A Heart of Blood and Ashes PDF ✓ Heart of Blood

A Heart of Blood and Ashes A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war Then the Destroyer came From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown But when he learns it was the king s daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected Though the last in a line of legendary warrior queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue Even surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own


10 thoughts on “A Heart of Blood and Ashes

  1. Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️ Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️ says:

    3 Conflicted StarsBefore I get started, I have a confession to makeWhen requesting this book from NetGalley, I did not realize that Milla Vane is really Meljean Brook All I saw were several glittering reviews from some trusted GR friends, the word Dragons in the titleon that later , a hot barbarian on the cover, and the mention of a marriage of convenience in the blurb And so this was me Now, I have nothing against Meljean Brook She is a wildly popular author who has written some 3 Conflicted StarsBefore I get started, I have a confession to makeWhen requesting this book from NetGalley, I did not realize that Milla Vane is really Meljean Brook All I saw were several glittering reviews from some trusted GR friends, the word Dragons in the titleon that later , a hot barbarian on the cover, and the mention of a marriage of convenience in the blurb And so this was me Now, I have nothing against Meljean Brook She is a wildly popular author who has written some much beloved seriesIt s just that I have DNF d book one for two of those series After that, I never picked her stuff up again as I figured she just wasn t for me But enter NetGalley And Dragons And Barbarians And an arranged marriage And I have no self control Plus, it wasn t until after I had already gotten the book from NetGalley that I learned it was authored by Meljean Brook And, since I ve already fucked up my feedback average with those fine folks enough already, I figured I should at least give this a shot My long winded point in explaining all this Take this review with a grain of salt Because it s probably just me And I probably shouldn t have read this being that I already know this author just isn t for me But, let s do this anyway On to my review The first and perhaps most important, dammit thing I want anyone to know is that there are NO actual dragons in this book with Dragons in the title Instead, the dragon being referred to here is really a squad of barbarian warriors acting as the personal guard of someone royal or important Or something And they ride in a formation and fly AKA ride And each warrior is referred to as a part of the dragon So and so is the wings and so and so is the tail Or something But anyway, I digress There are no fucking dragons, people Moving on Secondly, the whole time I was reading this book, I found it equal parts enjoyable and yet tedious I enjoyed the story line and I enjoyed the characters And, despite my disappoint that there were no actual dragons to be had here, I really liked Maddek and his metaphorical Dragon AKA his band of warriors I am always a sucker for the band of brothers sisters shtick Because squadgoals And the world building Excellent Truly excellent I remember from my attempts at reading Brook s other books that she really does excel at world building The magic system and mythology got a little hazy at times, but overall, she does a really great job of building the world without the heavy info dumping from which a lot of first in series books suffer So bravo That takes a lot of skill and I truly believe Brook is a talented author However As great as the world building was and as much as I enjoyed the characters, I also felt like I never truly got to know them as well as I would have liked I also never had any problems putting the book down or felt any urgency to pick it back up I attribute a lot of that to the aforementioned tediousness, which I feel stemmed from both the writing style and the fact that the romance between Maddek and Yvenne would go one step forward and three steps back all throughout the book But before I get into the square dance that was the relationship build here, let s go back to the writing Honest to God, I sometimes felt like I was in an episode of Star Wars with Yoda as the narrator I mean, read some excerpts with me here, folksSo hot and hard he was, Maddek barely trusted himself to touch her Hard Maddek must have slept He knew not when Yvenne left their bed or their quarters Rough he was, rougher than he d ever been, his grip tight upon her arms and legs as he held her wrists So quiet the tent was, only filled with the sound of their breaths How long Yvenne cried, she knew not Patience you must have, my young padawan Okay, so obviously that last one was me fucking with you, but still You get the idea Not only did said style make the writing feel stilted to me, but having Yoda speak so often occur during the super delayed sex scenes The biggest annoyance to me in the book though, and what is probably my main reason for not rating it higher, is the aforementioned romance square dance I felt like Maddek and Yvenne took FOREVER to get anywhere They kept hashing and rehashing the same shit Maddek s inability to see past Yvenne s supposed sly tongued nature Now, I get that this was very important to Maddek s character His people take lying and the truth VERY seriously But I feel like they go back and forth about the same conversation for pretty much the entirety of the book And despite the fact that Yvenne s sole goal in this whole thing is to get knocked up with an heir, these two don t get really get busy until upwards of 80% Eighty percent, people.Now, I am all for a good slow burn every now and then One of my favorite authors is Mariana Zapata the QUEEN of the slow burn But the situation in this book just left me super frustrated First it was that they wanted to make sure she wasn t already pregnant Then they had to wait for her moon night Then there was a fight scenario.And then there was me Now, I m not trying to tear this book apart by any means I DID rate it three stars which means I liked it I just didn t love it like I was hoping to As solid as the world building was, it just didn t keep me captivated As I mentioned earlier, I had no problem putting this book down and had to actually remind myself to pick it back up All that said, despite having have mad respect for this author, I truly think it just boils down to something about her writing style and construction just not being for me But I know a lot of people for whom this book totally worked And I think anyone interested in this blurb should give it a shotARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


  2. Navessa Navessa says:

    This book is a lusciously brutal foray into romantic fantasy, with a love story that burns so hot, you might singe your fingers while reading it I devoured it in a single sitting and have been struggling to re emerge back into the real world ever since It ll be a travesty if it doesn t top the Best Romance of 2020 listsThere are enemies, and there are monsters Always slay the monsters first, because enemies may one day become allies but monsters never willI know we re barely into This book is a lusciously brutal foray into romantic fantasy, with a love story that burns so hot, you might singe your fingers while reading it I devoured it in a single sitting and have been struggling to re emerge back into the real world ever since It ll be a travesty if it doesn t top the Best Romance of 2020 listsThere are enemies, and there are monsters Always slay the monsters first, because enemies may one day become allies but monsters never willI know we re barely into January, but I m just going to come right out and say it THIS WILL BE MY FAVORITE BOOK OF 2020I m confident in that, because I have been waiting for a book like this for years YEARS, I TELL YOU My two favorite genres are romance and fantasy Therefore, my favorite subgenre of all time is romantic fantasy.Do you know how many romantic fantasy books there are I do, because I have read all of them and there are simply NOT ENOUGH.With A Heart of Blood and Ashes, Milla Vane has crowned herself as the new queen of the genre for me Seriously, this book was THAT good.Okay, now let me try to get my shit together and do it justice in an actual review instead of just flailing all over my keyboard deep breath This story is centered in a fantastical world It has a sort of medieval setting, complete with towering castles, barbarian hordes, vengeful gods, and evil sorcerers Also, dinosaurs are a thing Just an FYI for those of you with shorter attention spans, this is definitely on the high fantasy side of the genre, with extensive world building.The great thing about that world building is that it never once reads like an info dump Milla Vane did a genius thing with this The female lead, Yvenne, has spent her entire life locked away in a tower, so you see the lands and cities she travels through from her awed perspective Everything is fresh and new, and because of this, the setting and history of all the places she visits unfolds in a natural, organic way.The story opens with the murder of the king and queen of one of these nations Their son and heir, Maddek the male lead , is a military commander at the time, fighting on the front lines of the allied nations territory.The message he receives about their deaths is cryptic Because the leaders of the alliance council know he will freak out when he learns the truth As much as these allied nations claim to be civilized and fair, they know the story they were fed about the deaths of his king and queen is total bullshit.And so does Maddek.Seeking vengeance, he abducts the daughter of King Zhalen, the man who had his parents murdered That princess would be Yvenne, and whoo boy do they have some instant chemistry.Real talk I m not typically a fan of darker romances In fact, I usually avoid the subgenre at all costs, because I almost always find the romances in them to readlike glorified tales of abuse and manipulation Seldom do I understand the character choices.That said, I loved the hell out of Maddek and Yvenne, regardless of the fact that their interactions sometimes dipped toward the darker side of romance Because, through their perspectives, I understood them both, and though I might not agree with their choices, I could see why they made them.Thanks to the book blurb, it s not a spoiler to say that Yvenne is nothing like what Maddek expected He d been led to believe that she acted as an agent of her father and betrayed his parents by luring them to their deaths Imagine his surprise when he finds out that her hatred for her father eclipses even his own Instead of murdering her, he winds up betrothed instead.From the moment they meet, they re on the run Because Yvenne s father will do anything to keep the truth of what he did hidden And he s evendesperate to keep his motivations a secret.Yvenne and Maddek are pursued through several nations, guarded by an incredible cast of side characters that I liked so much, I would gladly read a story from each and every one of their perspectives.Another thing I ll say is that this is not always an easy read There are some harder themes in here The violence is brutal and sometimes gory I was so invested in these characters that every time one of them was hurt, I got a little bit ragey on their behalf And it s not always smooth sailing for our hero and heroine It slike they chartered their course through a storm swept sea But what never flags is their heat.Good lord, these two set the pages on fire.One thing I loved, loved, LOVED about this book was how inclusive it was More than half of the cast are characters of color, men and women hold equal power in leadership roles, and sexuality is so widely accepted as being fluid that it s literally never made into a thing It s just written along the lines of she took her to bed , without further dissection, and amen for that.Another thing I loved was the way that Yvenne was portrayed She s easily one of my favorite female leads of all time I am sick to death of readers equating traditional male qualities as strengths in heroines Like, a heroine is only ever deemed strong if she swears a lot, and is violent, and is short tempered, and never cries, etc.Yvenne is not physically strong She spent her life locked in a room She has chronic pain thanks to a knee that was once shattered But Yvenne is not without strength Her mind is an exquisite thing Her political acumen is prodigious She was cutthroat and manipulative and deceptive and did anything to get what she wanted all for the good of her people and I fucking adored her for it.And Maddek Oh, Maddek At times I wanted to punch him in the face Then half a page later I wanted to climb him like a tree What I m saying is that I understood why Yvenne lusted after him and was pissed at him in equal measure.It s important to point out that I never, ever gave up on him I rooted for him as hard as I did Yvenne, and his character arc is as strong as hers He learns from his mistakes He strives to be a better man While he sometimes pissed me off, I totally got why he acted the way he did, and I never stopped believing that he would work through his demons.Which he does, and lord is it worth it I damn near cried when this ended.One last note is that while their romance is a dominant part of the story, it shares space with one gloriously complicated plot This is a highly political fantasy setting, with kings and queens and gods all vying for power on the same playing board Just when you think you know what is going on, the rug is pulled out from under your feet Just when you think these characters have finally made it to safety, a new threat emerges.I was honestly terrified that this was going to end on a massive cliffhanger and I d be left waiting in breathless desperation for the next one to come out.Fear not, fellow reader This ends with the HEA we expect from romance, but with room forinstallments.Now if you ll excuse me, I think I m going to avoid the massive book hangover this will give me by just picking it back up and reading it all over again.What a way to start the year Blog FB Twitter IG Pinterest Tumblr YouTube


  3. Lyn❤Loves❤Listening Lyn❤Loves❤Listening says:

    Audio 4 Stars I would have preferred a male narrator, but that s just me.Story 5 StarsThis book was FRIGGIN SPECTACULAR My kind of action adventure romance because there s equal parts action and romance Read the blurb it s all that andwith a fierce, fearless, strong of mind and heart heroine who doesn t back down from an asshole ish alpha hero Instead her actions and words make him realize she is the SHERO, and he needs to COME CORRECT And he does Can t wait for the next Audio 4 Stars I would have preferred a male narrator, but that s just me.Story 5 StarsThis book was FRIGGIN SPECTACULAR My kind of action adventure romance because there s equal parts action and romance Read the blurb it s all that andwith a fierce, fearless, strong of mind and heart heroine who doesn t back down from an asshole ish alpha hero Instead her actions and words make him realize she is the SHERO, and he needs to COME CORRECT And he does Can t wait for the next book in the series


  4. Lacey (Booklovers For Life) Lacey (Booklovers For Life) says:

    4.5 STARSI ve had so much hype ever since A Heart of Blood and Ashes got on my radar I m always on the looking for an epic fantasy romance, and this one sounded so promising Plus, I d read Milla Vane years ago not just under her pseudonym Meljean Brook The Iron Duke is still one of my favorite fantasy romances , but also when she published a novella under MV in an anthology So I knew she could write incredible fantasy worlds and she didn t disappoint with this first A Gathering of Dragons 4.5 STARSI ve had so much hype ever since A Heart of Blood and Ashes got on my radar I m always on the looking for an epic fantasy romance, and this one sounded so promising Plus, I d read Milla Vane years ago not just under her pseudonym Meljean Brook The Iron Duke is still one of my favorite fantasy romances , but also when she published a novella under MV in an anthology So I knew she could write incredible fantasy worlds and she didn t disappoint with this first A Gathering of Dragons book It was a fantastic start to a new series that I already needof An enemies to lovers romance, slow burn, political intrigue, spilled blood, and barbarian warriors this fantasy romance has it all AHoBaA kicks off with the murder of our hero Maddek s parents, who were king and queen of their barbarian kingdom and part of an alliance council that formed out of a truce between all five kingdoms Now Maddek is next in line for the throne, but first he wants revenge against the rival king he believed killed his parents starting with their daughter But Yvenne offers herself up as his bride instead, because the one thing she wants most in the world is her corrupt father s death Neither of them expects the insane amount of chemistry to build between them or that they would start falling for one another.This book was SO FREAKING GOOD It was a little slow to get into in the beginning, with all the world building and info dumping we re getting hit with straight off There are a ton of characters and kingdoms to keep track of But once I hit my reading stride I couldn t put this book down I ve been wanting a new, epic fantasy romance to get obsessed with, and AHoBaA hit all the right buttons for me Alpha, barbarian warrior heroine who uses her words and brain to kick ass a delicious, sexy slow burn in a marriage of convenience and some epic world building The pacing is fairly slow but it s never boring I loved the amount of steam we got as well as a good dose of angst between our main characters I was HOOKED onto the romance I was so glad that despite everything going on, Milla Vane made the romance the main focus of the story.I do have to say, sadly, there are no actual dragons in this book they used to exist, but not any , but there are Dragons They are basically Maddek s bodyguard friends Other than that, I can t wait to readof this fantasy world I m so glad we don t have to wait too long for the next book only five months Even though this first book concludes Maddek and Yvenne s romance and revenge subplot, there is still an over arcing plot that deals with a dangerous, powerful being that s about to wreak havoc I m so looking forward to where Milla Vane will take us next ebook paperback


  5. Geri Reads Geri Reads says:

    What do you get if you combine fantasy captive romance angst dinosaurs singe your eyeballs sexiness into one book Well, you get A Heart of Blood and Ashes of course This book had me from the very beginning until the end The world building, the characters, the romance every element I wanted in a fantasy romance is in this book Maddek and Yvenne are characters I won t soon forget If you re a reader of fantasy, you would recognize some of the tropes that Milla Vane used subverted in t What do you get if you combine fantasy captive romance angst dinosaurs singe your eyeballs sexiness into one book Well, you get A Heart of Blood and Ashes of course This book had me from the very beginning until the end The world building, the characters, the romance every element I wanted in a fantasy romance is in this book Maddek and Yvenne are characters I won t soon forget If you re a reader of fantasy, you would recognize some of the tropes that Milla Vane used subverted in this book Yvenne is the hidden heir She s literally Rapunzel hidden in the tower but instead of waiting for the prince to rescue her, she schemed her way into getting kidnapped by him And then there s Maddek The conquering barbarian king hell bent on revenge after his parents were brutally murdered by the Syssian king He s just as compelling as Yvenne His journey from warrior to king was Vane s answer to Martin s Kill the boy, Jon Snow and let the man be born and I loved it But what sets this book apart from other fantasy stories out there is the romance One of my frustrations with fantasy is often how romantic elements or love stories were treated This book did it justice It s emotional, sexy, and satisfying The alliance between Maddek and Yvenne is the heart of this book Period.Don t get wrong I loved the dinosaurs and the battles and the magic and the political machinations but if the romance had failed, I probably wouldn t have loved it as much The romance between Maddek and Yvenne was truly breathtaking and unforgettable.Whether you re a fantasy fan or a romance fan, or both, I would highly recommend you check this book out It s fantastic CONTENT WARNINGS view spoiler rape, not on page but it was a big part of the story There s also sexual coercion dub con when the hero made the heroine jack him off when they first met hide spoiler ARC provided by Berkley Romance


  6. Angela Angela says:

    RELEASE DAY This book This book is fucking amazing It was, honestly, a perfect read for me 2019 was the year of re reads for me But 2020 looks to be the year of amazing new books if they follow in the path of A Heart of Blood and Ashes I ve read books by Meljean Brook, and I ve LOVED them especially her Iron Seas series so I was excited when I first heard she has a new barbarian romance series coming out under her pen name, Milla Vane So much so that I pre ordered the book.


  7. Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾ Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾ says:

    5 STARS There are enemies, and there are monsters Always slay the monsters first, because enemies may one day become allies but monsters never will. When I realized that Milla Vane is also Meljean Brook, I knew I had to read this book I ve loved some of her steampunk books even though I read them ages ago and the one thing that always stood out to me was her ability to create unique worlds And when I read fantasy and barbarian in this blurb, I was on it like a sex addict at a porn 5 STARS There are enemies, and there are monsters Always slay the monsters first, because enemies may one day become allies but monsters never will. When I realized that Milla Vane is also Meljean Brook, I knew I had to read this book I ve loved some of her steampunk books even though I read them ages ago and the one thing that always stood out to me was her ability to create unique worlds And when I read fantasy and barbarian in this blurb, I was on it like a sex addict at a porn convention Or white on rice for all of you clutching your pearls right now.When it comes to unique and rich world building, no one does it quite like this I was immediately enraptured in this world of magic and warring kingdoms Think Withcher meet Game of Thrones I ll warn you that this book is not for the faint of heart It s graphic, violent, and deliciously gritty It spares no bloody detail and I was so here for it Not the blood, but the details Oh you know what I mean, stop judging.Granted, the dialogue took a bit to get used to I get we re in olden times here, but the fact that everyone speaks like Yoda took me a hot minute to look past Not going to lie, it seriously took me a minute to get used to Weird it was Not used to it was I But all that began to pale in comparison to the story.Now look, if you love a good captive romance, this one deliver in spades SPADES I tells ya Picture this Maddek of Parsathe, a barbarian warrior, leader of the Parsathe army and soon to be king finds out his beloved parents have been brutally murdered and their good name smeared The man responsible for their death seems untouchable due to politics A man desperate for bloody revenge gets the chance through the daughter of his enemy when she offers him a deal Save her from her father and take her for a bride so that she may take the throne from her father and Maddek can wreak his vengeance The only problem is she may also be who lured his parents to their death A deal forged through fragile bonds A woman desperate to escape a certain hell that s been her life only to walk into the flames of fire and into the arms of the man that sees her as nothing but a tool for his vengeance GAH Delicious, right Yvenne was like gravel between his teeth A splinter beneath his skin The steel in his cock. Theirs was an arrangement full of distrust and bitter anger Maddek refuses to believe that anything Yvenne says is true She s the daughter of a liar and a murdering king He sees her only as a tool and treats her no better You want to hate him for his cold and brutal treatment of her, but being in his head makes it impossible You understand where that distrust comes from.Yevenne has survived certain hell in her young life, yet she s fierce as hell This woman is a warrior, even if she doesn t look it Held captive, tortured, she sees no other escape but to offer herself as a bride to man that distrusts her almost as much as he hates her Yet none of that took away her fierceness She chips away at Maddek s walls and defenses little by little, and nothing has feltgratifying than watching his unwilling fall.If you love a good alpahole with a splash of hate to love and an epic grovel, this one will tick every box for you I m totally addicted on this new series and salivating forIf you re looking for something utterly unique and completely addictive, you found your next read Find me on


  8. Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell says:

    This sounds really fun but call me when the ebook isn t 8 lmao.Another BLANK OF BLANK AND BLANK fantasy novel.Trying to out Game of Thrones Game of Thrones


  9. ❤️Emma Book Lover ❤️ ❤️Emma Book Lover ❤️ says:

    There are enemies, and there are monsters Always slay the monsters first,because enemies may one day become allies but monsters never willThis book was a bit harder for me to read..hence the time it took me to finish it, because I had to translate some words that I didn t knew before, and the language english yes is one that I struggled with a bit because of old format and phrases, but once I got going nothing could have stopped me and Well..I took it as a challenge , and I enjoyedThere are enemies, and there are monsters Always slay the monsters first,because enemies may one day become allies but monsters never willThis book was a bit harder for me to read..hence the time it took me to finish it, because I had to translate some words that I didn t knew before, and the language english yes is one that I struggled with a bit because of old format and phrases, but once I got going nothing could have stopped me and Well..I took it as a challenge , and I enjoyed it very much, and I can say I added quite a few words to my vocabulary.The world building in this book is no less than phenomenal this new fantastical world built is Everything the cities, the landscape, the creatures, the people, the sky , the statues, the ruins..we see them all thru the heroine s eyes, for she sees them for the first time too All of it is described in such manner that makes you close your eyes and imagine how it would look like As I said..the world building deserves 5 stars if not .Maddek is the commander of the alliance s army, also son of king and queen of Parsatheans He is sent word that his parents were killed, the message is cryptic and hides the truth of the real reason of why.The alliance is made up from Parsathe and the five other realms They are the law and justice, and even if they know the story about why king Zhalen killed his parents is a bunch of crap, they forbid any act of vengeance from Maddek against the syssian king.Yvenne is daughter of king Zhalen, and the most kept secret of his She was held in a tower since she was born, without as much seeing the light of the day.Seeking for revenge, Maddek steals the princess He believes she lured his parents in a trap and its her fault they have been killed But little did he knew that Yvenne s hate for her father and brothers is even bigger than his Oh boy this two had some serious chemistry between them..The romance was so beautiful I loved them both, even if I didn t always agree with their words or choices.Was such a pleasant surprise that I might have like the hthan the H To be honest here, most of the time I read a book for the Hero, yeahI am not shy to admit it, they usually make the story for me, but here they are on equal foot.Yvenne is no strong woman and the author states that clearly, she is thin, weak and almost crippled but her strong advantage is her mind She is cunning, strategic, ambitious but in the same time so very gentle and caring and with a heart full of hope and love to give, like a child discovering the world.Maddek is no fool, but his sight is blinded by grief and hate and vengeance , so sometimes he might seem like mean and harsh, but he is so fiercely loyal and possessive with the ones he loves, and once he realizes that Yvenne has stolen his heart he dedicates himself completely to his queen.The side characters, Maddek Dragon the group of his warriors guards , add so much to this book Each one of them has an important role in their journey thru all lands in escape of Yvenne father I loved how close they were, how they gave advice from one another and how well they knew eachother.A beautiful journey filled with complex characters, sometimes violence and gore, but also so much love.This book takes you from the stressful reality of nowadays and drops you into a world of fantasy, gods and goddesses, creatures, monsters and warriors, so I would recommend you go for it


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