Kingdom of Ash and Soot

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Title: Kingdom of Ash and Soot

Author: C.S. Johnson

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Romance

Pages: 299

Blurb: In an age of political unrest and racial divide, one girl's search for truth will determine the future of her kingdom.

   Prague, 1870 

   For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother's household, dreaming of the day she will be free to live life on her own terms. 

    But when her estranged grandmother, Lady Penelope, comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria, everything changes. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup, and Lady Penelope, as the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, is determined to discover the perpetrators. When she offers Eleanora the chance to help her prevent the kingdom from falling apart, she is hesitant to trust her. And while joining means freedom from her stepmother and protecting the people of Prague, Eleanora knows her life will never be the same--or her own. 

   Can she find a way to be free and still do the right thing? Or will joining the Order only lead to disaster?

Rating: 4/5

Cover: A

Review: I have a lot to say about this novel. There is nothing bad to say for the first half of this story. The characters were strong and relatable, the story held my attention the entire time. The pace was perfect, and I flew through the chapters with ease. I had high hopes since the story is based in Prague.

Eleanora is a strong character, and I can relate to things that she had gone through. Her perseverance was admirable.

However, the last half of the story, I found that my attention wasn't held firmly the whole time. I will say though...the ending...GREAT, but leading up to that point, I was disappointed. I still give this story 4 out of 5 stars.

There are little too much politics for me in the story. So, since I’m not political, my attention wavered.

And, I do question the integrity and importance of the Orders of Crystal Daggers.

The cover gets an A. Eleanora is centered and beautiful. The typography is stunning and attention grabbing.
I do highly recommend this story to everyone.