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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

A Prelude to Ashes by Thiago Abdalla SFINCS Book Review

SFINCS 2023 Championship Banner
SFINCS 2023 Championship Banner

This review is part of the Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship (SFINCS). SFINCS, pronounced “sphinx”. This is a yearly competition to recognize, honor, and celebrate the talent and creativity present in the indie community. It’s a sister competition to both SPFBO and SPSFC, and it highlights greatness in the novella format in all areas of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.).

To see more information on my team Behind the Musings check out this post!

A Prelude to Ashes by Thiago Abdalla book cover
A Prelude to Ashes by Thiago Abdalla

Book Blurb for A Prelude to Ashes

Prince Adrian has a secret.

He has been meeting with Myrra, the princess of Dakhra. They love each other, but their fathers are mortal enemies, and Dakhra is not a part of the Domain.

The rulers of the Domain nations have been granted hundreds of years by the blessings of the Seraph, and their borders are kept safe by the Church’s elite griffin riders. But the enemies of the Domain are gathering.

A foreign threat may be the chance Adrian and Myrra need to bring their nations closer... if they can convince their fathers to work together.

Will new enemies be enough for rivals to overcome old grievances, or will they bring them closer to war?

A Prelude to Ashes is a prequel novella that takes place one hundred years before the events of A Touch of Light, the first book in the Ashes of Avarin series.


Book Review for A Prelude to Ashes

A Prelude to Ashes starts off on an exciting note filled with political tension. Prince Adrian desperately hopes for an alliance between Dakhra and the Domain. Not only will their supply of ruinstone greatly help his nation, but he has also fallen in love with Myrra, the princess of Dakhra. Begrudgingly his father has gathered the Domain’s representatives to speak. But on the day of their appointed meeting, everything goes wrong. Upsetting the one hope Adrian had of peace and unity.

Readers will be pulled into a fast-paced string of events as multiple parties launch attacks on the Domain. Forced apart, Adrian and Myrra join their prospective sides as battles wage. And as animosity grows between the Domain and Dakhra, the two lovers will begin to question their loyalties. When choosing between family or love, Adrain and Myrra will have hard decisions to make.

Some scenes wrapped up fairly quickly on the page. Extending the tension beyond battle to produce minor risks to the characters would have brought smoother transitions. However, each battle is sure to hook readers in as they bring increasing risk and challenge to the characters.

As a prequel novel to A Touch of Light, A Prelude to Ashes does a wonderful job of setting the pace and building world foundations for readers to expand upon. This is a novella for those who enjoy politics and battle with a side of romance.

To Purchase: Bookshop | Author's Website

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