Once Upon a Dream of Dragons // Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas


Once upon a time, there was a timid princess…

As I surely mentioned in the review of this book’s companion, Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite princess for various reasons. That alone put some probably unfair expectations on A Wicked Thing, but it stood up to all that pretty well, well enough that there was even more pressure on this sequel. Well, I am here to reassure you AWT fans that this book delivers on the beauty of that first book, but most of all it gives us an Aurora who has been forged in fire and is no longer the timid princess who exists under the thumb of corrupt kings – she is Princess and hear her roar. As such, this book has a different tone than the first book, not quite as slow and introspective, but I think the two different tones work well together, so it’s not a complaint, simply an observation.

who would go on to find fire inside her

This book is definitely about Aurora digging deep and finding her inner strength. She is one tough cookie and she’s not afraid of dragons. She can be both timid and unsure of herself as well as unbelievably strong and drawn to the dangerous, such as the aforementioned dragons. Seriously, if you don’t like dragons, stick to the first book, which only has whispers of Aurora’s connections to dragons. I think this book did a pretty good job of balancing the fact that Aurora has a rare and enormous power while also not making her into some Mary Sue character who goes from zero to sixty in no time at all when it comes to understanding her powers. She struggles and has to work at learning her magic and how to control it and even what it is. In that sense, there’s still some of the introspection of the first book, but there’s definitely more action in this sequel.

as well as a prince who loved that fire but also let her take the spotlight

There is romance as well – it’s not all about dragons and princesses finding their inner fire (this phrase works too well for me not to keep using it, sorry). I won’t say who it’s with, but it’s something that gets started in the first book and really blooms in this one. I already liked this ship, so I didn’t mind the increased focus on the romance, but I feel like it could also throw some people for a bit of a loop. The character gets explored more since he’s a bigger part of her life now, so that was great to see, but the romance never took the focus, which was awesome.

and there were dragons

Yes, there were dragons. They were interesting, but they also weren’t infantilized – dragons are powerful, scary, and dangerous, and no matter how awe-inspiring they are, you still want to be careful around them. Dragons are cool to see on the TV screen or something, but I don’t think I’d like to see them in person because I am pretty sure I am quite flammable.

because Aurora is no sleeping damsel.

This book has simply cemented my love of Sleeping Beauty. Please give me more books that are full of awesome Auroras and such, bookish world. And please write more books right now, Rhiannon Thomas – I actually have an eARC of her new fantasy, Long May She Reign, and after reading and loving this book, I’m definitely excited for it. Bring on the awesome and strong princesses!

KingdomOfAshesTitle: Kingdom of Ashes

Position: Book Two in A Wicked Thing series

Author: Rhiannon Thomas (A Wicked Thing)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 368

Rating: 4/5

Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss. Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale.

But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.



2 thoughts on “Once Upon a Dream of Dragons // Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

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