Blog Tour Book Review: ASHES OF THE SUN by Django Wexler

I received a review copy of the book from the publisher as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating:
Series: Yes - first book in trilogy


Book cover for ASHES OF THE SUN: ink drawn jungle with a hand growing up toned red

Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer.

Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumours of a fabled city protecting a powerful artefact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This book was frankly a little terrifying to go into. I’d just been binging YA historical fiction, which were paperbacks about half the size of this tome. Combined with the cover, which just feels so… imposing, I really wasn’t sure what to expect

I really enjoyed this book, which kept me company through a power-outage in a lab and then a pounding headache – and the fact that it kept me so entertained while lots of distractions swirled around me is a mark of how engaging ASHES OF THE SUN, even if I have yet to call it the right name (hahaha, how many times am I going to write SUN TO THE ASHES before correcting myself in the course of this review?)

ASHES OF THE SUN is a book made of merged ideas that on one level feel like they “shouldn’t” work, but they absolutely do.

A review-snippet on the back calls this “post-apocalyptic fantasy”, which is such a perfect description of the setting and I’m somewhat surprised that it’s a new-to-me sub-genre. I tend to think of post-apocalyptic as part of dystopia alone, but ASHES OF THE SUN is definitely a fantasy book with its magic and ghouls. However, the world has suffered since the end of the last war, and has that very broken-and-decaying feeling I associate with post-apocalyptic dystopia.

There are a lot of magic systems in this book. There’s a more “typical” magic system of deiat and the centarchs (which read like paladins) who can wield its impressive power, the ghouls’ mysterious magic, magic-turned-tech like blasters, and alchemy/arcificing. It really plays into the feel of the world blend to have so many different ideas combined into one battle for power.

This merge-feel is carried through to the plot. Gyre’s story is more heist-y, motivated by revenge (I was so glad he was never hoping to get his sister out, but was realistic from the start about her being one of them after so long in the order). Meanwhile, Maya’s is an adventure/mission she’s sent on by a corrupt order that turns into a person semi-quest.

I think the SFF blend vibe of the book works so well because every aspect fully embraces that – it’s not just the magic or the setting or the plot. It gives it a cohesiveness.

The characters were a blast. Naturally Kit “Doomseeker” stole almost every scene she was in, given she always eager to plunge into danger and never gave an outward sign that she cared what anyone thought.

So yes, the two POVs are very separate for much of the book, with little overlap or impact on one another aside from the two very brief sequences they share. I’d have liked them to spend more time impacting one another, as it did feel like two distinct books at time that shared the same world. However, both POVs were engaging enough that I wasn’t simply reading through one to get to the other, which is usually what happens with non-entangled multi-POV books.

It’s also very obviously the first in a trilogy as it didn’t feel like there was much resolution at the end. There’s still so much left hanging and it felt like characters hadn’t made big enough steps to what they wanted. Given how many times the goals and vibe of the book shifts (playing into the blend-feel), it could feel like it was a bit too sudden at times and so there wasn’t enough time for things to play out (which is a bit surprising given the size of the book). Potentially another chapter of denouement would have helped here?

Overall, though, it’s a really fun start of series – and introduction for me to Django Wexler. I am certainly eager to see what happens in the next instalment.

Read my reviews of other books by Django Wexler:

Buringblade and Silvereye (this series):


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