The cover isn´t as beautiful as the other one, though it looks quite nice. It looks more grown-up, more severe and though the German edition has the same cover motive than the original edition, the picture shown is a bit different. And it fits the design of book one of this dilogy very well. Of course, I had to read and see how the story between Aurora and Finnegan would continue and how everything would unfold. And it was a bit different how things became and at the beginning, I thought this could be a higher star rating. But in the end, it turned out to be something else.

Kingdom Of Ashes*
by Rhiannon Thomas
A Wicked Thing #2
Publisher Harper Teen on February 23, 2016
Genre Children 14+
Pages 368
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

Aurora was supposed to be her kingdom´s savior. But when she was forced to decide between being loyal to the crown and loyal to her country, she set events in motion that branded her a traitor. Now, hunted by the king´s soldiers, Aurora´s only chance of freeing her kingdom from the king´s tyrannical rules is by learning to control her magic. But Aurora´s powers come at a price – one that forces her to leave the only home she´s ever known, one that demands she choose between the man she loves and the people she seeks to protect, and one that will cause her to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before … and uncover the truth about her destiny.
Aurora isn´t used hiding and seeking shelter in the open. She doesn´t know how to make a fire, how to find food without stealing it, or where to go to be safe. And when she follows her instincts, she discovers the fatal truth that her ability is far more dangerous than she ever thought. And for an untrained person quite deadly. She has no choice but to take the help that is offered to her and find her own way to save her kingdom and her people.

To be honest, during reading this book I sometimes thought, nice idea but it wasn´t necessary at all or needed. This is a story that has nothing to do anymore with the fairytale about Sleeping Beauty. Yes, the basics are still there, but mostly this book is about war, blood, intrigue, and a young woman who has no clue how to survive in the world. Stripped from everything she knows, she is forced to trust people she barely knows, and to do things she never imagined she would. The author describes all that in a soft, but simple tone and language with some very brutal and bloody scenes. And there are plenty of them. Sure, there is some romance shining through the pages and it becomes very clear that there will be somehow a Happy Ending. But the how and why is anything but.

Don´t expect great depth or very profound characters. Or that they will reveal a deeper meaning to everything that happens. No, this is a show of two figures who do everything they believe is right and will help their cause. Nothing bad, no, not very haunting or fascinating either.

Aurora is born to be a princess and to become a queen. But not during the century she was born. It takes her quite some time to learn that she was raised with many lies, that not every story she heard or read was true or written down the way everything really happened. She is strong-willed, yes, and she knows how to handle people and to play her natural authority if she has to, but not in an elegant or very diplomatic way.

Okay, I gave it a half star more, but that means still, that I see this novel as an average story. There is nothing outstanding here, and although it was a nice read with some very good scenes, I can´t give it more stars than I do. A nice to look at cover doesn´t make the novel itself better. Sorry, but that is how I feel about it.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release by Fischer Sauerländer June 22, 2017 

Rhiannon Thomas
Rhiannon Thomas ©Sodium Ltd

Rhiannon Thomas is an English Lit grad from Princeton University. She currently lives in York, England, in the shadow of a thirteenth-century Gothic cathedral. When she isn´t lost in YA fantasy, she writes about feminism and the media on her blog.


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