Ashes of Aether is the first book in the Legends of Imyria series by Holly Rose, set in a world where mages who manipulate aether, lead cities.
Reyna is our protagonist, and the book follows her journey as she navigates romance, mage training, and heartbreak. Reyna has great character growth throughout the book, she started as young and reckless which I struggled to connect with at first, but this quickly changed as the story took some major turns. I loved watching her journey and how still learns to cope with her grief and navigate her new reality, alongside mage training and class rivalries!
The world was detailed beautifully making it easy to visualise and immerse me in. The magic system was really fun, I loved the concept of Aether and how it could be manipulated - it was easy to understand but worked perfectly in the world the author has created.
I really loved the dynamic that side characters brought to the story, Eliya was brought a lighter side to the story and she was so fiercely loyal and wild I couldn’t help but love her. Eliya’s influence on Reyna made for some very entertaining adventures and their friendship was so pure I couldn’t help but smile anytime these two were together.
Arluin was a great character who I really liked in the beginning; he was so sweet and lovely which was a breath of fresh air compared to all the bad boys these days - though he’s definitely got a lot more layers and a lot more going on that I had first thought! Reyna’s love for Arluin was very tangible and very written though I would absolutely love to get some chapters in his POV one day!
Most importantly, Zephyr the faerie dragon took the top spot for me! I adore books that have magical pets/ companions and Holly did not disappoint, I wish I could adopt one of these myself.
I won’t say too much about the plot, let’s just say the author takes us on a wild ride with lots of twists and heart-wrenching moments, whilst also giving us time to get to know Reyna and her life. I thoroughly enjoyed each moment and couldn’t help but race through the story needing to know what would happen next. The ending was epic, and I am very excited to see where the story goes next. The intensity of the end and the setup for the next book were amazing and have me dying to read book 2 immediately!
Overall, this is an exciting story full of magic, romance, unexpected twists, and betrayal. A wonderfully original story with some explosive twists - a great debut and a book I would highly recommend.
Loving a necromancer's son comes at a perilous price... As the daughter of Nolderan's most powerful mage, Reyna Ashbourne has only ever faced two obstacles: her father's wrath for slacking with her magic studies, and being shunned by many for loving Arluin, a necromancer's son. But Reyna's life takes a bitter turn when Arluin's exiled father returns to wreak his vengeance upon the city. With the living dead plaguing the streets, the boy she loves is forced to choose between his heart and his blood. When those dearest to her perish, Reyna vows to become as mighty as her father. However, the path of the magi is no easy one, and she must first complete her Mage Trials to prove she has the required strength of heart, mind, and magic. Yet the shadows of the past rise once again, threatening to tear Nolderan asunder. And so too her heart.
Title: Ashes of Aether
Series: Legends of Imyria #1
Author: Holly Rose
Genre: YA Fantasy