Book Review: A Heart of Blood and Ashes (A Gathering of Dragons #1) by Milla Vane

I swear within minutes of starting A Heart of Blood and Ashes I knew I was going to love it but I had no idea just how much. The world, the characters, the build... it was freaking fantastic!

Book Review: A Heart of Blood and Ashes (A Gathering of Dragons #1) by Milla Vane | About That Story
A Heart of Blood and Ashes (A Gathering of Dragons #1) by Milla Vane

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil--until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.

Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents' murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king's daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.

Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones--because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own...

5 out of 5 stars

A Heart of Blood and Ashes was an epic and intense adventure that was thrilling and exciting to read. I loved the drama and passion and the incredible build to Maddek and Yvenne coming together. From beginning to end I was hooked!

Maddek and Yvenne were phenomenal characters. They were so focused on what they wanted for their people, seeking vengeance, and fighting to make that happening. Together they were like fire and ice and I loved the challenge between them, their conflict, and banter. Yvenne was truly amazing. She had such a strong mind and was so determined. I loved watching her grow and fight for what she believed in. Maddek was brutal and unforgiving but full of passion, strength, and heart. I loved him opening up and trusting. Their building attraction was tense and angst-filled at times as well as smoking hot and I couldn’t get enough.

I love the vivid world Milla Vane created in this gritty, raw, and intense barbarian fantasy romance. It was exceptional with all the different realms, characters, alliances, politics, and rich history. It was incredibly detailed, elaborate, and very world-building. The descriptions of the lands, creatures, and magic that resided there were splendid. It was violent at times and drama-filled and it had really fantastic scenes and awesome fight sequences. I loved the intensity of those battles and swear at times I held my breath. It was action-packed! I loved Maddek’s warriors and how loyal they were, and the different bonds they had. I loved the bits of comic relief they brought to the story as well. I also loved the overall storyline of the Destroyer and learning about past battles and how that’s all being brought to the forefront. I can’t wait to find out what comes next since that storyline will continue.

I found this story to be all-consuming and am kicking myself for not starting it sooner. It was original and unique with outstanding characters with so much depth and heart. The build was incredible and I loved every single second! 

Book Review: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane | About That Story

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The Beast of Blackmoor (#0.5) - Amazon
A Heart of Blood and Ashes (#1) - Amazon
A Touch of Stone and Snow (#2) - Amazon
A Dance of Smoke and Steele (#3) - Amazon | Releases Jan. 25, 2022

What's the last book that completely blew you away? Let me know!

Book Review: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane | About That Story

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