Book: Memories of Ash (Sunbolt Chronicles 2) by Intisar Khanani
Release Date: May 30th 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Other books in this series I reviewed
Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series
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.
Sometimes writing a positive review can be harder than to write a negative review. Which is what I experienced when it came to this review. What can one say about an enjoyable book with solid writing? I still tried.
Compared to the first book Memories of Ash is almost three times as big which was a great way to further establish Hitomi and the world. Throughout this book we travel through a portion of the world and gather a bit more insight on the workings of the mages. There is a high council, a school, spell cursed lands and even a mythical creature.
The writing flows well and there is always something happening. But sometimes I missed a little crackle of excitement in the writing. Hitomi is an incredibly level headed character who in general is not very easily shaken by the events. She plans and when they fail she finds another way or faces the consequences of her actions. That on the one hand is such a breath of fresh air. She doesn’t complain. She takes it as it is. That doesn’t mean she has no emotions. But as she is still recovering from her memory loss she stands more so in the present then being completely bogged down by the past. It is there, what she still remembers. But I feel that the present has garnered more importance to her. But on the other hand it sometimes pushes away the crackle of excitement because she doesn’t view the events that way.
Her past does catch up to her in this book again. Through old enemies, her mother and old friends. And of course there is our valiant Val again. I caught on early that there was going to be a connection of sorts between them, and I was sad to see it took Hitomi quite a bit longer. I’m not sure how to feel about Val in this book. He still remains a bit aloof I suppose.
There is no romance. There is potential there for it to happen in later books, but mostly there are bonds being developed. And Hitomi is relearning bits about herself. So romance really isn’t needed at this point in her story, if it is even needed at any point. Whatever way it goes, I’m here for it both. I can ship the potentials I see but if it doesn’t happen that is fine too.