Heir of Ashes (2018) by Jina S. Bazzar is a wonderfully crafted follow-up to the author’s prequel to the series The Curse. It is the first book in The Roxanne Fosch Files.
The story follows the protagonist Roxanne Fosch who has quite the rollercoaster of a past. Up until she was twelve she lived an existence like any other kid but by 21 her world is very different and that is where we meet her at the start. She is on the run, going under the name of Eliza Daniels, from the PSS who are a lot of quack scientists who have cruelly treated her in order to gleam information from experiments. In one experiment for instance they made her believe that her mother was dead. Roxanne has already killed in her quest for freedom and despite this readers can understand her reasons for doing so and are brought on the journey with her, hoping that she remains free. As well as her quest to remain free, she has another quest. She is looking for information about her past and where she comes from. However finding that information is often like trying to break into Fort Knox. It is a long read but it is worth it. Very well-crafted, packed with interest. You can tell that this series is something the author loves writing and is very invested in and when that jumps off the page for a reader, it creates a wonderful reading experience.
There is some romance in the book too. Roxanne soon falls for her companion on the road Logan. There is a very good emotional connection between the pair as well as speckles of subtle sexual encounters between them. This added romantic element works very well with the main sci-fi/fantasy and drama plots in the story. Logan is clearly the support Roxanne needs at this time in her life where she is going through much emotional turmoil and a fight for some sense of a normal existence. The will-they-won’t-they element of the plot really appealed to the romance reader in me and despite this being more of a subplot to the rest of the action, it was written amazingly well.
The writing style is great. Bazzar has great talent at painting vivid pictures of the scenes in the book. Readers can visualize all the scenes very easily in their mind which really helps immerse readers in the story. The character of Roxanne is also very likeable as is Logan and between them the two characters drive the plot and make readers care about how it will all end up for them. Roxanne has a lot to deal with. She is encountering true love for the first time while finding herself and tackling her enemies. This adds much drama and depth to the plot. There is a lot of action in this book. In a lot of action scenes in books or films, sometimes the action gets ridiculous. But not here. Bazzar creates very believable action scenes and how Roxanne gets out of these scenarios never feels contrived.
This book has a very important theme running through it. Roxanne is preternatural and is seen by society as different. This makes many feel that she is inferior, dangerous, a freak and an object to do experiments on. This can sometimes make even Roxanne who is an incredibly strong character start to doubt herself. While this book is set in a fantasy world, it is very true of our own real world where people who are deemed ‘different’ or ‘other’ are often subjected to behavior from a mild scale all the way up to a severe scale which other people aren’t subjected to. The author did a fantastic job of highlighting the issue of prejudice in the novel and of tying it so neatly into the plot as a central theme. It also helps readers relate more to Roxanne because most readers, most people in general, are deemed ‘different’ in one way or another.
In the area of the plot which deals with her family, there is a lot of intrigue and mystery. This thriller element was something as someone who loves mysteries I found very interesting. There is pieces from different genres flowing through the main fantasy genre which make for an interesting read for readers of various genres. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
A superb read.
To purchase Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar go to:
To read my review of the Prequel to Heir of Ashes go to:
And for more information about Jina S. Bazzar and her work go to: