Review of Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani

Guys! Guess what? Today we have Memories of Ash, the second book in the Sunbolt Chronicles by author Intisar Khanani! I loved the first book Sunbolt and I have been waiting for so long for the follow-up. I received an advanced copy of Memories from the author in exchange for an honest review and I also pre-ordered the book because I must have eeeet.

Read on to know more about the book and check out my review! Plus Intisar Khanani is having a giveaway, so enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire or a $50 Amazon gift card. Yayyyy.

Memories of Ash Intisar KhananiAbout Memories of Ash

In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter.

When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery. If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

Memories of Ash releases on May 30! 

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Incredible heroine, amazing fantasy world, awesome story

I read this book in one night. I just couldn’t put it down. I absolutely LOVED it. And I still love it. I’ll probably read it again a few more times like I did with the first book Sunbolt. This really is one of my favorite fantasy series of all time.

I really love this series. It’s ingenious and creative. Intisar Khanani’s prose is beautiful. The world building is fantastic. And the characters are unique, complex, strong, and perfectly imperfect, especially our dear Hitomi. Memories of Ash is an excellent follow-up that I dare say can even stand on its own. 

I finished the book in one night but I’ve been sitting on this review for days because I just couldn’t get my thoughts together for this post. After days of staring at the draft on my blog dashboard, I decided to just try to talk about the book in terms of the main things that I love in fantasy novels.

5 Things I Love About Memories of Ash

#1 – The characters are strong, especially the main character. I love Hitomi. She’s street smart, brave and strong but not indestructible. She isn’t perfect but has such a strong sense of honor and integrity. She’s someone you would root for from start to finish. The rest of the characters are also interesting, diverse and complex. I love it when there are so many interesting characters who play significant roles in the story. I think the characters in Memories are well-developed even if they seem minor or don’t figure in too many scenes. You get an idea of their motivations so you can somehow understand a bit why they do what they do. I also love Intisar Khanani’s take on familiar beings like lycans, vampires, shapeshifters, fey, among others. It’s different and refreshing.

#2 – The magic system is fascinating. Though it’s not really explained in the book, the magic system is unique and inexplicable, and yet makes sense somehow. The way Hitomi uses her talent is different from how others do it and that just makes her even more interesting and maybe even more powerful. I think we’ll know just how much in the next book!

#3 – The world building is amazing. The book takes us to different places and cultures. We go to valleys and forests, to dead lands and deserts, different cities, magic schools and more. The fantasy world in Memories of Ash or in the series itself is so vast and impressive, and how Intisar Khanani describes scenes really transports you to those places and you can’t help but become immersed in everything.

#4 – The story is ingenious. It’s creative, exciting and just keeps you reading. Seriously, it’s pretty awesome.

#5 – The writing is beautiful. This is one of the things I love about the author’s books. From her first novel Thorn, to The Bone Knife, Sunbolt and now Memories of Ash, her writing has only gotten stronger and better in my opinion. It’s clear, descriptive and flows easily. All of her books are such quick reads. So you can see, I’m a massive fan. I ordered Sunbolt and Memories of Ash after I read them so that I have them forever on my tablet and I can go back to them anytime I feel like it.

If you’re a fan of fantasy and just of great stories about strong heroines doing their thing, then you might enjoy this book!

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

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Read my review of Sunbolt.

Read an excerpt from Memories of Ash

“It needs a meal,” the mage says, voice rasping, “and it won’t be me.”

He yanks me off balance. I cry out, jerking away from him and lashing out with my glowstone. I manage to smack him hard across the face, but then his boot comes between my feet. For a sickening moment I teeter on the edge of the stairs.

Get back!

I barely register the words ringing in my mind before the mage shoves me, hard. I swallow a scream, throwing my arms up to shield my head as I fall. I slam down the stairs, bouncing toward the mass of tentacles.

Feet first—get your feet first!

I follow the shouted advice mindlessly, twisting my body as I come to a stop amidst a tangle of three or four great tentacles.

Don’t move.

Someone is talking inside my head, and it’s not me. Somehow, that’s almost worse than lying surrounded by the talons of a nightmare monster. Almost.

About Intisar Khanani

Khanani_Author_Photo Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.

Intisar’s current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, an epic series following a street thief with a propensity to play hero when people need saving, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.

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2 thoughts on “Review of Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani”

  1. What a fantastic review–thank you so much, Leah! I beyond thrilled that you enjoyed Memories of Ash so much, and found so much to love about it. And thank you for all your support, for Memories of Ash for each book before that. You are so awesome and kind!


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