If you haven’t read the Nyxia trilogy by Scott Reintgen, what are you doing with your life?! Scott Reintgen’s work deserves so much more attention than its getting, and I won’t get tired to spread the word about his amazing skills to write the most exciting YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy competitions!
Everyone who loves the Hunger Games, Divergent or The Maze Runner, YOU NEED TO READ THE NYXIA TRILOGY. And after you are hooked, just as I am, immediately pick the first book in his new YA duology – «Ashlords»!
Every year since the Ashlords were gifted phoenix horses by their gods, they’ve raced them. First into battle, then on great hunts, and finally for the pure sport of seeing who rode the fastest. Centuries of blood and fire carved their competition into a more modern spectacle: The Races.
Over the course of a multi-day event, elite riders from clashing cultures vie to be crowned champion. But the modern version of the sport requires more than good riding. Competitors must be skilled at creating and controlling phoenix horses made of ash and alchemy, which are summoned back to life each sunrise with uniquely crafted powers to cover impossible distances and challenges before bursting into flames at sunset. But good alchemy only matters if a rider knows how to defend their phoenix horse at night. Murder is outlawed, but breaking bones and poisoning ashes? That’s all legal and encouraged.
In this year’s Races, eleven riders will compete, but three of them have more to lose than the rest–a champion’s daughter, a scholarship entrant, and a revolutionary’s son. Who will attain their own dream of glory? Or will they all flame out in defeat?
Thank you Netgalley and Crown Books for Young Readers – Random House Children’s for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.
Scott Reintgen has done it again! The competitions he sets up in his books are the most exciting, dangerous and exhilarating reading experiences, and I just want to read them over and over again, as the adrenaline pumps in my veins, worrying about the fate of the main characters.
WHAT I LIKED:
1 – There is nothing better than a fantasy story with a lot of political intrigues, scheming and thirst for freedom, power or both! The «Ashlords» has it all:
- The vast, battered with history world;
- Different power groups and their political schemes.
- The invaders. The oppressors and the rebellion forces.
- Three different nations forced to live under the same Empire:
Ashlords – the beautiful marvels of the world, perfect in their skin, worshippers of different deities who have helped them to achieve the victory.
Dividian – initially the invaders, but now subjugated and forced to bow before the Ashlords and their gods.
Our people sailed to their land centuries ago, intending to conquer. Only we failed. With the help of their gods, the Ashlords defeated our ancestors. We were stranded on foreign soil, and the Ashlords forced us to bow to them.
Longhand – the rebellious nation that grouped together under the Reach, and who refuse to give up their last hope for freedom.
2 – My second favorite element of the story and also what Scott Reintgen does masterfully is the competition. For over a century the Races take place in the Empire. One of the deities aided the Ashlord nation in the war against the Dividian by freeing a massive herd of phoenix horses. Since then, the only event that brings the attention to this magnificent creatures are the Races, where the candidates have to master three most important skills to be able to win – Alchemy, Speed and Fighting, as they ride their phoenix mares through the most dangerous and challenging terrains.
Ashlords are the usual winners of the Races, but nothing could spice the game more than spruce of Dididian and Longhand representatives.
This year’s Races are one of the most exciting events, with Pipa – the prodigy daughter of two former Race winners, the Alchemist – the Dividian girl, famous for her Alchemy skills, and Adrian – the boy from the Reach, who will stop at nothing to bring victory to Longhand people and start the war for their freedom!
3 – Alternating between three points of view – Pippa, Imelda Beru and Adrian, I couldn’t put the book down. Even though my intentions were to read it as slowly as possible, because I received an ARC in August last year, but the book is not out until January 21st!
I wanted to prolong my enjoyment, instead, I read it in a day and was left craving more!
My favorite from the beginning was Imelda Beru, and also the one I could relate to the most. If I’d had a chance to participate in the Races, I wouldn’t win by brute force, or by years of training, I’d try to win using my knowledge in Alchemy.
Imelda had, let’s call it a “YouTube” channel, where she with a help of her friend showcased her most successful Alchemy skills.
Adrian brought his own flavor into the Races with his brute force and the promise of rebellion.
4 – Talking about the Races, I have to mention the numerous deities and power they offer the Ashlords. I think the second book will bring more light on who these deities are, what are their powers, and so on. But already in «Ashlords» we saw the glimpses of what they can do, how powerful they are and how easily they can change the course of events.
I’m a big fan of Scott Reintgen’s books and will be looking forward to reading the next installment to this epic fantasy duology!
Have you read any books by Scott Reintgen? Do you love competitions in YA Fantasy?
Let’s chat in the comments below!
DISCLAIMER: The quotes mentioned above are from uncorrected advance reader’s copy and might be subject to change. Please check the final bound copy of the book if you decide to use any of the quotes mentioned in this post.
OTHER BOOKS BY SCOTT REINTGEN: