Book Review: Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward

Legacy of Ash // by Matthew Ward // narrated by Suzannah Hampton

The Legacy Trilogy book 1

Pub Day: April 07, 2020

Publisher: Orbit

Pages: 768

Audiobook Length: 28 hours, 35 minutes


A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.

Ruling families — once protectors of justice and democracy — now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.

Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.

Viktor Akadra is the Republic’s champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.

Josiri Trelan is Viktor’s sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother’s failed rebellion.

And yet Calenne Trelan, Josiri’s sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the family name.

As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their home. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. And victory — if it comes at all — will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

Somehow this just keeps happening with Orbit titles but I am just so intimidated by reviewing books that blow me away with their amazingness. I was convinced to give this title a try by other reviewers and once again was not disappointed by them. I’m really learning who to trust with book recommendations lately. I initially saw the second book in this series in an email by the publisher but it didn’t really stand out to me. I was distracted by The Fires of Vengeance (review here) and Call of the Bone Ships (review here). Boy, was I wrong. And am I glad I listened to those other people because I would have hated to miss out on this book. It instantly jumped to my favorites of the year, if not favorites of all time. Yes, that IS how much I enjoyed this. It is definitely one of the absolute best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to, right up there with To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (review here), which we all know I’m totally obsessed with.

I generally like to review the book itself first and then the audiobook performance but when the narration is this excellent, I just have to address that first. Suzannah Hampton brought the characters to life in a way I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. She has a great range of voices and accents that made it so easy to tell the characters apart right away in a way that I don’t often come across. I am deeply disappointed that so far there is no plan for the recording of the second book, Legacy of Steel, as I would have loved to continue on in the same manner. But I am lucky to have it available as a print ARC already thanks to winning a Twitter giveaway.

Legacy of Ash is my first experience with Matthew Ward’s writing and I am blown away. His world-building, which was a big focus of this first book in this series, is amazing. It lays out both the setting as well as the class system in great detail. As is often the case, there are the oppressors and the oppressed as well as several outside nations that are involved in the conflict. The story lines, which are told in separate point of views, are intricately linked but what is so enthralling is that the author makes you care about each side in those conflicts in a way that makes it difficult to choose who you want to see win. But this isn’t just about the discord between nations. There are also fascinating inter-family struggles that affect not only the members of those families but their world as a whole. And it is always satisfying to still have one character you can hate from start to finish as well.

It takes me a long time to choose what audiobooks to spend my Audible credits on and I don’t know why I decided on this one when I already had the print book coming in the mail. But I am so glad I did. I loved the hours I got to spend listening to Suzannah Hampton and I know for sure that I will listen to it again in the future. I really hope the second and third book will eventually get her narration as well so I can enjoy the whole series in the best way possible.

Affiliate Link:

If you think you’ll enjoy this awesome book, I would appreciate if you consider purchasing it here.

I am super excited to be a part of as an affiliate. With every book sale that is done through my shop link here, at no extra cost to you, I receive a percentage which will be used to continue to bring you book-related content (probably going straight back into Bookshop). What is really awesome though is that a percentage will also go to support independent book stores across the country, which has already helped support (and even save!) many book stores during the COVID struggles.

About the Author:

Cat-servant and owner of more musical instruments than he can actually play (and considerably more than he can play well), Matthew Ward if also the author of Legacy of Ash, architect of Coldharbour, and Creative Consultant on Vermintide 2. He’s afflicted with an obsession for old places – castles, historic cities and the London Underground chief amongst them – and should probably cultivate more interests to help expand out his author biography.

After a decade serving as a principal architect for Games Workshop’s Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 properties, Matthew embarked on an adventure to tell stories set in worlds of his own design. He lives near Nottingham with his extremely patient wife – as well as a pride of attention-seeking cats – and writes to entertain anyone who feels there-s not enough magic in the world.

Bio taken from Matthew Ward’s website, which provides a lot more interesting info on this series and his other endeavors. I especially enjoy his blog! You can also find him on Twitter here.

About the Publisher:

Orbit is a leading publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy, with imprints in the UK, US and Australia. They publish across the spectrum of Science Fiction and Fantasy – from action-packed urban fantasy to widescreen space opera; from sweeping epic adventures to near-future thrillers. Launched in 2007, Orbit US is the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint at Hachette Book Group USA.

Follow them on Twitter to stay up to date on their book happenings! They often have giveaways going on so make sure you don’t miss out on those!

So beautiful!

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.

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