Thursday, June 2, 2016

Memories of Ash Release Week Blitz + Giveaway + Review

Regular readers of my blog know that I never do blog tours and the like - it's just generally not something I'm interested in doing.  But as soon as I saw that Intisar Khanani was releasing the next book in her Sunbolt Chronicles, I knew I was going to do whatever it took to help promote it!  

In the past six months I went from not having read any of her books to now having read ALL of her books - they're that good.  The writing is gorgeous, the world building is layered, and the characters are so human and flawed.  Looking for diversity in your fantasy?  Look no further.  I really can't recommend any of her books more (because you can bank on all of the above in any thing she's ever written), and if you're looking for somewhere to start, The Sunbolt Chronicles are definitely worth checking out.  The first book is actually a novella - and my only real complaint was that it felt like it needed more.  It packed so much action and world and characters and I just wanted a little more space to explore all of that.  And now here we are!  As much as I can say without spoiling the first book, I felt like Memories of Ash took everything I wanted and liked from the first book and just built on it.  We got more world, more magic, more Hitomi (and lots here that I can't talk about because of spoilers).  It's action packed and I have to say, in both books the plot never went where I had assumed they were going to go - in a very refreshing way.  I don't know what else I can do to convince you to pick this series up (other than hey look! There's a giveaway down below so go check that out!), so I will leave you with this checklist:

Do you like fantasy novels? Read this series.
Do you like fantasy with different communities in them, particularly ones that aren't Western based? Read this series.
Do you like characters who feel like three-dimensional people? Read this series.
Do you like your characters to not all be white? Read this series.
Do you like beautiful prose? Read this series.
Do you like Robin Hood/band of heroic thieves? Read this series.
Do you like magic with real consequences? Read this series.

Do you get what I'm saying here? READ. THIS. SERIES.

You know. Just in case I wasn't stating the obvious there.  And now I leave you with all the information and means to go do it: (with a warning to skip the summary underneath the picture below so you don't read spoilers, although it wouldn't be the end of the world)

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.

                                              Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble |  Apple  |  Kobo


I start forward, my eyes on the bundle ahead of us. I cannot quite make out what it is.  Something sticks out from the bulk of it, reaching across the floor like an errant branch, dried twigs.

Filled with foreboding, I draw closer, straining to make out the thing in the light of the glowstone. The mage slows beside me. My throat closes up. I stare, frozen mid-step, at the shape stretched out before me: a body that is nothing more than papery skin curled over the brittle bones within. A mummified corpse, preserved by the endless heat, untouched by nature, its clothing long since dissolved away. Its bones protrude obscenely: each rib tracing a line around its chest, the pelvic and hip bones encased so tightly in skin that the gaps, the natural spaces formed by the bone, seem translucent, as if the light were shining through thin parchment.

My stomach tightens into a ball. I swallow hard, forcing down the bile in my throat. The skull bears no expression, dull teeth showing through leathery lips, the eyes long since shriveled away. But that hand, outstretched... A plea. Or a single, hopeless attempt to escape death.

Beside me, the mage breathes a curse.

Other books in this series:

The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.

When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.

About the Author:

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.

                                                           Website | Goodreads | Facebook Twitter

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