I was sent this book for an honest review by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by receiving this book.
Kingdom of Ash and Soot by C.S. Johnson
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Published July 3rd, 2018 by Prodigy Gold Books
“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.
“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.” Lady Penelope held up her hands, brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts. “This world lives enslaved to its destruction, and so long as you are living, as long as you are fighting, you will be free.”
I gazed at the daggers, transfixed. Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard, but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me, as though it was calling for me.
For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.
But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup. As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators. Now, Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of others.
Can Eleanora find a way to do the right thing and still find freedom?
What I thought
I really enjoyed this book. Then again I love Regency/Victorian era books so this one was perfect for me. This story is a loose retelling of Cinderella with political intrigue and family secrets. In this story, Ben and Elenora are servants in their stepmother’s house when their grandmother Lady POW shows up at their door. Their lives have changed forever as they learn about the Order of the Crystal Daggers and decide what future they want to embrace.
There were some places in the story where the pacing began to lag; however, it would pick back up. Also, Elenora was a bit naive and seemed to be the only one that did not see certain things coming. The sibling bond between Ben and Elenora was really nice you can tell how much they truly care for one another.
I enjoyed this enough that I am looking forward to purchasing a physical copy. If you like Regency/Victorian era books, political intrigue, and witty banter you should give this book a try.
My Rating: /5