This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Elena May. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Kingdom of Ashes by Elena May
Series: Nightfall #1
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Release Date: October 30, 2016
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: ARC, E-book
Source: Author, Elena May
Purchase at: Amazon
Myra never witnessed the Nightfall. She has only heard stories from the eldest among them; tales of the Old World and of the scientists who invented the WeatherWizard—a technological innovation that controls the weather. Unfortunately, the device also gave an ambitious vampire prince the means to cover the world in impenetrable clouds, allowing his armies to crawl out of their caves and conquer all.
Vampires rule over the New World, breeding humans for food. After fifty years of guerrilla warfare, the Resistance is fading, its supplies dwindling. They must rally and succeed—and soon—or all hope of restoring human civilization will be lost.
When Myra goes on a desperate mission to help the Resistance, she ends up a captive in the vampires’ palace. With time running out, she must find a way to stop Prince Vladimir, and every wrong step leads to the death of innocents. Her battle abilities prove useless, but Myra discovers she has another skill that can give her an edge over her captors. Now, Myra must defeat the vampire leader at a power game he has been playing for almost two millennia.
Utterly alluring and remarkable! This story was set in a dystopian future where humanity is at the brink of annihilation. When I started this book I was struck by how Ms. May created a terrifying reality for humans who survived a harrowing extermination attempt. I so enjoyed the attention to detail that explained the positions of both the side of the vampires and the humans in this conflict. I was drawn to feel compassion for both species in this war and it can be compared to many past events that have occurred in our own histories.
Myra is a great character. She is naïve and overly confident and that leads her into absolute disaster. I enjoy her naiveté because given her role in the world she is living in I think she is spot on. She would be idealistic and hopeful having not truly experienced her reality beyond the caves but when she is faced with reality she develops into a ninja of subterfuge and I love it! Throughout everything she strives to maintain her humanity and keep her number one goal in mind.
The relationship between Prince Vladimir and Myra reminded me strongly of the relationship between Scheherazade and Shahryar from One Thousand and One Nights or as often known in English as the Arabian Nights. The parallel that I see is that Vlad spared the life of Myra because she captured his interest through a skill she exhibited and it is this skill set that he has become invested in and in turn keeps her alive. If you are unfamiliar with that story there is also a similarity with Wesley from The Princess Bride and the Dread Pirate Roberts. Who doesn’t love that book??
Very interesting that Vlad has such a focus on Myra. I spent much time trying to figure out what it was that he wanted from her. What was he preparing her for? Was it as simple as what they were suggesting? I loved that I did not know for sure! It was also a bit frustrating and confusing because it was so outside the norm for this genre but it was clearly what kept me fascinated! I found it appealing that there was so much focus on her unique skill set. I enjoyed that the focus was not fleeting and that there was much discussion and building around the subject. I am sorry to be speaking in such vague terms but it is a large part of the overall story development and I cringe to give it away. This was an amazing debut novel and I encourage you all to give this first installment in the Nightfall series a try. It is sure to delight you!
*Thank you to Author Elena May for this eARC of Kingdom of Ashes*