Book Reviews

Review: Circle of Ashes by Elisa Kova and Lynn Larsh

I will be a fan of this series, and Elise Kova, forever. What I loved about Kova’s previous work was the immersive world building, and what I’m a huge fan of in this series is moral dilemmas. Bring them all on.


Once a hacker-for-hire living in the shadows, Josephina “Jo” Espinosa is the newest member of a magical Society. Their mandate? To grant the wishes of mortals. A simple enough task until Jo is faced with an impossible wish – and her inability to grant it might spell disaster for her entire team, if not the Society itself.

Jo is used to high-pressure situations, but after a string of disasters, the last thing she needs is stakes of this magnitude. Especially given that neither she nor the Society know quite what the consequences of failing to grant a wish might be.

The only person with answers is the Society’s aloof and cryptic leader, Snow. Yet while Jo is enigmatically drawn to the man, all their clandestine encounters leave her with only more questions about the true nature of the Society, her magic, and her own history.

Time is running out for the Society, and an executioner will rise from among them to exact the price of failure.


book review Circle of ashes by elise kova and lynn larsh(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the author. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

In Circle of Ashes the stakes are higher than we’ve ever seen before. In Society of Wishes we were able to see how a wish worked and what we could do to solve it, but what if we cannot solve the wish? This is one of the largest and more terrifying scenario. Reading this book felt like watching the time tick down on a bomb in a movie and not knowing if they can disarm it. It’s exactly like that. We’re wondering – can they solve this and if they can or cannot, what are the consequences? As we know, all wishes come with a cost.

Furthermore, what really drives this book is a moral question: what is worth it? Is it worth the life of one to save millions? These sorts of ethical, ‘would you rather’, scenarios are what the society is built upon. A big problem Jo has is reconciling herself to the idea that people have to suffer for their wishes – whole worlds blip out of existence – and so she constantly asks herself what is the cost? Wishes aren’t fair and who has to shoulder the burden?


In Circle of Ashes we are immediately dropped back into the world of wishes, moral dilemmas, and the challenges of navigating intercultural communication across states, oceans, and decades. I anticipate not only more development in this idea of costs versus benefit, but also in wondering who is really pulling the strings in the society. Check out Circle of Ashes on Goodreads.


What wish would you make?

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