Memories of Ash

Memories of Ash

4.9 10
by Intisar Khanani
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940152899597
Publisher:
Intisar Khanani
Publication date:
05/30/2016
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
74,097
File size:
2 MB

Meet 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 next two projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her short story The Bone Knife, and a novella series set in a fiction world of eleven kingdoms all controlled by a corrupt Council of Mages. Thorn is her first novel.

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Memories of Ash 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Bookaholic_Banter 4 months ago
This book was outstanding and deserves a standing ovation! I can't stop thinking about how fantastic and fun this was. The first book in the series was interesting and creative, but this one blew the first book out of the water! This book picks up basically right where the first book leaves off and it's non-stop action and adventure from the first page to the last. It was so much fun to read. Just when you think it can't get any better, it does. New characters, and more mythical creatures are introduced in this story. The magic is whimsical and imaginative. The plot line thickens and the characters become even more fleshed out. Hitomi is a wonderful heroine. She is caring and puts others first. I really fell in love with her in this book and she is EASILY becoming one of my favorite YA female characters. The world building in this book is spectacular. I can see everything in my mind perfectly. The story flows perfectly. It was fast-paced and kept me reading and on the edge of my seat. I did not want to put this book down for anything. I enjoyed every moment of it. This is a story that can easily be enjoyed by everyone. It was written in a tasteful manner without needless profanity. It was well thought out. This is one of those books where you will savor every moment and will want to read all over again. There's no sappy romance in this story and you will not miss it one bit! This book was so perfect it doesn't even need the romance. This is one of those book that will make a non-reader become a reader. This type of book makes you forget about watching television. You don't need to watch a show or movie when you can read a book like this and see everything come alive in your mind. When it comes to reading books in a series I can usually wait patiently for the next book to come out. I'm not one to go all crazy in waiting. That is so not going to be the case this time. I DO NOT want to wait for the next book in this series, I need it now! I will be highly anticipating and impatiently waiting to get my hands on the third book. * I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I love everything Intisar Khanani has published, and this is no exception. I really enjoyed the continuation of Hitomi's story and I can't wait for the next one. If you enjoy YA fantasy with an awesome female lead, this is the series for you.
RoseOfSkye 4 months ago
If you pick up this book, be prepared to read it one go because you won't be able to put it down. The sequel to Sunbolt has been well worth the wait. The story picks up a year after the end of Sunbolt with Hitomi studying under Stormwind in the quiet tranquility of her valley. But that tranquility is disturbed from the very first word of the novel (literally!) and from there the story just keeps picking up the pace and tension. Hitomi may have lost most of her memories and her past, but she is unerringly guided by her sense of honour, even when it comes at the highest personal cost to her. This clearly has a way of constantly getting her into trouble, but just as in Sunbolt her selfless actions won her unlikely aid from a breather, in Memories of Ash Hitomi's unassuming but unwavering moral compass attracts support where she least expects it. In this novel Intisar takes us to a new corner of the Eleven Kingdoms, giving us a taste of the desert and its people and city on its edge housing the Mage School. We also get an insight into the stratified and privileged (and not-so-subtly fractured) world of mages and the High Council. Archmage Blackflame continues to shadow the plot as the archetypal, greedy, power-hungry villain of the piece, but the real damage to Hitomi comes from others who are much more three dimensional. They are people who are not inherently evil but who are merely trying to do their job according to where their own loyalties and agendas lie, from the lycan guards to the mages tasked with carrying out the Council's sentence. This adds additional poignancy and depth to the events in the novel. We meet fascinating new characters that (now that I am finished with the novel) I am dying to see again in the next installment, and are delightfully reunited with some old ones from Sunbolt. And through it all, we are carried by Hitomi's inner strength and conviction. "When you choose a path, you must walk it with courage" she is told early on in the novel by a travelling companion. This might as well be Hitomi's motto and it definitely encapsulates the entire book accurately and concisely. All in all, this is a powerful work that, in my opinion, places Intisar Khanani well on the road to joining the ranks of well-established YA fantasy writers in talent and imagination. Now for the disclaimers - I have to state that I received an advanced review copy from the author in return for an honest review. But this has not in any way influenced my review because even before getting the ARC I had already pre-ordered my very own copy on Amazon. I have read earlier drafts of this novel and it has been a privilege to watch Intisar weave her magic and see the story evolve and get perfected into the present novel.
OboeChica88 5 months ago
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. (For example, I very, VERY rarely buy books anymore, and I straight up pre-ordered this one.) 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. It never felt like you were blindsided by where she takes the story, she just doesn't go the traditional route, which is fine (and even preferable) by me.
AnnaE49 5 months ago
I received an early review copy from the author in return for an honest review. This has not in any way influenced my review. I’m thrilled to be reviewing an advance copy of Memories of Ash! I love Intisar Khanani’s writing so much: I feel like she’s someone similar to me, who got fed up with the clichés and stereotypes plaguing YA. So she up and wrote the book she (we) wanted to read. So! Memories of Ash. The second book in The Sunbolt Chronicles introduces a whole new city and a whole new host of characters – though a few old friends show up, too. Much like the first book, the story cracks along right from the beginning, with Hitomi quickly being thrown/leaping into another adventure. Khanani describes the Sunbolt Chronicles as a serial instead of a series, so while the books are all connected and having an overarching storyline, each book also has a distinct plot. I’ve read plenty of trilogies where book 1 is introduction, book 2 is everything getting worse, and book 3 is everything getting fixed, usually through a Final Battle. Happily, MoA (Memories of Ash, not the Mall of America) steers away from that. A few of the other things I loved: - In Book 1, Hitomi lost her memories. In Book 2, there’s no familiar smell or phrase that brings them all suddenly rushing back. Not everything is fixable, and Hitomi herself doesn’t expect all her memories to return. There are real consequences. - Hitomi has lots of male friends. Hitomi does not fall in love with all her male friends, and they do not all fall in love with Hitomi. Why does this have to be so rare? - Killing people is a big deal. Hitomi is still haunted by those in Book 1 whose deaths she feels responsible for. So she’s wholly committed to not killing again, even if that puts her in some tight spots. - The culture! I love how the setting is primarily based on the Middle East/Northern Africa. I love sharing the beauty of Hitomi’s world, and it’s a good reminder of the simple fact that what’s familiar to me isn’t familiar to everyone. The spices that smell foreign to me smell like home to someone else. - Hitomi is smart! She makes plans instead of running around willy-nilly and forcing someone to rescue her. Competent heroines are my favorite. To sum things up, MoA is a fun read that steers clear of a lot of YA clichés and provides a heroine both competent and compassionate.
SMLowry 5 months ago
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. **This is the second book in a series. If you haven’t read the first book, you can get it here. Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani continues the story of Hitomi, a young woman who has lost most of her memories but not her desire for justice. When her mentor is imprisoned on trumped up charges, Hitomi goes on a dangerous quest to save her. Hitomi is a strong woman who fights for what she believes in. She isn’t opposed to using trickery to achieve those ends, but she has boundaries that she won’t cross. I admire her strength and conviction. The world Khanani has built is so real that I’m instantly transported there, and I love how diverse it is. I especially enjoyed the desert people and their way of life. Khanani’s writing pulls me in, and I have a difficult time putting down any of her stories. I did not want Hitomi’s adventures in this book to end, and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I definitely recommend reading this series.
WhiteSkyProject 5 months ago
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! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
erinlee20 5 months ago
Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani is the second book in the Sunbolt Chronicles series. I just happened across book one earlier this year and was completely impressed with both the writing and the story. This book picks up shortly after Sunbolt left off and as I began this one, I pulled right back into Hitomi’s story. Just when you think things might be getting a bit better for Hitomi, the High Council summons Stormwind to stand trial for treason. They both know that Stormwind has to go but she doesn’t leave Hitomi empty handed. As Stormwind heads to face the council, Hitomi holds back until she knows for sure what Stormwind is facing. Once things head the wrong way and Hitomi confirms that Blackflame is sending mages to find out who is on the otherside of the mirror Stormwind had, she decides she will do whatever it takes to save Stormwind, even if that puts her directly in the path of Blackflame. One of the things I love in these books is the character development. Hitomi is the main character we follow throughout but as she is on her journey, she crosses paths with so many that make an impact on her. Khanani does a fantastic job of providing more than just the introduction and high level interaction with these characters. Both the bad guys and the good guys are well-developed and help to move the story forward. Hitomi herself is strong and daring. I love that she is willing to do whatever she needs to in order to protect the people she cares about. It was very clear in Sunbolt when she routinely sacrificed her safety for her friends and it is just as apparent in this book when she does something similar. On the other side, I think her friends are just as selfless and do what they can to help and protect Hitomi but she doesn’t always let them do so as much as they would like. Khanani did a great job of introducing new characters into the story but she has also brought back some favorites from Sunbolt and I was super happy to see them show up on the pages. I’m hopeful we will see more of them throughout the rest of the series and look forward to seeing where their stories intersect. Of course, magic plays a large role in this series and it is mixed in so well to the story that while it is a central piece of the story, it doesn’t overtake the character driven aspects. The characters continue to keep me turning the pages and the magic is one piece of the entire puzzle that makes it interesting and engaging. I can’t say a lot about what actually happens in this book as there is A LOT and if you haven’t read book one yet I don’t want to ruin anything. With that said, you should definitely go read these books as they are available at a good price and totally worth it. If you are looking for a solid fantasy that weaves in solid characters, some magic, and strong friendships, consider picking these up. I am glad I found them and definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
Mehting 5 months ago
This book came out today. I downloaded it this morning and had finished by afternoon. And I loved it. It was so good. I'm struggling to find a good descriptor of this book-you get so lost in this world which spans so much that it can be hard to pin down specific things. I loved watching Hitomi's change from Sunbolt, where she was fighting for good, but also hiding, to fighting. I love the ways in which she is motivated, not so much for a cause as for individuals in this book (which began in the last) and how she begins to take hold of her own power. I love this writer's ability to create big, atmospheric worlds that I want to just hang out in, and catch me up in the plot, as well as her excellent job of writing basically good people, who are at cross-purposes and have to figure out ways to resolve their different loyalties while still trying to be good and honorable people, and I appreciate that she doesn't telegraph trustworthiness in characters the way so many fantasy writers do. You're not sure, just as the character is not sure, when she can trust even good people, because good people dedicated to a purpose may also be dangerous. It makes their decisions so much more satisfying and real to read.
NihilsedTempus 5 months ago
This an ‘arc” copy eBook supplied by Netgalley. I am not receiving any monetary benefit or any kickback for this review. I received this arc for an honest review. This review is cross-posted on Amazon, Goodreads and given directly to the publisher. “To use memories as a basis for a spell…is uncommon.:” So you think you want a fantasy novel that is not full of the weak characters, or a plot that dies once a P.L.I (possible love interest) show their face. How about a novel where the female isn’t pushed aside by a strong male character? Then look no farther!! Because Memories of Ash is all that and more. “I was never unwilling to leave, but I do thank you for your hospitality.” Memories of Ash was like being hit by brick...in the face. Trust me, the wait for this book after Sunbolt was well worth it. Khanani has done it again, stole my heart with her immersive storyline and strong female lead. Her detail writing and flow kept me hooked from page one to the end. “…Not everything can rise from ash again..” MOA stay in the same vein of bottom up world building. It slowly gives world details such as geography, politics and the world’s rich history. In this book, we get to be let in on the darker side of the Mages. The plot is creative and suspenseful. I love when Hitomi starts her plans, because her talents and ideals show through. Most of the twists or outcomes were not discernable at a glance. You really had to pay attention to all of the details and hints in the story. “I’m glad the mage is dead, deeply grateful I no longer have to fear him, and yet it sickens me,” The first person narration really sets the mood and helps understand Hitomi and her motivations. Khanani has a way of making every character seem important and dimensional. We get to meet so many new characters and be reunited with our Sunbolt favorites. I have a major book-crush on Kenta. I like Val and love that he helps Hitomi out, but Kenta is my ultimate fave. Yes, I ship him and Hitomi. But there is no obvious love interest. In fact, none once so ever. Which is why I find MOA and its predecessor Sunbolt to be so unique. “When you choose a path, you must walk it with courage.” Hitomi is definitely the ideal female character. She is strong willed, and more than willing to do the right thing. Even when it might not be right for her. She has her weakness, but is able to overcome them. Her moral compass is unerringly straight, unusual for an ex-thief. But we knew that from Sunbolt. Hitomi helps people and risks her life and freedom to prevent loss of life. Even the life of her enemy. I loved how Hitomi mourned the loss of a man in one scene. I believe that scene showed more about her compassion. I love that MOA breaks the mold in Young adult fantasy by giving a main character morals and sticking with them. “I have already burned, and this pain, this potion, is but an echo of what I chose with my sunbolt…” Memories of Ash focuses on its characters, their choices and how it shapes the world they live in. I find that fresh and very out of the ordinary. But once again the story ends before I want it to. Now to wait for the next book. 5 out of 5 stars. The fantastic writing and well written characters keeps me hooked long into the night. Intisar Khanani will be my auto-buy authors for a very long time. This book did not disappoint, but left me wanting more. Hitomi’s story has become near and dear to my heart.