Title: MOUNTAIN AND ASH
Series: ENA OF ILBREA #2
Author: MEGAN O’RUSSELL
Publication Date: JANUARY 30, 2020
The Guilds are not her only enemy.
Ena has pledged herself to the Black Bloods’ cause, spending months saving children from the grips of the Sorcerers Guild. But freedom demands a steeper price.
Following her heart has led Ena through danger and to a sanctuary she never dreamt existed. Surrounded by magic, a future free of blood and pain seem within her grasp. But hope and love have never been a part of her story.
As danger haunts her home, a powerful force demands her aid in murder. Refusing will endanger everyone she cares for—taking an innocent life is more than her soul can bear.
When deaths comes for Ena, will she lose her heart or her life?I was blown away once again by Megan’s amazing storytelling. Her work, her writing, the way she plotted the story was truly remarkable. It’s impossible not to love this series. I think this series might be up there on my top 3 favorite YA-Fantasy series of all time.
I really had a high expectation of this book because of how good the previous books was. Safe to say that this one really lived up to my expectation. This is a continuation of the first book. Ena’s journey in this one was a lot tougher, and more challenging in a bigger way. I spend most of the book worrying about the main characters, especially Finn (he’s my most favorite charming guy).
This time around, the story focus more on Ena and Finn’s mission to save the children who were born with magic in their blood. I really like seeing these two going out on a mission together. It was a really nice change from the previous books. I wonder what will be the focus of the next book. The sorcerers still play a big part even though they didn’t make a lot of appearance in the story, but the threat they pose was big enough to make nearly everyone fear them. I wonder if they will appear more in the next installment instead of just their soldiers.
After finishing this one, I was left with more questions like where did the beast came from, who was the traitor, is there anyone who control the sorcerers and made them do things like take away the children, and what was Finn and Ena talk about when they found the stone at Lir Valley (something along the line of the familiarity of the stone). I really need the answers, but I know I have to wait for the next book to find out about it.
There are so many new things in this book, and the whole story was so intense. There was plenty of action which only set the intensity level higher than before. I enjoyed seeing the action scenes. And the whole scene with Regan who is the leader of another Black Blood clan made me nervous. I really had a bad feeling about her. Will she appear again? I hope so—maybe in the final book.
The characters that has a lot of focus are still Ena and Finn. I feel like Liam and Emmet are more of the side characters than main in this one—even though they were both main characters. To me, they will always be the main four of this series. Their characters went through a lot of things and had to face tough challenges together. The things they had to do just to make sure everyone was safe only showed how great they are as a person.
Ena has some great development in this one. She has become a lot braver than she was before, and she always stands up for what’s right. I only have a slight problem with her character which was her stubbornness and her temper. It was very rare to see her cool down. I’m wondering if she’ll be able to control her temper in the upcoming books. Will she ever stop being stubborn? I don’t think so, but it won’t hurt to see her try not to be stubborn for once.
Ena has some great qualities, and this book mostly focus on how she will deal with what she has to do. It was nice to see her being vulnerable in this one because it was very hard to see her in that way. She always appeared tough, but to see a little bit of her vulnerable self was kind of nice. The things she had to go through in this one was very challenging, and despite how difficult the mission she had to carry was, she still managed to do it with ease. The ending was really shocking to me, and the preview of the next book had me wondering where she was. Her whereabout was a mystery, but I hope she’ll be back with everyone at the camp as soon as possible. To see her suffering all alone and not knowing where she is hurt me, I just want good things for her since she suffered enough already.
Finn is still as charming as he was before, and his love for foods never fail to make me happy. Out of all the characters in this series, Finn is my favorite and it would pain me so bad if something bad were to happen to him. Finn should be protected at all costs because he’s too precious to lose. He never fail to make me laugh, and I really loved him so much. There isn’t enough words to describe how much I love this character.
Not only is he charming, but also smart and a great fighter. His protectiveness makes him more likable than her already is. I really loved his friendship with Ena. These two are like two best friends who can’t leave each other’s side because they’re basically have a deep special bond. Their friendship is golden, I can’t imagine what he felt at the end there to see Ena running toward danger all alone. He must’ve been worried sick about her, and they better have an epic reunion in the next book. Honestly, Finn doesn’t lack a thing to me, his great qualities shine so bright making him the best out of the four main characters. The world would be so boring and so dull without him in it.
As for Liam, he is a very complex character. He always feel so conflicted about everything. This book really show his proper role in the story, and it also show what a great leader he is. As a leader of his clan, it was his job to make sure everyone is safe, and it was also his job to give orders. The leader in him shine in this one which only makes him more intimidating. But the more I see it, the more I realize how he was battling something inside of him. It was like there is something that just doesn’t sit well to him, like there is something that bothers him. I can’t even remember when was the last time he was feeling calm and was at peace. I’m excited to see what the author has in store for his character.
Emmett doesn’t make much appearance this time around, and as much as I hate to admit it, I do miss his character. I couldn’t blame Emmett for wanting to protect Ena and wanting her to stay behind because he is her older brother, but I can’t help be frustrated at him sometimes due to how much he wants to control her life. I understood why he was so controlling and so protective, and if I were him, I also wouldn’t trust Ena to carry out a dangerous mission on her own, but can he at least let her do her thing for once without trying to control her life all the time. He and Ena shared the same temper, and I always asked myself if these two will be able to cool down and control their temper!
Emmett with a temper is very dangerous, but can’t this man at least try to control it? And will the readers ever finds out the famous story of how he saved Liam’s life? He is a well-respected man in the Black Blood clan even though he is not a Black Blood himself, and even some of the Black Bloods were afraid of him. The reason why they were so afraid of him and why they respected him so much still remain a mystery and it only boost my excitement of wanting to know the legendary story of Emmett Ryeland. Ena also had no clue about it and so am I. Will the next book tells the story? Or do I have to wait until the final book? Well, I don’t have the answer so I guess I have to wait. He also hinted about a traitor in the clan, and I was wondering how much did he know, and if he know the person! I feel like Emmet knows a lot more than he tells, and will he ever share all the information that he knew? I can’t wait to see what his character brings in the next book.
I was satisfied with how the story goes, and really loved how well-plotted it is. I’m so excited for more of Ena and Finn adventurous journey next. Keep these two as partners because they’re so good at it—I mean it in a friendly way! The more excited I am for the next book, the more nervous I feel. But I’m so eager to know what happens next. Any books in this series are so enjoyable to read, and I’m sure that I will enjoy the next installments too.