Book Review - Air and Ash

I have been doing so much reading lately, especially books that would fall into the 'Young Adult Fantasy' genre. As a 30-something year old Mum of two, I don't really fit into that category's target audience but it is still one that I know well. I love a book which has a gripping story line without always having to go down the 'Epic Fantasy' route (which is an equally awesome genre, obviously) and ever since I picked up my first Tamora Pierce book in a Bideford discount book shop when I was 13 I have loved books with a strong, young, female character.

Throw in some adventure, magic and a hint of romance and I'm usually hooked.

After reviewing 'The Black Mage' series by Rachel E Carter I was asked to review a new book by author Alex Lidell: Air and Ash.

After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battle worthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

I was drawn in immediately and Alex Lidell's descriptions of life at sea seem realistic and well-researched. I personally know nothing about ships (unless you count watching Pirates of the Caribbean) but the attention to detail is apparent straight away and really helps to immerse the reader.

The story line is uncluttered, focusing fully on Nile and her actions. It would have been nice to have spent a little longer at the Palace and her interactions with her family and life at court but the main point of the story is in the adventures at sea and you get plenty of that soon enough!

As always, I'm a sucker for a hint of romance. I like that Nile's relationship with Domenic takes it's time although is obvious from the start. It's a big part of the story without taking away any integrity from the magic and excitement.

It was hard to put this book down. As soon as Nile's new life and adventure began I just wanted to read more and more - so much so that my main complaint with this book is that it seemed over quite quickly.

When I was sent the review opportunity one line in particular caught my eye 'it's like Pirates of the Caribbean meets Alanna the Lioness' and it was the Tamora Pierce comparison which made me sit up and take notice when the email hit my inbox. The Song of The Lioness remains as one of my favourite series of all time and I truly love all of the Tortall Books. Air and Ash certainly deserves the comparison and would definitely appeal to anyone who likes any books by Tamora Pierce as well as Maria V Snyder, Elise Kova and Rachel E Carter.

Want to try it yourself? The book is out soon and is currently available to pre-order for only 99p! You won't have to wait too long for the second book either (thank goodness).

In the meantime, if you want to try it out yourself you can download a FREE copy of the 'First Command' novella by clicking on the link:

*I was sent a copy of 'Ash and Air' to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*
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