Ash and Silver
by Carol Berg
496pp (Trade Paperback)
My Rating: 8/10
Amazon Rating: 4.7/5
LibraryThing Rating: 4.5/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.26/5

Book Description from Goodreads:

In Dust and Light, national bestselling author Carol Berg returned to the world of the award-winning Flesh and Spirit. Now she continues the saga of a man whose past is veiled in shadows….

Ever since the Order of the Equites Cineré stole his memory, his name, and his heart, thinking about the past makes Greenshank’s head ache. After two years of rigorous training, he is almost ready to embrace the mission of the Order—to use selfless magic to heal the troubles of Navronne. But on his first assignment alone, the past comes racing back, threatening to drown him in conspiracy, grief, and murder.

He is Lucian de Remeni—a sorcerer whose magical bents for portraiture and history threaten the safety of the earth and the future of the war-riven kingdom of Navronne. He just can’t remember how or why.

Fighting to unravel the mysteries of his power, Lucian must trace threads of corruption that reach from the Pureblood Registry into the Order itself, the truth hidden two centuries in the past and beyond the boundaries of the world…

Carol Berg is one of my favorite fantasy authors, mainly because of her rich worlds and memorable characters. Those were both reasons I very much enjoyed Dust and Light, the story of a sorcerer with mysterious gifts that’s epic in scope yet personal. After reading this excellent novel, I was very much looking forward to Ash and Silver, the second half of the Sanctuary Duet—and despite a slow start, I ended up enjoying it very much indeed.

It did take longer for Ash and Silver to pull me in than the previous novel, or at least it took longer for it to consistently make me want to keep reading. Though life with the Order and some of the new characters were quite compelling, there was a lot of focus on Lucian trying to regain some of his memories. At times, this included learning some new information, but it seemed like there was a lot of time spent discussing knowledge Lucian used to have. It didn’t exactly keep me on the edge of my seat to read about his rediscovery of basic information about himself, his family, and his magic that had already been covered in the first book!

Once it got further into the story and Lucian was knee deep in mysteries that hadn’t been answered in the previous book, such as who in the Order could be trusted, I couldn’t put it down. I also enjoyed that it explored how a lack of memory of key events in one’s life might affect them and that this was woven into the story naturally. Of course, Lucian struggles with missing various parts of his own memory, but it also examines how not remembering certain information about one’s own past might influence aspects of their personality.

Though it is quite different from the first book since Lucian’s been uprooted from his former life, Ash and Silver is a satisfying conclusion to the story begun in Dust and Light. I wasn’t quite as fond of it as the previous book since it did take longer for it to continue to hold my interest, but once it did get to that point, it was nearly impossible to stop reading! Its excellent characters, world, and reflection on memory made it a highlight of the 2015 releases I read.

My Rating: 8/10

Where I got my reading copy: Review copy from the publisher.

Reviews of Other Book(s) in This Series:

  1. Dust and Light