~ Book Review: A Realm of Ash and ShadowSilver in the Bone (A Realm of Ash and Shadow #1) (ARC) ~

Expected publication April 11, 2023

Author: Lara Buckheit

Eighteen-year-old princess, Valeria Breault, is sure of three things. She was exiled from Empyrean because her father didn’t want the hassle of raising her. Her perfect realm would be better off without a mortal-raised smart-ass with a foul mouth and penchant for trouble. Neither of those things matter when a horde of demons crashes prom.

Forced to fight for her life, Valeria narrowly escapes being captured by the Realm of the Forsaken, only to be dragged back to Empyrean before she is meant to return. Instead of the beautiful utopia from her bedtime stories, Val finds herself thrown into a hellish nightmare where the poor are dying, the rich are thriving, and her claim to the throne is in jeopardy. But not if Valeria can help it.

The overwhelming desire to belong and a craving for power has her making choices that make it harder and harder to guard her heart against the man who’s bound to protect her, the god she’s vowed to hate, and the darkness that’s growing inside her. Only time will tell if the secrets she unravels and the alliances she makes will lead to the throne or the pyre.

A Realm of Ash and Shadow has the drama, spice and stabby energy of From Blood and Ash, the sexiness and thrills of Kingdom of the Feared, and the magnetic world-building of Sarah J. Maas making it a truly addictive romantasy that will utterly captivate you until the very last page.

A Realm of Ash and Shadow (#1)
Untitled (#2)

A Realm of Ash and Shadow is the first novel in a series of the same name. There are some vibes from From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout, ACOTAR by Sarah Maas, and Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco where smaller elements from each were weaved together with the author’s own vision. The cover and synopsis made me request this novel and I am glad that I gave it a chance. This story follows 18-year-old princess Valeria Breault who has been exiled from the Realm of Empyrea to the Realm of Mortals. After she avoids being captured by the Realm of the Forsaken, she returns to Empyrea and finds it is not how she left it.

The story begins with Valeria at her prom with her best friend Mason before expanding into Empyrea where she meets Gideon and later Vemdour. The romance in this story actually features her bouncing between multiple suitors, which isn’t always my cup of tea, but I hope everything comes together more in the sequel. The instalove between Gideon and Valeria was a bit much as there did not seem to be a lot of substance in the writing. Instead, it seemed physical attraction and nothing more. This story is full of easter eggs for the plot, so there could be more relating to the romance and how it will develop more in the future. With each romantic suitor, I felt each of them were a little incomplete as I feel more reasoning was needed for why the reader should connect with each.

The story moves through each realm and while I love the more fantasy-filled ones, I do with the beginning in the Mortal Realm was extended. It felt there was not a lot of time there just to establish everything before the story moves into the next place. The novel is plot driven where Valeria goes on a journey to find out more about herself and her past. Along the way there are multiple plot twists and foreshadowing for possibilities in the sequel. There are some parts that more rushed than others, but the writing as a lot of potential. As a character, Valeria was both likable and unlikable, but she was interesting at least. Overall, there is a lot of potential in the series and I look forward to seeing what the sequel holds.

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Sword and Silk Books, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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