Book Review: Witches of Ash and Ruin

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.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

From the first page of Witches of Ash and Ruin, I was hooked. It was hard not to hook me though. I love books about witches and I love books about serial killers, so when you put the two together, I am going to be a happy reader.

The plot line is engaging and action-packed. It really was hard to put it down once I got started. And the plot twist – oh my! Don’t get me started!! I can only hope that there is a sequel coming sometime soon. (I’d even read a prequel if there was one.)

Witches of Ash and Ruin is written from a number of different points of view, which keeps the plot moving and varied. There were times when I had to remind myself who’s chapter we were reading but I didn’t really mind. It was fun to be in so many different heads as all the action was taking place.

Would I recommend Witches of Ash and Ruin? Yes.
Will I be reading it again? Yes.
Will I be waiting very impatiently for more from E. Latimer? Yes.

I give this book 4 Sips.

Special note: The author posted the following trigger/content warning list on her Goodreads account in support of the book. I thought if it was important enough for her to note, I should note it too:

-Homophobia and forced outing (forced outing isn’t on page/occurs prior to story).
-Mention of/alluding to conversion therapy.
-Self-harm/blood magic.
– Mention of rape.
-Alluding to/mention of physical/emotional abuse

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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