From Blood and Ash
My goodness, I just finished the first three books in the Blood and Ash series and I feel the need to tell the world about it.
Chosen for the chaste role of the Maiden in a land ruled by a mysterious people called the Ascended, Poppy Balfour is trapped. She cannot act freely and her life is already planned out for her. Then she meets Hawke, a dashing soldier with stunning golden eyes.
I summarised the events of the first book above because things get incredibly complicated from this point onwards and there is no way I could include more without spoiling things.
But this world is wonderful! I adore Solis and Atlantia and all the dynamics in these bloodthirsty yet charmingly rustic cultures. Armentrout always does a lovely job of descriptions - which I noticed in her other works - the Lux series (fit aliens - it works!), but here her talent really stood out. Her tone, despite the darkness of some of the plot, is surprisingly upbeat and had me grinning at the pages.
She has a brilliant flair for characters which you see in Poppy, Hawke, and other consistent characters like Kieran and Vonetta. You can't help but love them all.
If you love high fantasy tales with powerful leading ladies and brooding bad boys then this one is for you. It is not a light read but it is good enough to keep you tied to the story even when you're not reading.