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Book Review: The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King
Age Rating: New Adult
We left our first book landing from enemies to lovers to enemies again. It’s on all of our minds. Is it even possible to become lovers again after what happened? If you have yet to read the first book, here is your point to stop and check out this review first. If you are caught up, then let’s proceed.
In this The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King review, we explore Carissa Broadbent’s gripping and heart-wrenching tale of love, sacrifice, and power.
Tropes in this Book
- Enemies to lovers
- Prisoner in one’s own kingdom
The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King Summary
In the wake of the Kejari, everything Oraya once thought to be true was destroyed. She finds herself a prisoner in her own kingdom, grieving the only family she ever had and reeling from a gutting betrayal. She is left with one certainty: she cannot trust anyone, least of all Raihn.
Raihn is in a tough spot in The House of Night, facing the bloody reality of seizing the throne. The higher-ups there aren’t too happy about having a king who used to be enslaved. Plus, the House of Blood is making things worse, trying to tear the kingdom apart from the inside. Amidst the chaos, Raihn offers Oraya a secret deal. This deal could be her only shot at getting her kingdom back and getting even with the one who betrayed her. But to take this chance, Oraya has to tap into an old, powerful force, one that’s entangled with her father’s darkest secrets.
Oraya and Raihn are dealing with a lot from their pasts while danger and possible betrayal are all around them. As they try to figure out their connected pasts and futures, Oraya finds herself forced to face the harsh truth about power – how to get it, what it costs, and how it can destroy everything she cares about.
In this high-stakes game of power and love, Oraya must confront her bloodline’s truth and grapple with the consequences of her father’s deceptions. As enemies close in on all sides, nothing is as it seems, and Oraya is forced to choose between the stark reality of seizing power or the devastating possibility of love being her downfall.
I loved this book almost as much as I loved the first. It’s hard to beat the initial tension of meeting someone anew with an air of mystery and tension. There’s a certain allure in the thrill of initial encounters, the veiled mystery and pulsating tension the first book masterfully captured. While it’s a tough act to follow, this sequel did not disappoint.
Broadbent’s writing style is captivating and immersive, bringing the world of the Crowns of Nyaxia series to life. I thoroughly enjoyed the dual perspectives of Oraya and Raihn and being able to see what is going on in their minds- their fears, motives, and thoughts that they may not share with one another. This deeply personal insight adds complexity to their characters, enhancing the story’s overall impact.
I was so curious to see what would come with Oraya. I didn’t know if she would lead an army against Raihn and kill him or find her way back to him after all that happened. I won’t give spoilers away, but she showed resilience and determination as she confronted her past and faced her future. The gutting betrayal she experiences catalyzes her transformation, fueling her quest for vengeance and redemption.
Raihn is a multidimensional character whose motivations and inner turmoil are explored through his point of view. His journey to find himself and make amends is closely tied to Oraya’s. Together, they face the challenges that come with power and love.
Oraya’s exploration of her past is another aspect of the story that had me riveted. Her efforts to grapple with her father’s legacy, his treatment of her, and his violent past provide a compelling subplot. Witnessing her process the truth about their relationship and strategize her way forward was an engaging and emotionally charged experience.
Broadbent brilliantly balances darker, more intense elements with the enchantment of her fantastical world. With a cast of deeply developed characters, a plot that keeps you at the edge of your seat, and a simmering romance (I love the enemies-to-lover-to-enemies-again storyline), this book is full of narrative delights. This book is an engaging celebration of resilience, power, and strength.
If you found this review helpful, you can check out the book at Bookshop.org here and support local bookstores along the way!