what.

Let me be honest with you. The plot for this book is not surprising. Many of the twists I saw coming, and it all wraps up the way one might expect. But this is what pushed it from a 4-star review to a 5-star.

The characters.

Hallie and Marthe are a brilliant duo of sisters, desperately trying not to live down to the reputation of their family, and failing every step of the way. They are younger women trying to hold down a farm by themselves, trying to prove they are worth the farm, trying to prove they are worth themselves. They each have their father’s temper in spades, though it comes out in different ways, and they haven’t quite figured out how to talk to each other as something approximating adults yet.

The farms around them, their friends and supports, are well-rounded without being overpowering.  The romance arc that grows with Hallie feels natural and exactly as awkward as it should, there’s a natural diversity represented without it ever being Presented As Diversity (in fact, it took me several mentions to realize what I was reading), and they’re never treated as one-note “just here for the sake of being here” characters.

And then there’s Heron.

In any book, when a quiet stranger is introduced at the beginning and clearly set up to be Not Important, you know they’re the ones to watch. Heron is absolutely no different. I can’t quite put a finger on what it was about this character that so completely trapped me, but every time he was around, my eyes were on him. There was such a sense of being genuine, such a quiet strength, a silent sense of honor…I don’t know. But Heron was an amazing character and I loved every minute of him. He was real, and he was complex, and he was wonderful. I wish I had better words to tell you why.

Character is one of the most important pieces of a story for me. It’s one of the pieces I will always focus the most on. Leah Bobet has absolutely nailed the art of subtle and real characters, and for that alone, this book is well worth the read.

Rating: ***** – Highest Recommendation 

AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES hits shelves October 4th, 2015.


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