Happy Sunday book friends! I recently finished Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler, and am happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed it. The second book in this series comes out later this year, and I’m already super excited for it.
Funnily enough, I only very recently stumbled upon Ashes of the Sun via the Story Graph. And more funnily enough, I stumbled upon a copy in the bookstore the next day. It doesn’t happen often that I find a book I like to read in our bookstores, since our stores are small and the English selection often quite limited. Anyway, can y’all applaud me for buying and finishing a book within the same week? Because that’s a whole miracle.
Anyway, read on to see the content warnings for this book, and my thoughts!
Ashes of the Sun
By Django WexlerMy Rating: ★★★★★
Published 21 July 2020 by Orbit
Epic fantasy | LGBTQ | Magic
Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy
Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.
Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.
What I Liked
I honestly loved basically everything about this book. The world isn’t very complicated, yet it’s well fleshed out. Long ago, there was a war. The “good guys” lost, but passed their powers down to their human successors, who became the Twilight Order. These humans are tasked with protecting the rest of humankind from the threat of plaguespawn and unsanctioned magic called dhak. The writing is surprisingly light for an epic fantasy, which made it a quick read for me despite being over 600 pages long. Bless this author though for including a glossary, because I made use of it quite often in the beginning.
When I first started reading this book, I thought that Maya would be a cold, but perfect tool of the Twilight Order. I was very wrong. Maya is young, perhaps a bit naive, but also very passionate about protecting humankind. However, there are definitely cold and perhaps even cruel people within the Order that she swears by. Gyre is a quite typical rebel, who is part of a thieving gang. He searches for the power to overthrow the Twilight Order, as he believes that they don’t have the right to be the sole wielder of magic, when so many regular human beings live in poverty and hunger. I found while reading that both Maya and Gyre had some very solid points in their favor, which made this also an interesting read, morally wise.
The plot was well executed, too. The book starts with plenty of action and doesn’t slow down at all. I enjoyed reading the alternate POVs, and how they came together. There is some romance, but I found it secondary to the plot. Although it was very cute to read about. One thing that surprised me though, is that the ending doesn’t hint toward what the next book might be about it. The blurb on Goodreads doesn’t say anything new either. It comes out in October, so I guess I’ll find out then!
What I Liked Less
So there isn’t anything that I really disliked, except perhaps a certain character (no really, I hardly every dislike characters but there’s one prominent one I have a serious dislike for). But, there were some points within the story where I felt like there could be more confrontation. It’s hard to explain without spoiling everything, but I was surprised there wasn’t more headbutting. Maybe it’ll be more prominent in the next book.