Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer. This tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.
Witches of Ash and Ruin
by E. Latimer
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 3rd 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT, Queer
Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy and A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.
Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.
And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer’s motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don’t stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.
With razor-sharp prose and achingly real characters, E. Latimer crafts a sweeping, mesmerizing story of dark magic and brutal mythology set against a backdrop of contemporary Ireland that’s impossible to put down.
That was quite the cliffhanger ending.
Witches of Ash and Ruin is a fairly dark book. There is dark magic and blood magic. There is a lot of blood and death. But it also focused a lot on family. Dayna’s mom had been sent to “camp” years ago and she didn’t know her. Her father was a reverend. That doesn’t work out too well since Dayna is a witch. Her friends in the coven have become her family and she would do anything for them. The love between the women was so strong.
A different coven was on their way to Carman. Grandma King, Meiner, and Cora were a very different type of coven. Grandma King was slowly losing her mind and she was violent and abusive. Grandma King was known to do dark magic and had been banned from the coven. But she was having visions that led them to the Carman coven.
Witches were being killed. The thought was that it was The Butcher, a killer that has a pattern of killing in different areas over the years. His mark was left behind. Some of the chapters are in Dubh’s point of view. We find out quickly that he’s a witch hunter and killer. But we don’t know why until later on in the book. Dubh is pretty messed up. Body parts are always taken when he killed. Part of a ritual.
Tongue and eye, hand and foot. Blood and bone, ash and soot.
The women of the coven know that more death will be coming to them unless they could stop the butcher. They work on spells and research to figure out why this person was killing witches and why Carman? There isn’t a large coven there to choose from.
Meiner is pretty angry all the time. She’s violent and rages at times. But somehow, she starts to care about Dayna and even the other witches. Meiner was supposed to take over the coven when Grandma King passed away, but Cora was the power hungry one. Cora and grandma start spending time together privately and Meiner knows something is wrong.
Without giving too much away, the killings are something darker than expected. There are gods that are good and gods that are bad. People die and others get hurt. And the ending left me wondering what could happen next.
I gave this book 3 1/2 stars rounded up to 4. Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for my review copy.
Warnings for violence, abuse, blood magic including cutting, anxiety, OCD, sacrifice, homophobia and outing someone as bisexual, mention of sexual assault, and the cutting of body parts.
There can be no power without sacrifice.
Witchcraft was real. Magic was real.
“Wicked deeds best done after dark.”
“Magic is about meaning. The symbolism behind each object has power. Together they give words strength enough to read the gods’ ears.”
There was a little witch in every woman, but not every woman is a witch.
E. Latimer is a fantasy writer from Victoria, BC. Her middle grade novel,The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray was published by Tundra Books, and was recently nominated for the Red Maple Fiction Award.
In her spare time, she writes books, makes silly vlogs with the Word Nerds about writing, and reads excessively.
Her latest novel, Witches of Ash and Ruin, will be released Spring/Summer 2020 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Prize: Win (1) copy of WITCHES OF ASH AND RUIN by E. Latimer (US Only)
Starts: 16th March 2020
Ends: 30th March 2020
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