Goodreads: Kingdom of Ash and Soot

Author: C.S. Johnson

Published: 3rd July 2016 (Prodigy Gold Books)

Source: Copy from Publisher

Rating: 5/5 (Loved it)

Official Summary: ““I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.

“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.” Lady Penelope held up her hands, brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts. “This world lives enslaved to its destruction, and so long as you are living, as long as you are fighting, you will be free.”

I gazed at the daggers, transfixed. Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard, but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me, as though it was calling for me.

PRAGUE, 1870.

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.

But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup. As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators. Now, Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of others.

Can Eleanora find a way do the right thing and still find freedom?

With a fun blend of historical fiction, true love, castle intrigue, and family dysfunction, The Order of the Crystal Daggers is the latest adventure series from C. S. Johnson.” – Goodreads

Review: Well, I am a sucker for action, this book was well paced but there wasn’t a whole lot of action. Well there was. Just not the sword/dagger action I was expecting. I do get why there wasn’t a lot. She is new to the scene, apart from fighting with her brother and stepsiblings, she not an expert. You can’t expect her to suddenly master everything overnight. Which is also nice to see, so when she does go ninja it all the more satisfying because you know she has put the time and effort into getting better.

The romance was well done as well, it wasn’t the main focus of the story. It was just there to add layers to the characters and the story. There was a lot of history within this story, which was interesting to learn new things about Prague, I just never knew about. You could tell the Author had spent a great deal of time researching.

It was also nice to see the brother/sister relationship as a strong element to the story. You could really tell they loved each other. No matter the hardship they had gone through together, they stuck together through it all.

(Disclaimer: I got a free copy from the Publisher. Does not affect my review)