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    Absolutely Loved it!

    Absolutely loved it! Hitomi is not one of those gorgeous, perfect, kick-ass heroines - she is smart, resourceful and determined. She wins some powerful allies along the way by impressing them with her high morals and selfless nature. I loved how Hitomi never gives up and uses all of her abilities and resources to get out of difficult situations. I loved the world that Ms Khanani has created with mages, werewolves, and breathers. However, it is the characters and their authentic, powerful relationships that make me love this series so much. If you love stories that are well paced and beautifully written, with strong, unforgettable characters, a suspenseful & unpredictable plot and amazing world-building, then this book is perfect for you! I eagerly await the next book in the series. Highly recommended!
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    Fantastic sequel, looking forward to the next!

    Memories of Ash (MoA) is a fantastic sequel to the first book Sunbolt. The book starts out with a slow burning suspense which builds and builds to boiling point by 3/4th of the book. It literally had me screaming. It is a thrilling story filled with intrigue, magic, fantasy creatures and interesting places, all well described by the author. Intisar Khanani is a very good storyteller, who drops unsuspecting hints here and there, that after reading this book, I went back and reread parts of Sunbolt. This book has a really nice fantasy vibe; you can really picture this world of the Eleven Kingdoms, and there are also nice touches of humor in this book. Hitomi is back, even though not all of her memory is. I feel the author handled this in a believable way. From how Sunbolt ended, we got the impression that Mistress Stormwind would be a good teacher to Hitomi. And she was, so much so that when Stormwind is called to face charges brought against her by Blackfame, the enemy of the Shadow League, Hitomi decides to save her from certain imprisonment. Hitomi is a very likable, well rounded character, whose attributes and flaws play very well into the story. Here is my take on the book: Hitomi is very brave. In this book she does a lot things that I felt were suicidal, yet she had the guts to plan and attempt them. She is once again a very caring character who cares about saving people's lives, and she doesn't give up which is so inspiring. Her take on magical spells is so unconventional that she leaves people around her shocked. She seriously knows how to think on her feet. Her flaws walk hand in hand with her attributes. Hitomi has a bit of a savior-complex. She feels it is her job to save everybody. In this book, She wants to save Stormwind, to save a source slave, to save one of Blackfame's mage etc. This savior complex is very dangerous because it borders on pride, and I worry it may one day be used by her enemies to set a trap for her. She's also a bit shortsighted, not preparing for the long term consequences of her actions. I don't think she has considered how her deception will affect other people's lives, emotions and jobs. I think the scene with the truth spell is a great picture of what I'm trying to say. Furthermore, I feel she harshly judges the president of the High council, High mage Talon, because Talon has the foresight to prepare for the consequences of her actions while Hitomi does not. As someone who has criticized those in power and then to be criticized myself as a leader, I wonder if Hitomi will learn that the former is very easy while the latter is very hard. I also wonder whether she will come to realize that someone not doing things your way doesn't make them wrong or you right. I believe if Hitomi would consider her own flaws and the wrong things she has done in order to save lives, she may be more understanding of Talon. I look forward to seeing more of Talon's storyline, especially given revelations that come to light about Stormwind. Nevertheless, Hitomi's is a very likable character because there is a real selflessness about her. I'm excited to see her take on things and to watch her grow, which I have no doubt she will in her unconventional manner . This brings me to my next point about what else I liked about MoA. Every character, whether we meet them for only one chapter, carries some sort of intrigue around them. This is the case with Talon and other characters like Nightblade, Hitomi's mother etc. However the most interesting character is Val, the breather we met in Sunbolt, I'm so happy he's interwoven into MoA because I felt that his and Hitomi's escape from Kol tower in Sunbolt was the most intense experience of that whole book. Even more revelations and mystery arise where Val is concerned. One thing that has been making me ponder is Hitomi saying (about Val): "I'd forgotten how tall he is, forgotten the inhuman grace with which he moves, forgotten those eyes. I'm no longer sure I should meet them as naively as I did a year ago when he was my only ally ……" Hmmm……(a little smile on my lips) I received an early review copy from the author in return for an honest review. This has not in any way influenced my review.
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