Review: Ashes of a Black Frost – Chris Evans

Series: Iron Elves #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 448
Published: October 13, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: For review

The Calahrian Empire is collapsing. All across the realm native populations are rising up to throw off the shackles of colonial rule. Two key factors drive this — the return of the Stars of Power and Knowledge and the spread of the Shadow Monarch’s forest. The result is that the Calahrian Imperial Army is stretched thin trying to maintain order at the critical moment when it is needed to fend off the advances of the elf-witch. For the Iron Elves regiment, their loyalty is tested to the breaking point. The Prince is devastated by the destruction of the Lost Library and the realization that the Empire he is to inherit is crumbling. Major Konowa Swift Dragon is determined to lead the living survivors of the regiment while Private Alwyn Renwar — an emissary with his own agenda — commands the dead. Together, their only hope is to break the oath that binds them, but doing so means making the perilous journey to the Shadow Monarch’s mountain in a final confrontation that may be the ultimate trap. There is only one way to find out…

My thoughts:

This is a different sort of fantasy, I do know that fantasy is about war a lot, but this takes it a step further. It is military fantasy and the author does it so very well.
In the third and final book the world is crumbling. An evil elf wants destruction, and our hero, Major Konowa is bent on finding and destroying her. Since this is military fantasy there is a lot of fighting. First they have to fight they way out of the desert they are in. Evil beings and trees are after them (yes trees ;). And then there is the final battle against the Shadow Monarch. Evans keeps the tempo up and when I am closing in on the end I still do not know how this all will turn out.
While reading it I find myself thinking of the Hornblower adventure books (even if those are set at sea), and the Richard Sharpe series, because the military feeling is clearly 19th century. I do like it because it is so very different. There are usually no guns in fantasy, and I always like those who try something new.
I know that the whole military aspect may be a bit of a turn off for some, but after I had read book 1 I was hooked. You root for the Iron Elves and Konowa. And there is even a tiny bit of romance, I say tiny because it is tiny, but at least it has me hoping he will get his girl. 
A nice conclusion to this series and with an ending that made me happy. If you want to try something different then give book 1 a go (because you do need to read the books in order.) And it truly is fantasy for everyone.
Nice, oh and I must mention how much I love the title!

27 thoughts on “Review: Ashes of a Black Frost – Chris Evans

  1. Missie says:

    I love books that remind me of other stories I've read yet are still different, and isn't it great when a beloved series ends on a satisfactory way? Glad to know you enjoyed it.

  2. Blodeuedd says:

    MissieOf course I have only watched those on tv but still yes ;)And very happy about the end indeed, it does not always happen with fantasy.VivienneIt sure is different, I will tell you that.DianaLol, I did think of the Lotr trees. These are different ones but Konowa sure swears cos of them a lotAnaI am glad to hear that, do give it a go and see if it is the thing for you

  3. Karen says:

    Do you mean Horatio Hornblower? My husband and I used to watch the television movies they had years ago with Ioan Grufford.I'm enjoying picking up series lately that are over! The waits were killing me.RE: Your comment about Body & Soul – I'm not sure how it can work for Alona & Will either. Makes me nervous.

  4. StephanieD says:

    You know, I read a couple Temeraire books which was high fantasy with a military setting and loved it. As long the military aspect is paired with fantasy then I'm willing to try.

  5. Carole Rae says:

    Huh sounds like an interesting series. ^.^ Great review! And Chris….I'm equally as surprised as you are! Usually fantasy series goes on and on and on and etc.

  6. says:

    Great review again Linda! Yep, I'm adding book 1 to my TBR list to check it out sometime…I don't know when, but I'll get around to it. πŸ˜› Glad you enjoyed the ending of the series, those are the best endings ever. πŸ™‚

  7. Liz Baxter says:

    I've never heard of this author. Looks like my cup of tea though. I've been enjoying military fantasy more and more in recent years. I'll have to put the series on my Christmas wish list. Great blog. I'm following.http:\\

  8. Blodeuedd says:

    MelissaWhat? *looks all innocent* And I should not get HEAs? *teary eyes*JennyAnd he does know what he is doing so that is great, he knows his military :)KarenOh yes Ioan Gruffud…I might have watched them cos of him, but well the other stuff was nice too, lol.Oh no so you are nervous too?! I do not know if I would dare to read them then. How can it possibly end well?StaciAwesome title. But yes not the book for everyoneStephOh Temeraire! I should have mentioned those. Yes I loved the Novik books, and also said that they were like Hornblower, damn I am obsessed with him it seems

  9. Blodeuedd says:

    AlyssaLol, I should sell used cars then ;)melissa*giggles* You know every time I wrote it I cringed for some reason, it works when I write it with a romance review but fantasy it just sounds dirty ;)DarleneIt will not work for everyone, I admit that, but it certainyl worked for meCaroleLol, yes on and on and—on- Until I loose my mind and want an endingCarrieIt was πŸ™‚

  10. Blodeuedd says:

    teddyThere should always be war in fantasy, it just goes together.Mrs QIt makes me hate the whole series. There was one series that was so good, and then teh alst 10 pages I just hated and it ruined allNinaSo pretty :)DeannaYay, book 1 has such a pretty cover too. I am so glad I won book 2 and then bought book 1.Good endings rockLizThen you really need to check out his works if you enjoy this little subgenre or what we should call it

  11. Blodeuedd says:

    ElysiumLol, it happens sometime πŸ˜‰ And I am happy cos of that. At least some should be shortNaidaDo give it a go, it's always nice with something new

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