This book killed me.
Sherrilyn Kenyon really outdid herself on Ash’s book, revealing the deepest and darkest secrets one could reveal about a character. Not a single layer of Ash’s life was kept hidden. And it was both beautiful and terrifying to read.
The book starts off with Ash’s mother, Apollymi and her actions to keep her baby boy safe. Striped from her womb and placed into another pregnant mother’s belly, Ash’s most critical moments of his life occur and he’s not even born yet!
When Ash's new mom gives birth, she discovers that she has two sons. But one, Ash, has eyes that startle the family. They believe him cursed so they shun him, disowning their son even before they even know him.
Fast forward years later and Kenyon tells Ash’s story through the naive eyes of his older sister, Ryssa in the form of diary entries. This part of the book is the hardest to get through. Reading about what happens to Ash’s through his sister’s eyes made me feel helpless. But I also felt that Ryssa continued to make the same mistakes over and over again where Ash was punished with the consequences. There were many instances where I wished Ryssa would stop her endeavours to help her brother because it only made things worse.
And then there is Artemis, the goddess whom I loved to hate. I do not like her. At all.
While I did enjoy the small bubbles of joy and love she brought Ash, she was still a terrible “friend”. And that is all I’m going to say about her.
The rest of the book is set in present time with an Ash that is all goth-ed out. Seeing him now and knowing what he endured, it made me consider his character in a different way than if I had just read the part of the book set in the present.
Kenyon does a great job of incorporating both parts into one cohesive unit, using Ryssa’s diaries as a prized possession that many people would like to get their hands on. Storia included.
Storia was a great woman for Ash. She didn’t fall for his good looks and I loved that she had a passion in her life.
The only thing negative I have to say about this book is that some scenes in part one dragged on a little too long and it impacted the pacing a bit. And I have to wonder how a man like Ash can overcome his tortured past. I will not say it was an easy thing to do, but the Ash in part two seems different and not at all how I suspected someone who endured something so traumatic and heartbreaking. But then again, it’s also part of the reason why I love Ash just the way he is.