Book Review: Rain of Ash by Gwen Mitchell


The energy and atmosphere of Rain of Ash takes me back to the days where I was well into Wicca stories and films like the The Craft (I really wanted to do magic!), and so delving into a coven-based story was a welcome treat - I haven't read anything in the genre for a long time. This is far more adult than The Craft, which is welcomed, but still massively nostalgic personally. I loved pretty much everything; Gwen Mitchell's style is exciting and all the magic, and crossing planes and time and spells and minutiae of the world Bri Spurrier inhabits - or re-inhabits - pulses making me all cosy for the world which ignited old memories. On introduction Briana is pretty messed up, for good reason, and her arc throws her about all over the place; she does an epic job of staying sane. Though I didn't agree with the way she handled certain things, and then went a bit wet with the love thing, I let her off due to, well, basically her entire life. Rough times. But I hope to see her character strengthen in the sequel, she sounds like she might just become mega, and the whole Skydancer thing could be epic. The supporting characters are layered enough to give a good sense of who they are and where they fit in the world, and my absolute favourite was Geri. Fab lady, really enjoyed her scenes and her take-no-bull-get-on-with-it attitude (Scottish!). I enjoyed the scenes with Aldric too; the conflict and complexity was great on the page, though he was only in it now and again up until the point, it was a strong relationship. The main gripe I had, and it is very likely purely a matter of taste, was Kean. He grated me something rotten. To me passion is one thing and possession another, and unfortunately he was on the wrong side of it every time for me. I'm all for a good chunk of sex in books too, but I think all the scenes that were tender or fiery lost something because I didn't take to him. He was quite the hypocrite in parts, the catalyst of my rage, which wouldn't have been so bad if he'd been called on it, but he wasn't, so there was no redemption for me. Lucas was OK too, kind of the middle ground guy. Eric was much more to my taste and seemed to think much more about Bri, rather than himself, than any of the other love interests. But the point is, as you may have noticed, characters should make you feel something, love, hate, it doesn't matter. I clearly didn't forget them in a hurry. Overall, I loved the atmosphere and the drive, and it's got a bit of everything you want in an adult fantasy novel in good balance. I got through it quickly and it kept my interest the whole way (and though I disliked Kean I didn't skip those parts!). I definitely revisit, it's a great opener for a new world of magic. Yet another indie author who is going places!


Read Gwen Mitchell's author interview and find her on her website and Goodreads!


- JOT

Loyal Lyre
An Indie Publisher
www.loyal-lyre.uk
info@loyal-lyre.uk
Gloucestershire, UK

©Jessica O'Toole 2020