Ashlords by Scott Reintgen

91Vgp2o1jTL._AC_UY218_Ashlords by Scott Reintgen. Crown, 9780593119174, 2020

 Format: Hardcover, 358 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Fantasy Fiction

What did you like about the book?  Ashlords, overlords suppressing both Longhands and Dividians, have power, courtesy of their gods, and do not hesitate to show their dominance over these cultures.  Told in multiple perspectives; Pippa, Imelda, and Adrian, each have something to gain if they win the Races.  With the help of her gods and her pedigree, the Ashlord Pippa is expected to win this year.  Imelda is a Dividian who only got to participate because of a scholarship. She has suffered, with all of her family and friends, from the oppression of the Ashlords her whole life.  Finally Adrian, a Longhand, grew up with rebellion in his heart and will finally be able to show it during the Races.  Along with the other Ashlord contestants, these three not only have to survive, but be the first to cross the finish line.  Elements of magic, horse racing, and adventure will keep readers turning pages to see what will happen next.  Reintgen creates a world that captivates readers and will have them waiting expectantly for a sequel.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The three narrators are well fleshed out; supporting characters are not as explicitly detailed.  Not a negative; there are many nuances of the characters, setting and plot, and as such may take readers a little time to get into the story line.  Some characters make a brief appearance, for example Oxanos, with little effect or depth; perhaps they are being saved for the sequel.  Traditions are mentioned surrounding each of the cultures, yet very little is shown of them, again, perhaps in the sequel.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 5 and up who would enjoy a mix between Hunger Games and The Scorpio Races may enjoy this novel.  There is no adult language, romantic situations that would make it inappropriate for younger readers.  There is some violence.

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for middle/ high school or public libraries that cannot get enough dystopian/fantasy literature.

Where would you shelve it? Fantasy Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: May 20, 2020

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