Hot Best Seller

Ashlords

Availability: Ready to download

Red Rising meets The Scorpio Races in this epic fantasy following three phoenix horse riders--skilled at alchemy--who must compete at The Races--the modern spectacle that has replaced warfare within their empire. Every year since the Ashlords were gifted phoenix horses by their gods, they've raced them. First into battle, then on great hunts, and finally for the pure sport Red Rising meets The Scorpio Races in this epic fantasy following three phoenix horse riders--skilled at alchemy--who must compete at The Races--the modern spectacle that has replaced warfare within their empire. Every year since the Ashlords were gifted phoenix horses by their gods, they've raced them. First into battle, then on great hunts, and finally for the pure sport of seeing who rode the fastest. Centuries of blood and fire carved their competition into a more modern spectacle: The Races. Over the course of a multi-day event, elite riders from clashing cultures vie to be crowned champion. But the modern version of the sport requires more than good riding. Competitors must be skilled at creating and controlling phoenix horses made of ash and alchemy, which are summoned back to life each sunrise with uniquely crafted powers to cover impossible distances and challenges before bursting into flames at sunset. But good alchemy only matters if a rider knows how to defend their phoenix horse at night. Murder is outlawed, but breaking bones and poisoning ashes? That's all legal and encouraged. In this year's Races, eleven riders will compete, but three of them have more to lose than the rest--a champion's daughter, a scholarship entrant, and a revolutionary's son. Who will attain their own dream of glory? Or will they all flame out in defeat?


Compare

Red Rising meets The Scorpio Races in this epic fantasy following three phoenix horse riders--skilled at alchemy--who must compete at The Races--the modern spectacle that has replaced warfare within their empire. Every year since the Ashlords were gifted phoenix horses by their gods, they've raced them. First into battle, then on great hunts, and finally for the pure sport Red Rising meets The Scorpio Races in this epic fantasy following three phoenix horse riders--skilled at alchemy--who must compete at The Races--the modern spectacle that has replaced warfare within their empire. Every year since the Ashlords were gifted phoenix horses by their gods, they've raced them. First into battle, then on great hunts, and finally for the pure sport of seeing who rode the fastest. Centuries of blood and fire carved their competition into a more modern spectacle: The Races. Over the course of a multi-day event, elite riders from clashing cultures vie to be crowned champion. But the modern version of the sport requires more than good riding. Competitors must be skilled at creating and controlling phoenix horses made of ash and alchemy, which are summoned back to life each sunrise with uniquely crafted powers to cover impossible distances and challenges before bursting into flames at sunset. But good alchemy only matters if a rider knows how to defend their phoenix horse at night. Murder is outlawed, but breaking bones and poisoning ashes? That's all legal and encouraged. In this year's Races, eleven riders will compete, but three of them have more to lose than the rest--a champion's daughter, a scholarship entrant, and a revolutionary's son. Who will attain their own dream of glory? Or will they all flame out in defeat?

30 review for Ashlords

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I reviewed this a long time ago on my blog and Netgalley. I just keep forgetting to get it of my currently reading. Thats why I dont like to have books currently reading. Either way, I enjoyed it! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 I reviewed this a long time ago on my blog and Netgalley. I just keep forgetting to get it of my currently reading. That’s why I don’t like to have books currently reading. Either way, I enjoyed it! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    I couldn't sleep last night, so I picked this up on a whim and devoured the entire book in one sitting! Scott Reintgen has a way with words; his writing is accessible to readers of all ages, his narrative is captivating and engaging, and his characters are diverse in a way that doesn't feel forced, or for the sake of diversity. Ashlords is a thrilling introduction to a new duology, and per usual the author has me waiting anxiously for the conclusion. This was a fast paced read, a brilliant I couldn't sleep last night, so I picked this up on a whim and devoured the entire book in one sitting! Scott Reintgen has a way with words; his writing is accessible to readers of all ages, his narrative is captivating and engaging, and his characters are diverse in a way that doesn't feel forced, or for the sake of diversity. Ashlords is a thrilling introduction to a new duology, and per usual the author has me waiting anxiously for the conclusion. This was a fast paced read, a brilliant adventure, and another success to add to Reintgen's collection of tales. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scott Reintgen

    Reminder: This book is out in the world now! Grab your copy today. I'm so excited for the rest of you to jump into the incredible world of phoenix horse racing. This is my favorite book so far. Shh. Don't tell my other books.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    WHAT. IS. THIS!!??? "Red Rising" meets "The Scorpio Races"!?? OMG! Are you freaking kidding me? Take all my money and keep the change!!! Also can we acknowledge that beautiful cover! So gorgeous! <333

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lia

    First of all, this is being sold as Red Rising meets The Scorpio Races and I just have something to say about it, which is: you wish. Said that, with such an intriguing premise and the promise of dangerous and deadly horse races, alchemy, a rebellion and freaking phoenix horses, I honestly expected this to become my next favorite book. What a fool I've been. It didn't even make it to the top 30. I must confess that at first I thought it was getting somewhere interesting and I was hooked but First of all, this is being sold as Red Rising meets The Scorpio Races and I just have something to say about it, which is: you wish. Said that, with such an intriguing premise and the promise of dangerous and deadly horse races, alchemy, a rebellion and freaking phoenix horses, I honestly expected this to become my next favorite book. What a fool I've been. It didn't even make it to the top 30. I must confess that at first I thought it was getting somewhere interesting and I was hooked but before I knew it Ashlords turned into something kinda hard to like and get into. I kept telling myself the good things were still about to happen, that I just had to be patient and wait, but I hardly made it to the end without dying of boredom and frustration. This book has an interesting plot, a well executed world building, a very fine writing, but it also has an annoying second-person pov, one of the main character constantly and very uncomfortably referring to his father as daddy, way too much politics, way too many names and way too little phoenix horses. The first half of the book contains a huge pile of informations and serves as an introduction to the characters and the complicated history of the world the story takes place in. Trust me when I say that this book takes the word info-dumping and exasperates it into infinity. The second half, revolves around The Races (a very tame version of the bloody ones you'd find in the book by Maggie Stiefvater's this story's been compared to) and the rebellion that, if anything, reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games minus all the pathos and a tad more confusing. Overall, Ashlords was not a bad book, but it was so distant from the book I was promised. Let's say that I loved the idea behind it more than I loved the book itself. Also, if you're gonna advertise this by comparing it to two masterpieces, make sure you know you can hold up to the comparison. I am absolutely in love with the cover and I'll probably read something else by this author, but when it comes to this one, I think we're done for good and it wasn't even the sweetest of goodbyes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    [3.5/5 stars] Scott Reintgens creativity always sparks my interest. I loved his Nyxia Triad enough to be sold on a new novel from him before even knowing what it was about. As it turns out, its about racing phoenix horses across the desert. Um, hell yeah, sign me up! A really cool concept and some great characters drove this story when other things like pacing and idea overload threatened to become issues. There are some well-thought out mechanics on the magic surrounding the breeding and care of [3.5/5 stars] Scott Reintgen’s creativity always sparks my interest. I loved his Nyxia Triad enough to be sold on a new novel from him before even knowing what it was about. As it turns out, it’s about racing phoenix horses across the desert. Um, hell yeah, sign me up! A really cool concept and some great characters drove this story when other things like pacing and idea overload threatened to become issues. There are some well-thought out mechanics on the magic surrounding the breeding and care of these phoenix horses, and I loved learning about their different ash compositions and how riders use them strategically for the races. Good stuff. The story contained three dominant POVs, and I’m happy to say I found each of them equally appealing. My favorite perspective, Pippa, was told using second person format, which I’m really, really hoping was done for a greater, as of yet unrevealed purpose and not just a stylistic choice added solely for variety. I’m specifically channeling Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy, where the reveal of the odd POV was my favorite aspect of the whole series… high stakes there, so I’m hoping this one lives up to expectation. :) The whole book is focused around this race, yet it was well past 50% of the novel before the race actually started. That first half was used to establish character and set up rivalries, but I don’t think it needed quite that much time. Especially when a lot of that could’ve been experienced on the course itself (much like what Collins did in the Hunger Games Trilogy). And I also would’ve like more expansion on the race itself (more obstacles and more time to really immerse in the experience… it went by too fast). After all, it’s the selling point of the novel – savor it! At the beginning of the book, there’s an author’s note I’d recommend reading before diving in. It explains how he came up with the concept for the story… and the fact that it was originally intended to be a race across four dimensions instead of just one. I’ve no idea what his writing peers read from him that caused them to shut down the idea and have him focus on just this world, but personally I would’ve been more inclined to encourage him to rewrite and re-devise and keep the original vision – it seems an excellent one! Additionally, there were a lot of jumbled concepts in this book that I think were leftovers from a much broader original outline that felt very out of place if this series is going to be primarily focused on one world (most notably, the “gods” dynamic). If I hadn’t read the authors note, my biggest criticism would have been that the story suffered from too many ideas that didn’t really come together. The insight was needed. But it also makes me yearn for the series he actually wanted to write. I trust the vision. Maybe it needed major reworking, but this almost felt like the plan B project instead of the golden idea project. I could be reading too much into this though haha. Overall, it’s a fun, creative introduction to this new series, and I’m already eager to see what happens next. Recommendations: this is an excellent recommend for YA Fantasy Readers who like books with competition. It would also be a great one to hand teens who have trouble getting into books – it provides a really accessible storyline that I think keeps attention really well (worth a shot, right?). I have a few personal reservations from a hyper-analytical standpoint, but I’m holding out to see how the series comes together in future books. The basic takeaway is: it’s a fun book! I think most will enjoy it. :) I’d like to thank Random House Children’s, Scott Reintgen, and Netgalley for the chance to read an early copy of Ashlords! Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com Other books you might like:

  7. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    With a tagline of ride or die, you know I'm down!!! Thank you so much, Crown Books for Young Readers, for my early copy!! Magical Horses. A competition. I could not be more excited about this!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Loretta (Laughing Listener)

    I'm not gonna lie to you guys, the flaming pony is the only reason I'm here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Review coming soon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sol ~ TheBookishKing

    "Yes, they die so that they might become something more." Hello, my friends! I recently finished this wonderful book and figured it would be a great story to review. Overview: Ashlords immediately throws you into this unique world of humans and phoenixes. Phoenixes are essentially horses who have the power to resurrect and burn, and people race them for sport and clout. There are three PoV's in this book and I enjoyed all of their stories. Imelda is a girl who manages to get a spot in the race due "Yes, they die so that they might become something more." Hello, my friends! I recently finished this wonderful book and figured it would be a great story to review. Overview: Ashlords immediately throws you into this unique world of humans and phoenixes. Phoenixes are essentially horses who have the power to resurrect and burn, and people race them for sport and clout. There are three PoV's in this book and I enjoyed all of their stories. Imelda is a girl who manages to get a spot in the race due to a scholarship. She has such a drive to keep her family safe and she thinks with this money from the race that she can do so. There is also a lot on her shoulders as her people are looked down upon by most in this world. Pippa is the daughter of the previous champions. She is strong and hopeful that she will conquer this year's race but at the same time battling demons (wink wink) that could ruin everything for her. Pippa's PoV is told in the second person and it brings you into her feelings so well, she is the shining star of this book for me. Adrian is the son of a commander, he is very focused on pleasing his dad and upholding his family's reputation. He's really the comical relief I feel like in this book, and he's also pretty much the "eye candy" if you will in this whole world. This is such an interesting world in my opinion based solely on the fact that the world revolves so much around these horse races and that they are so brutal. I was getting such Hunger Games vibes from this book because these Phoenix Racers are so caught up in the social and political aspects of racing. Winning these races brings so much fame and power that it's so important to pretty much all these characters to win. What I truly loved about this overall is that it's so incredibly fast-paced that you never get bored. And while the whole purpose of this book is for the races to happen, there is also a lot of character growth and development that takes place as well. I truly am so excited for the sequel and Scott reminded me again that he is truly a wonderful author. If you ever want a super bingeable book, I 100% recommend Ashlords. Also, the cover is stunning so that should be enough persuasion to pick up this book. Thank you Netgalley and Scotts Team for providing me with a review copy. I hope y'all have a great day and Happy Reading!

  11. 4 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . .  To those new to the crew, ye should know that horses were me first love before the sea stole me heart.  So obviously the flaming horse cover drew me in.  I have enjoyed this author's work in the past and I just had to read this. Me favorite part of this book was of course the horses, known as phoenixes, in this particular world.  Basically these horses Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . .  To those new to the crew, ye should know that horses were me first love before the sea stole me heart.  So obviously the flaming horse cover drew me in.  I have enjoyed this author's work in the past and I just had to read this. Me favorite part of this book was of course the horses, known as phoenixes, in this particular world.  Basically these horses were gifts from the gods, are powered by the sun, and last a day before bursting into flames and turning into ashes.  The riders save the ashes and when they are set back out in the rising sun, the phoenix horse is reborn.  Of course there be a catch.  If ye mix certain chemicals into the ashes, the phoenix's properties can change.  They can become faster, grow armor, etc.  This phoenix magic was so very cool. The plot involves a yearly competition called The Races.  Eleven riders participate to see who will be champion.  The winner receives fame and money.  But the race is dangerous, sabotage is expected, and people have been known to die.  The ashlords are the ruling elite and have the best chance of winning.  But there are two other groups of people - the middle class Longhorns and the Dividians at the bottom. This story has three points of view - racers from each of the three classes.  Pippa is the daughter of two racing champions and belongs to the ashlords.  She was born to win.  Adrian is a Longhorn, a splinter branch of ashlords that doesn't worship the gods.  Adrian is part of a group that be plotting rebellion and winning the race is part of the plot.  And then there is Imelda, a Dividian, who has always dreamed of being in the Races but doesn't truly believe she will.  Her goal is to spend as much time with the phoenixes as possible.  One thing to note about the points of view are that they change tenses: third person, first person, second person present tense.  It was a little odd at first but I got used to it. This was a quick one setting read that I enjoyed overall.  I loved Imelda from the beginning and found her choices in the race to be the most interesting.  Pippa was a character that has fantastic development.  I hated her in the beginning and she grew on me.  Seriously, it was surprising.  Adrian was the weak link for me and I didn't really like him much.  I never got excited to read his POV.  The other thing I really enjoyed were the gods and how they impacted the race.  I would like to know more about them and how they work. The main reason I only liked and didn't love this one was the ending of both the race and the book in general.  How the race ended was a bit ridiculous.  Seems to be a trend because taos lightning and the scorpio races had basically the same issues.  As for the ending, well I didn't know it was part of a duology when I read it.  The set-up for book two was rushed and the tone felt completely different from the rest of the book. The author's endnotes discuss the changes made to the story from its initial inception.  I wonder if the redirection led to the strange ending.  I kinda wonder what the story would have been like if he had kept the original POV character.  She was me favourite in the book and I was sad she was only a side character.  I am not sure if I will like book two's rebellion (that I saw coming from the get-go) or the love interests that seem to be developing.  But I will be reading it for more of the phoenixes cause they be awesome.  Arrrrr! So lastly . . . Thank you Crown Books for Young Readers!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    Scott Reintgens ASHLORDS is a literary powerhouse of imagination! Race along the elite riders in an annual race on phoenix horses that die each sunset, only to be reborn with alchemy the next sunrise. Deceit, treachery, and the need to win at any cost will test three riders from three different walks of life. Who will keep their honor and integrity? Who will fall to the lowest of lows? A brilliantly told tale that invites readers to ride alongside, peek into the characters minds and thrill at Scott Reintgen’s ASHLORDS is a literary powerhouse of imagination! Race along the elite riders in an annual race on phoenix horses that die each sunset, only to be reborn with alchemy the next sunrise. Deceit, treachery, and the need to win at any cost will test three riders from three different walks of life. Who will keep their honor and integrity? Who will fall to the lowest of lows? A brilliantly told tale that invites readers to ride alongside, peek into the characters’ minds and thrill at every step of the way! Scott Reintgen holds nothing back as he fires off a tale that will grab the attention of all readers, while targeting young adults with something they can sink their hearts, souls and minds into! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Crown Books for Young Readers! This is my honest and voluntary review. Duology: Book 1 Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (January 21, 2020) Publication Date: January 21, 2020 Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure Print Length: 368 pages Available from: Amazon |  Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Goicea

    I received a copy of this book from Crown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. Its the first time Ive seen it all so clearly. There are two worlds, and I know exactly which one I belong in. Content Warning: Death, Gore, Brutality, Profanity Ashlords has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. The first and I received a copy of this book from Crown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. It’s the first time I’ve seen it all so clearly. There are two worlds, and I know exactly which one I belong in. Content Warning: Death, Gore, Brutality, Profanity Ashlords has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. The first and foremost reason, which I think is obvious if you know me, is that it’s about phoenix horses. The first half of the story was great. There is quite a lot of world building, history given, political dynamics unraveled, and “rules of the game” explained. It was the second-half where this plot-line lost my interest as it became solely focused on the political maneuverings. Several details in Ashlords mirror plot points in The Hunger Games: a glitzy competition full of brutality (minus murder even though death happens) publicized over live television, romantic twists, betrayal, the underdog trope, etc. I think a lot of YA dystopias follow similar paths no matter what. Overall, this story contains some very unique details. Phoenix horses, alchemy, unique mythology/deities, definitely add a freshness to a story-line that has been done many times over. Ashlords is told by three different characters. Each character is from a very different station, and do well when giving insight into their beliefs, viewpoints, and stances on life. Imelda is a Dividian. Few Dividian ever make it to the races. Through her alchemy skills and social media maneuvering, she lands an unlikely spot in the race. Pippa is from an entirely different world. Born into a wealthy Ashlord family, she is favored to win. Both of her parents were winners of the race, and she isn’t about to let them down. The final viewpoint is told from Adrian. A “Longhand,” he represents the previously failed rebellion against the Ashlords. Their previous failure doesn’t stop his father’s pursuit in overthrowing the Ashlords, and is his reason for running the race. While I genuinely appreciated several unique points of this plot, there were a few things that I didn’t like so much. One was the changing POV voices. I don’t mind stories told by multiple characters. It’s not my favorite, but I’m fine with it. What is different about Ashlords is that the voice of the POV changes from third to second, but only for Pippa’s voice. I’m not sure, but I’m hoping that singling out Pippa for this POV has a reason and not just a choice of style. If it has a reason, it has the potential to be a clever technique utilized by the author. If not, it’s just a confusing addition to the narrative. Secondly, where are the phoenix horses? I was really hoping that this special horse would take front and center when it came to this story. Maybe I’m being too critical here, but I’m a horse-lover, and am dying for some solid horse representation in YA! What was offered here was motivational for the plot, but didn’t give anything extra for the reader. What was necessary was told, but those (many, I imagine) embellishments of the phoenix horses didn’t exist. They were more robotic, than anything. Horses have just as much character as humans do, so I was hoping for them to also be more individually characterized than they were. The writer is undoubtedly very talented. Certainly, many readers will connect with these characters. For my personal tastes, I didn’t care for how the plot shifted focus. I’m getting the feeling at my medial reaction to this story is a hint that I need to take a long break from dystopia-style plots, because they just aren’t grabbing me much anymore. Perhaps, at a different time in my reading “career,” I would feel differently about how this plot strikes me. I think Ashlords offers a unique world, but I didn’t connect with the characters much at all, and therefore, lost my focus. Vulgarity: Minimal. Sexual content: Minimal. Violence: Moderate. (See Content Warning.) My Rating: ★★★1/2 My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen’s Library

    4.25 stars. After reading and loving this author's first series, Nyxia, I knew I'd need more from him. Ashlords was exactly what I was waiting for! This book centers around horses called Phoenixes that die each night in a burst of flames and are raised from their ashes each morning using alchemy and magic. The alchemists choose what strengths and features their horse will have based on the chemicals used. It's such a unique premise and I loved it. Ashlords is The Scorpio Races meets The Hunger 4.25 stars. After reading and loving this author's first series, Nyxia, I knew I'd need more from him. Ashlords was exactly what I was waiting for! This book centers around horses called Phoenixes that die each night in a burst of flames and are raised from their ashes each morning using alchemy and magic. The alchemists choose what strengths and features their horse will have based on the chemicals used. It's such a unique premise and I loved it. Ashlords is The Scorpio Races meets The Hunger Games meets Hidalgo. There's a major race every year and this year Pippa, Adrian, and Imelda are 3 of the riders. Each teen comes from a different background and the story is told from their alternating points of view. The race is grueling, and extremely dangerous, especially since the racers try to knock each other out of the competition. What I really liked was the YouTubing aspect and how 2 of the protagonists film everything for the fans. The race itself is also live reality TV similar to The Hunger Games. This book kept me up late into the night and now I can't wait for the sequel!! *Thank you so much to NetGalley and Random House Childrens for the advance copy!*

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    I feel very violated that the book ended like that. How dare you. Uncalled for. I loved all the POVs...like so much. The race was so exhilarating from all perspectives and I somehow I was rooting for them all. Tiny pieces of it reminded me of the Lunar Chronicles which just gave me so much nostalgia.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rae

    Thank you to Netgalley and the Author and Publisher for giving me this ARC to read for a fair and honest review. Check out this review and others like it on my blog!!! http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev... "This was more than just a race. Our world is about to burn. And the two of us are the ones who will set it on fire." What makes a book great for you? Is it the characters? The world building? The romance? The action? There's something about certain books that set them apart from the rest, Thank you to Netgalley and the Author and Publisher for giving me this ARC to read for a fair and honest review. Check out this review and others like it on my blog!!! http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev... "This was more than just a race. Our world is about to burn. And the two of us are the ones who will set it on fire." What makes a book great for you? Is it the characters? The world building? The romance? The action? There's something about certain books that set them apart from the rest, something that makes them truly great. I find that I can really enjoy a book but still feel like it isn't a favorite, its got to have that special something to make it stand out and stick with you even after you've finished it. Ashlords blew me away. It has everything from interesting and real characters, to vivid world building, tons of action, and a dash of romance to keep all of us love sick swoony type of readers interested. I caught myself thinking about it constantly while I was at work and would rush home to pick it back up and read as much as possible before bed each night, household chores be damned! It was such a unique and interesting type of book that I could only describe as a mixture of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  With otherworldly horses that are raced in an annual competition each year in a futuristic arena that is constantly on display virtually for all those rich enough to pay for their prime entertainment, you can sort of see how it would relate to the books I mentioned. But Ashlords also has its own twist that makes it unique, that gives it its own world and characters to fall in love with. "A storm wouldn't be all that fun without a little noise." Told in alternating chapters between three main characters and their own journeys as they all end up in the race, we see how each person has a different motivation and reason to win. Whether it be to please the parents who have trained them and guided them through life for this one moment, or to give themselves a name and win so they can save their family from poverty, or even to start a war to break the chains holding them and their people from being truly free. At times I was pulled to one character or another but in the end I found all three POV to be equally as compelling as the rest. They all had a fight to win no matter if it meant winning the race or not. This was more than just a race from the beginning and with three powerfully driven characters there was bound to be a little thunder and lightning out on the course. In a completely unpredictable way, each character finds that once the race begins, they aren't as prepared as they thought they would be to face all the challenges that lay ahead, and that they must go above and beyond to make it to the finish line, to make it out alive. "I wonder if that's what happens to thunder, if that's why it's always a second late. Maybe it gets distracted thinking about how beautiful lightning is and forgets that its job is to make all the noise." The horses involved in this race are not your ordinary type of horse but in fact, Phoenix Horses. Each night the Phoenix Horses go up in flames and each sunrise the rider must work with their alchemy skills to put just the right ingredients together to create the perfect horse for the ride they will be taking that day. Whether it be a horse with armor, or a horse that can defy gravity, each alchemy combination has a different result when the Phoenix Horse is reborn in the first light of the sun. This was such a cool way to bring an element of science and magic into the story. I loved how there are endless different types of horses you can create depending on what you will need. I kind of wished there was more of this actually. While we got to see a few, it seemed like this could have been a really neat and in depth concept to get into but I get that there was a lot going on in this book already that it might make it drag on a little too much going into all the different types of rebirths that could be created. "The difference between glory and ruin can be measured in a single stride." I am now a definite fan of Scott Reintgen and will have to look into his other series considering this was his first book that I've read, I was pleasantly surprised! This was such a fun and different story and I need more!!! There is a kind of cliffhanger ending leaving you set up for the next book in the series so don't go into this thinking you will get the whole story in one book. I think that this book can be liked by all sorts of readers, whether you like the magical aspects or the science or the action or the romance, there really is a little bit of everything here to keep all interested. I would love if all the books I read for 2020 are on this caliber of greatness! Bring it on!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    if i wanted to read a story like the scorpio races or red rising, i would just read the scorpio races or red rising. both of which are immensely superior to this novel, in my opinion. it almost feels like an insult, really, to compare this to them. there are several things which led to my disliking of this: a son who calls his father daddy which made me cringe every time, the unfortunate and unnecessary use of second person POV for one of the characters, the race not even beginning until after if i wanted to read a story like ‘the scorpio races’ or ‘red rising,’ i would just read ‘the scorpio races’ or ‘red rising.’ both of which are immensely superior to this novel, in my opinion. it almost feels like an insult, really, to compare this to them. there are several things which led to my disliking of this: a son who calls his father ‘daddy’ which made me cringe every time, the unfortunate and unnecessary use of second person POV for one of the characters, the race not even beginning until after the halfway point and, even then, its just very underwhelming and inconsequential. this is just a massive miss for me, unfortunately. i would have DNF'd it if i didnt have such a compulsive need to know who won the race. ↠ 1.5 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    [actual rating 3.5 stars] Meh. Not what I expected and a long way from what I hoped for. I feel like the blurb on the back tells a completely different story than what I actually read but since this seems to be a duology, some of the aspects described in the blurb might find their way into the sequel? I still don't know how to feel about this because I think if you describe what the book is about or what will happen in the book then it should also happen in the book, you know what I mean? Also, the [actual rating 3.5 stars] Meh. Not what I expected and a long way from what I hoped for. I feel like the blurb on the back tells a completely different story than what I actually read but since this seems to be a duology, some of the aspects described in the blurb might find their way into the sequel? I still don't know how to feel about this because I think if you describe what the book is about or what will happen in the book then it should also happen in the book, you know what I mean? Also, the writing style was a big turn off for me. It felt clunky at times and didn't read fluently in my opinion. One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to writing is short sentences. I hate them. I hate when there are five or more 4-word sentences in a row. Unfortunately this book had a lot of them. And I mean, a lot. There was also an overall lack of description. There were descriptions, don't get me wrong, but just not enough and also the things I was really looking forward to, i.e. the horses and the race, were so... bland? I was hoping for some cool descriptions of the Phoenixes and whatnot but there were only a few times I was actually told what they looked like.. The story itself was again not really what I thought/hoped it would be and this might be the biggest disappointment for me. I was looking forward to reading this book for months and when you ultimately don't enjoy it? Bummer. I still think I'm going to read the sequel but I am definitely disappointed by one of my most anticipated book of the year.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    This fantasy gets off to a somewhat slow start, which surprised me a bit after the Nyxia stories' 0-80 speed bang out the gate. But this is also a more complicated world, and a more complicated story being set up. We've got three POVs, each written in a different style. Reintgen does a fabulous job establishing the three voices through the first half; I noticed that, in spite of the stylistic difference (third person, first person, second person present tense) the voices began to sound the same, This fantasy gets off to a somewhat slow start, which surprised me a bit after the Nyxia stories' 0-80 speed bang out the gate. But this is also a more complicated world, and a more complicated story being set up. We've got three POVs, each written in a different style. Reintgen does a fabulous job establishing the three voices through the first half; I noticed that, in spite of the stylistic difference (third person, first person, second person present tense) the voices began to sound the same, causing me sometimes to look back to see who we were with, as the race began in the second half. But I think the adrenaline rush of the brutal race explains the intense focus of the characters, who not only have to win, but to survive. The worldbuilding, in particular, the horse/phoenixes, is marvelously realized. The Ashlord gods I don't think are computers or robots, as so many fantasies have opted for, but something genuinely weird. (I could be wrong about that. We only learn about them through our young protagonists' eyes as they prep for the race, then embark. Lots of potentially intriguing questions there.) Altogether an involving world and a story that--once it gets going--slams home at mach speed, as the world erupts into war. I really want to see what happens next! Copy provided by NetGalley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Austine (NovelKnight)

    Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight! This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For all the books I've read, I'm not sure I've read one like Ashlords and I. Am. A Fan. This book is fast-paced and exciting and packed with twists and turns much like the very race it's centered around. I was initially intrigued by the concept of the phoenixes. In this world, they take the form of horses that Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight! This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For all the books I've read, I'm not sure I've read one like Ashlords and I. Am. A Fan. This book is fast-paced and exciting and packed with twists and turns much like the very race it's centered around. I was initially intrigued by the concept of the phoenixes. In this world, they take the form of horses that rise with the sun and die each night, with each rebirth different based on what's mixed with their ashes. Such a cool idea and brings together two things I'm personally a fan of. Well, three if you count the science/magic aspect of it all. We're immediately introduced to the phoenixes early on with Imelda, the Alchemist, one of the three point-of-view characters. The alternating perspectives was definitely one of the strengths of this book. Two points of view, Imelda's and Adrian's, are in first person but so distinct that it's obvious without needing to read the chapter headings who's speaking. The third, Pippa, is told in the uncommon second person which caught me off guard at first but I quickly fell into it and hers became one of my favorites. I'm not sure why Pippa was picked as the odd one out but I'm not sure it would have worked for the other two characters nearly as well. All three castes of the empire are represented by these three racers and I loved seeing the world from each perspective, what they have to gain... and what they'll lose if they fail. While I loved Pippa's voice, likely because of the distinctive second person style, I think Imelda was my favorite character. She's the one that surprised me the most with her decisions and her story didn't follow the direction I expected at all. Which was fantastic because what ultimately happens fits so much better. Plus her alchemy is pretty badass. I didn't dislike Adrian but he was my least favorite of the three (though since I liked them all, it required some nitpicking to rank them in any way). He's all about the rebellion his father wants to stage but how he changes by the end... I hope to see more of that in the sequel. Because yes, this book needs a sequel. The story isn't done in Ashlords by any means. At the same time, this is a contained story. This book is about the race, the time leading up to it and everything from the starting gate to the finish line. I feared that might become predictable or copycat-ish of other competition stories but while I think readers of The Hunger Games (as I haven't read the two books Ashlords is actually compared to) but it's not Hunger Games 2.0. It stands on its own and the uniqueness of the world and way it's written definitely made it memorable for me. Honestly, I couldn't put Ashlords down. It's action-packed with a story that ebbs and flows much like a marathon. Although this was the first book by Reintgen that I've read, it will absolutely not be the last.  Get Ashlords on your radar. You won't want to miss this YA fantasy competition filled with the path of ambition, the consequences of rebellion, and the impact of choice. A must-read for the year! For More Bookish Content: Blog || Twitter || Facebook || Bloglovin'

  21. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    3'5 Vid review will be available on Jan, 29th, 2020 here: https://youtu.be/rfeaH-Xm0hQ

  22. 5 out of 5

    Minx

    This book caught my eye because, honestly, any book that is compared to Scorpio Races is going to be one that I just have to read. I loved that story! Luckily, Ashlords did not disappoint. It was an imaginative fantasy and I loved the inclusion of the phoenix horses. I also appreciated that the alchemy involved with the resurrections of the horses was complicated and at the same time fallible. It made every resurrection a bit of a nail biter because there was never any guarantee that things were This book caught my eye because, honestly, any book that is compared to Scorpio Races is going to be one that I just have to read. I loved that story! Luckily, Ashlords did not disappoint. It was an imaginative fantasy and I loved the inclusion of the phoenix horses. I also appreciated that the alchemy involved with the resurrections of the horses was complicated and at the same time fallible. It made every resurrection a bit of a nail biter because there was never any guarantee that things were going to go right for the rider. In addition to a fierce competition, Ashlords was also about an empire that was on the cusp of a revolution, filled with corruption, and had an underworld filled with blood and fire. There are three main competitors in this story: Imelda Beru – a Dividian, Adrian Ford – a Longhand cowboy, and Pippa – an Ashlord. They come from three different walks of life and the story is told through their alternating viewpoints. There is much riding on this competition for these riders and it is more than the simple desire to win. The competition itself is brutal and it is every rider for themselves. Alliances are made and alliances are broken. There are some rules and the entire competition is monitored, except for certain areas, but there is a lot of room for bringing other competitors low. The race is available to watch for anyone outside of the competitors, so they want to be entertained, and seeing a rider fail or encounter challenges gives a better viewing experience. You can imagine how intense this competition can get. It is one wild ride for the reader. Ashlords is a wonderful reading experience with an imaginative world that really grabbed my interest, although it took a little time for me to fully immerse myself in. What initially threw me off was that this is a fantasy world with gods, spirits, and alchemy but they have their version of YouTube? I was not expecting that. They also have wristlets that keep the riders appraised of standings, hmmmm, this is a fantasy world but it shares much with our contemporary world and that took some getting used to. I was expecting a 100% fantasy setting not a dystopian blend. I am not saying that it was bad, just a bit of a surprise. Also, the voices of the characters are voiced differently, first, second, and third person, an unusual choice in my mind. Overall, Ashlords was a story that kept me on the edge of my seat. The pacing was fast and the ending will have you eagerly anticipating the sequel! This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nicole (FearYourEx)

    I requested an e-galley of Ashlords from the publisher without reading the synopsis. It had a fiery horse on the cover and the most important part Scott Reintgen was the author. So it was automatic request due to author. I was not disappointed one bit. This book follows three main characters Imelda (a Dividian), Adrian (a Longhand), and Pippa (an Ashlord, the favorite) as they prepare for and compete in a race. The Dividians are basically the lowest caste, they make less money, they are governed I requested an e-galley of Ashlords from the publisher without reading the synopsis. It had a fiery horse on the cover and the most important part Scott Reintgen was the author. So it was automatic request due to author. I was not disappointed one bit. This book follows three main characters Imelda (a Dividian), Adrian (a Longhand), and Pippa (an Ashlord, the favorite) as they prepare for and compete in a race. The Dividians are basically the lowest caste, they make less money, they are governed by Ashlords, etc. Imelda is chosen as a qualifier for the race because she cannot afford the entry fee herself. The Longhands are basically middle caste and dislike being pushed down by Ashlords. And the Ashlords are the ruling and richest caste. Adrian is in the race in hopes of starting a revolution for his people. Imelda just wants to actually win. And Pippa was born and bred to win the race. They ride Phoenix horses and the components they use to rebirth the horses each morning help create the horse and their strengths, which is the coolest thing I've ever heard of and my favorite part of the book. Not only does this story include freaking PHOENIX HORSES! But it also includes betrayal, revolution, deceit, and a TON of action. Like I could barely put the book down the entire second half. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    Wow, I freaking loved this!!! From the introduction at the beginning, I was hooked on this story. I love competitions and the world building in this was so well done. The mash up of magic and technology was interesting and the phoenix horses were awesome. We meet three main characters in this book: Imelda, the poor Dividian who is a phenomenal alchemist and gets to the races on scholarship; Adrian, a Longhand looking to spark an uprising against the ruling Ashlords; and Pippa, one of those Wow, I freaking loved this!!! From the introduction at the beginning, I was hooked on this story. I love competitions and the world building in this was so well done. The mash up of magic and technology was interesting and the phoenix horses were awesome. We meet three main characters in this book: Imelda, the poor Dividian who is a phenomenal alchemist and gets to the races on scholarship; Adrian, a Longhand looking to spark an uprising against the ruling Ashlords; and Pippa, one of those Ashlords who's a legacy rider and shoe in to win the races. The rotating points of view gave us a good understanding of the world and helped keep the plot moving. Entertaining, fun, and exciting, I enjoyed every page of this and I am so excited to see where the story goes in the next book!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    No spoilers in this rapid review of Ashlords. I liked it and give it 3.5 stars. This is the first of Scott Reintgens book Ive read, and it wont be my last. He has a fresh, straightforward style that I appreciate, and both his plot and characters were intriguing. Ashlords follows three teens preparing to ride in The Races, an annual event that pits different cultures within the empire against each other in an attempt to replace warfare. Entrants participate in a multi-day event riding phoenix No spoilers in this rapid review of Ashlords. I liked it and give it 3.5 stars. This is the first of Scott Reintgen’s book I’ve read, and it won’t be my last. He has a fresh, straightforward style that I appreciate, and both his plot and characters were intriguing. Ashlords follows three teens preparing to ride in The Races, an annual event that pits different cultures within the empire against each other in an attempt to replace warfare. Entrants participate in a multi-day event riding phoenix horses, which, as the name suggests, combust each night and then rise from the ashes the next morning. The three riders featured in the book are from very different backgrounds and have diverse goals for competing in The Races. Pippa is the favorite. Her family has a history of winning The Races, and her parents’ expectations are that she’ll do the same. Adrian is the son of a revolutionary and the prize of his people. He’s strong, well trained, and confident, the perfect combination to upset the favorite and win the race. Imelda, who entered The Races on scholarship, is perhaps the least likely to win. She’s a decent rider but is not trained in combat, which might be necessary if she encounters a fellow competitor as she rides. Her skill lies in the alchemy of the event, devising just the right compound to mix with her horse’s ashes to get the perfect beast when it rises the next morning. Ashlords has a Hunger Games vibe as these competitors from different areas of the empire come together to prep and train for The Race. They ultimately compete against each other in a televised spectacle. There can only be one winner, of course, and that person is crowned Champion, receiving the acclaim glory that goes along with the title. The stark difference from the Hunger Games is that murder is not allowed in The Races. Racers can scheme and fight, but anyone who kills a fellow competitor is disqualified. Reintgen spent a surprising amount of time in the build-up to The Race, but I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their motivations before the competition began. The most exciting part of the book, of course, was when the event commenced and the action truly began. Betrayals occurred and unlikely alliances formed. These alliances were my favorite part of the story. I kept asking myself: Can Pippa, Adrian, and Imelda place their trust in the new friends they’ve each found during The Race? I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. So many of the YA books these days stray to the very mature side of the spectrum. I’m happy to say that Ashlords felt like true YA in its themes and style. I recommend this book to fans of the Hunger Games series as well as The Scorpio Races, another book about horse races (one that I HIGHLY recommend, by the way). Read all of our reviews here. Check out our full book recaps here.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)

    4.5/5--there were some pacing issues--but rounded up because I freaking love the phoenix horses. Full review coming soon! (Sorry, I've been very busy/stressed lately with law school application stuff, but I PROMISE all my reviews will be updated soon, hopefully in the next week or so.)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    There was a lot going on in this book. The phoenix horses die every night and arise with the sun, and different chemical components change the horses as well. The country is complex and divided with the Ashlords and their gods ruling (and maybe not outwardly oppressing, but oppressing nonetheless) two conquered groups. And then there is the annual phoenix race, which is a combination of creativity, riding skill, fighting skill, and strategy. The story is told in three points of view. First is There was a lot going on in this book. The phoenix horses die every night and arise with the sun, and different chemical components change the horses as well. The country is complex and divided with the Ashlords and their gods ruling (and maybe not outwardly oppressing, but oppressing nonetheless) two conquered groups. And then there is the annual phoenix race, which is a combination of creativity, riding skill, fighting skill, and strategy. The story is told in three points of view. First is Imelda, the alchemist, whose creativity is famous. However, she is a Dividian, and has none of the advantages of the other groups of people, and no money to enter the race. Adrian is a Longhand (Ashlords who don't worship the gods) and is the most physically strong competitor. And finally there is Pippa, who is the daughter of two returning champions and the favorite to win. She surprisingly turned out to be my favorite too, although I really liked all three. I enjoyed this book a lot! But I don't want a phoenix...kind of.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    I liked this book. The premise is interesting, the world building original. But... its a lot. There is a lot of stuff. I loved the dystopian fantasy setting and the sciencey magic system in connection to the horses. I liked it A LOT. But there are SO many elements, and some of them dont quite feel like they fit in. I dont want to spoil anything, so I wont list them here... but lets just say that sometimes it can be great to add an unexpected element, and other times it can feel strident and throw I liked this book. The premise is interesting, the world building original. But... it’s a lot. There is a lot of stuff. I loved the dystopian fantasy setting and the sciencey magic system in connection to the horses. I liked it A LOT. But there are SO many elements, and some of them don’t quite feel like they fit in. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t list them here... but let’s just say that sometimes it can be great to add an unexpected element, and other times it can feel strident and throw you off. And some of them, I just never felt like they quite fit in, even as the story progressed. Sometimes, less is more. Complex world building with different facets takes a skilled hand and careful unveiling. If it’s unsubtle, it muddles things and slows the narrative rather than enriching it. Also, one of the MCs is the equivalent of a YouTube star, and right at the get-go, that didn’t feel like it quite fit in with the setting of the book. Another one of the MCs is narrated in second person. Multiple POVs, and everyone except her is in first. It never stopped sounding strange. Why are you talking to yourself?? 🤨 There were just so many little things pulling me out of the story on a regular basis. That’s probably what prevented me from creating a stronger bond with the characters, which was disappointing because a dystopian fantasy with an unjust caste system, a rebellion forming in the background, and three MCs with completely different backgrounds and challenges competing not just in the race but also for the affection of the reader... that’s my cup of tea, 100%. I’m rating it 3 1/2 STARS, but I definitely want to see where the story goes. The last few chapters had more tension and were more focused, so hopefully we’ll get more of that in the second book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)

    3.5/5 This one is rather hard for me to review, because I had some pretty mixed feelings about it. First, I just want to say that the concept is EPIC!!! Alchemy! Phoenix horses!!! I loved the riders' use of specific alchemical components to basically upgrade their horses. The concept was the shining gem of this book, and ultimately the main thing that kept me interested. I adored the horses and everything about them. The race was cool, too - it had a very Hunger Games-esque feel to it, but more 3.5/5 This one is rather hard for me to review, because I had some pretty mixed feelings about it. First, I just want to say that the concept is EPIC!!! Alchemy! Phoenix horses!!! I loved the riders' use of specific alchemical components to basically upgrade their horses. The concept was the shining gem of this book, and ultimately the main thing that kept me interested. I adored the horses and everything about them. The race was cool, too - it had a very Hunger Games-esque feel to it, but more magical. I will say that the end of the day death was pretty rough: every night, the phoenix horses died to be reborn again the next day. It was hard to watch them die, but (view spoiler)[ the worst was when Bravos stabbed his horse to death. It also sucked when other riders poisoned their competitor's horses :( (hide spoiler)] I disliked how some of them treated the horses as nothing more than a tool to win. The phoenix horses were definitely my favorite part, and I really wish there'd been more! I was disappointed at how short the actual race was. It didn't start until halfway through, and only made up about 40% of the entire book. I craved more! If the focus of the whole book had been on the horses, it could have easily been 4-5 stars for me. I wasn't super jazzed about the rest of the story, and I was pretty bored in the beginning, to be honest. The snippets of phoenix horses and alchemy were the only thing keeping me going because I didn't really care about any of the characters. Which makes me so sad! I really enjoyed Nyxia, and Scott is awesome. This book was one of my most anticipated releases, and I feel like something is wrong with me because I didn't enjoy it more :( I found Adrian to be meh. He didn't seem to have much personality or dimension, and I struggled to find anything worth cheering for in his character. I liked Imelda at first, but her character arc totally lost me mid-race. In the beginning I was on her side because she was stepped on and looked down on, but later, (view spoiler)[after she broke out of the race, (hide spoiler)] her story line kind of lost my interest. I don't know why, I usually love rebellion stories. Perhaps because I was so interested and invested in the race aspect? I just didn't really care about the war and rebellion, and found myself growing quite bored with it. I will say, however, that Pippa grew on me! She struck me as a spoiled, frivolous, rich brat at first, but toward the end I found myself actually cheering for her. I really wanted her to win! Plus I loved that her point of view was written in second person, present tense, very unique! Overall, this book was fun while I was reading, but won't leave any kind of lasting impression on me outside of the phoenix horses. I've already forgotten almost everything but them - I had to refer back to the book for my review, sadly. I didn't enjoy it as much as Nyxia, but still worth the read for the magical quality of the alchemy and phoenix horses! I have no doubt most everyone will love this book! This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annemieke / A Dance with Books

    Thank you to Random House Children's for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway DNF @ page 50. It pains me to dnf this because I was all ready to love the phoenix horses, and I still think that it is a great idea. However the set-up of the book is just not for me. There are 3 point of views that we follow and one of them is written in second person point of view. I found it incredibly jarring to read the constant you's and it makes me not want Thank you to Random House Children's for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway DNF @ page 50. It pains me to dnf this because I was all ready to love the phoenix horses, and I still think that it is a great idea. However the set-up of the book is just not for me. There are 3 point of views that we follow and one of them is written in second person point of view. I found it incredibly jarring to read the constant you's and it makes me not want to pick this back up again. I'd rather dnf and try another Scott Reintgen book than torture myself through something that has elements I really won't enjoy.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.