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Everyone Lies  PRAGUE 1870 For the last ten years nineteen year old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother's household Along with her older brother she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own termsBut everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of ueen Victoria Throughout Bohemia a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers Lady Penelope is determined to discover the perpetrators Now Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of othersCan Eleanora find a way do the right thing and still find freedom? FROM THE BOOK  “I want to be free” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and conseuences “There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for and what you stand against” Lady Penelope held up her hands brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts “This world lives enslaved to its destruction and so long as you are living as long as you are fighting you will be free” I gazed at the daggers transfixed Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me as though it was calling for me FROM THE AUTHOR  With a fun blend of historical fiction true love castle intrigue and family dysfunction The Order of the Crystal Daggers is my latest adventure series WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING  5 STARS Reader's FavoriteThis story was fantastic Definitely one of my favorite reads of this year Laura A Grace Unicorn uester Book Review 


10 thoughts on “Kingdom of Ash and Soot (The Order of the Crystal Daggers, #1)

  1. says:

    35 STARS Thanks again to Prodigy Gold Books for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review The first half of „Kingdom of Ash and Soot“ was absolutely amazing and I was so invested in the story I couldn’t put the book down any Back in high school I always hated history classes but ever since passing my a levels and leaving school I’ve become and interested in history and have also found out that I actually really enjoy reading historical fiction As a European I of course am particularly interested in European history and so the fact that this book was set in Prague back in 1870 made it even interesting to me An important part of every story certainly are the characters and I really liked them Eleanora the female protagonist was a little annoying sometimes especially towards the end of the novel but I still liked her But my favorite character was definitely Ferdy one of Eleanora’s love interests who was funny and interesting and stole my heart uite uickly Another very positive thing about this book was CS Johnson’s writing style “Kingdom of Ash and Soot” was very well written and you could clearly see that she already has uite a lot of experience when it comes to writing books and I’m definitely interested in checking out some of her other work now But even though the first half of the book was definitely worth five stars the story kind of lost its momentum after the half way point and I began losing interest in it I started struggling with trying to understand what exactly the Order of the Crystal Daggers was trying to do in Prague and how everything was interconnected There were a lot of different characters mentioned when the order began trying to figure out why and how so many people had been murdered and I uite uickly lost track of who is who and what kind of role they played in Prague or Europe in general back then which sadly tarnished my reading experience All in all this book started out strong but then lost its momentum and so I decided to give it 35 out of 5 stars I do not yet know if I’m going to read the next part of the series even though the book ended with a very interesting twist and a freaking cliffhanger But I think the next book hasn’t even been announced yet so I still have some time to figure out if I’m actually interested in finding out what happens next or if it’s just a momentary thinginstagram || my blog


  2. says:

    35 starsEnter Giveaway at the bottomA beautiful historical setting invites you to a bohemian adventure of a servant girl blossoming to a fierce and dagger wielding protagonist with a rightful place in society Eleanora Svobodová’s father has passed away and ever since she and her brother have been serving at the house for her stepmother without uestion albeit not without dreaming of a free future One day Eleanora is heading into town with two special books from her father’s collection she is going to sell There in the streets she is robbed of one of the books and in her effort to regain it back she meets a young man offering her his help and aid He takes her to an antiuity dealer and from there an honest friendship develops Not one without a flutter in the chest but one that will be tested later for its meaning of truth Shortly after her estranged grandmother Penelope comes to Prague on behalf of ueen Victoria She is the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers She will be staying in Eleanora’s home and it changes her entire status against the stepmother's will There have been several murders around town and in exposing a larger coup Eleanora is told that her own mother was part of the Order of the Crystal Daggers and is asked to help in the uncover First Eleanora’s entire wardrobe will be upgraded and dance lessons added Penelope counts on her youthful beauty to infiltrate the high society and gifts her a dagger that used to be her mothersEleanora is sought out by many of the men in power but she keeps thinking of the charming young man in the streets As fate has it she will meet him again and a beautiful sweet romance is beginning to bud But later everything both of them know of each other will be tested With a job to finish in exposing the perpetrators Eleanora has to put any feelings aside and put herself in a dangerous situation A cliffhanger awaits at the end of the book leaving the reader wanting for romance and adventure to find out about Eleanora’s choices and future ahead This book was atmospheric lovely and action packed I enjoyed the sweet romantic banter in it as well as the historical added details of the time and place Parts of the plot made me wonder how this was going to end while Eleanora encountered different situations It had me guessing till the last pages which made the story just fly by The writing was crisp and interesting with just the right amount of tensionIf you enjoy a historical fiction setting and YA books then I’d definitely recommend this great YA read Enter giveaway on my site here


  3. says:

    ARC provided by Prodigy Gold Books CS Johnson in exchange for an honest review thank you so much Throughly enjoyed this a beautifully written CinderellaSpy story by CS Johnson was such a vivid and fantastic adventure ”The devil always offers you everything you want but there is always a price to pay Always” It was a slow burning plot and very character driven but it was so good The descriptions and writing really made you feel like you were there with the characters in Prague in the 1870s Also had the really nice edition of using Czech throughout the novel for family or pet names this detail really added to the atmosphere of the book for me I fell in love with Nora and Ben they’re definitely a great pair They were left in uite an unfortunate situation working as servants in their own home after both their parents tragically died They don’t enjoy this life and all they wish to do is save up and leave their evil stepmother and her children and own their own bookstore Their life suddenly changes though when the most unexpected person arrivesand everything goes off in uite a different direction There’s mystery and cunning throughout this book and defiantly some laughable moments as well as heartbreaking ones The characters were incredibly likeable I loved Ferdy and Tulia definitely would love to see of themLady POW well there’s lots I could say about her but it’s best to experience that yourself ”She has the face of a lady but wore the smile of a viper” A fantastic read which had me guessing so much I really liked the spy elementand that cliffhanger wow well I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series


  4. says:

    Hi again everyone This is my upcoming novel published through Prodigy Gold Books and it's my editor's favorite so far and I can think of no higher praise considering she's seen the worst of my work I hope you enjoy it Here's the blurb I've written “I want to be free” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and conseuences“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for and what you stand against” Lady Penelope held up her hands brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts “This world lives enslaved to its destruction and so long as you are living as long as you are fighting you will be free”I gazed at the daggers transfixed Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me as though it was calling for mePRAGUE 1870For the last ten years nineteen year old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother's household Along with her older brother she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own termsBut everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of ueen Victoria Throughout Bohemia a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators Now Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of othersCan Eleanora find a way do the right thing and still find freedom?With a fun blend of historical fiction true love castle intrigue and family dysfunction The Order of the Crystal Daggers is the latest adventure series from C S JohnsonLet me know what you think


  5. says:

    I received an advanced copy of the from the publisher in exchange for my honest review This book was so intriguing I really enjoyed watching Elenora go from a maid to a lady as she was mean to be The Cinderella vibe along with the spy part of it is very neat I like the 2 love interests esp Ferdy and did not predict the twist I can’t wait to see what happens next It does end in a cliffhanger


  6. says:

    Imma be real hereI was sent this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review That happened like a minute ago and by a minute I mean a few years I hate myself tooAnd I never got to the review because I couldn't even make it through the damn book It's a real shame Honestly I liked the premise but 90% of what I read was dialogue no real world building nothing to make me feel connected to the story just dialogue upon dialogue I liked the premise but the characters didn't feel interesting enough to read THAT MUCH dialogue Also it became apparent about half way through that there were some concealed religious themes that I didn't know were going to push the story forward in the way they didAgain I'M SO TIRED OF FEELING GUILTY WHEN I SEE THIS ON MY CURRENTLY READING LIST WHEN I LOG IN I can't handle it I'm sorry this just wasn't my jam But it may be someone else's JELLY Okay that was bad imma see myself out without rating this book since I didn't technically finish it


  7. says:

    you can find this review on my blog as well I’d be lying if I said the cover wasn’t my main reason for wanting to pick up this book But after reading the synopsis I got some interesting Cinderella vibes and well I was soldKingdom is not a retelling It has some elements definitely—an Ella working as a servant in her own home after her father passes dancing amongst the elite things like that But it’s definitely not a retelling Despite that I was intrigued by the time period and the setting of the book Prague In 1870 With that and the addition of a secret organisation and deadly plots Kingdom of Ash and Soot had a lot going for itOnly Only it didn’t uite live up to my expectations Because in the end I was bored There wasn’t nearly as much action I wanted I wasn’t sucked into Eleanora’s world and I just felt this odd detachment from everything Johnson’s writing was really good too Despite that I just wasn’t feeling this book It definitely felt like an introduction to the world kind of book which just kinda left my eyes glazed over I also wasn’t a fan of the romance I was hoping for the attraction to build up kind of in a slow burn Really I just wanted development before anything happenedOverall Kingdom of Ash and Soot was an okay start if sort of unmemorable start to a new series While it had some interesting parts it unfortunately fell flat for me I am excited to see where book 2 takes Eleanora though So 35 stars


  8. says:

    Ms Johnson whisked me away to another world with her characters and magical location Prague mid eighteen hundreds The attention to detail brings to life a story rooted in the Cinderella tales yet completely its own in form and substance A secret international spy network and a mystery surrounding the deaths of several important men give the tale added dimensions as brother Ben and sister Eleanora are rescued from an evil stepmother only to be plunged into international intrigueThough I enjoyed the story there are two reasons I couldn’t give this book five stars First even though this is basically a ‘clean’ read it bothered me that several characters treat sex as fine outside marriage and as something to be used as a means to an end Second the book could really benefit from a good dose of formatting


  9. says:

    VIDEO REVIEW HERE story was fantastic Definitely one of my favorite reads of this yearIt was packed full of political intrigue but not so much where it went over my head or was hard to remember The Cinderella twist honestly made it even cooler and will forever look at her story differently imaging if she became a secret undercover spyThe characters were just as amazing as the storyline Well except the bad guys but even they were well played Hehe Eleanora was such a great heroine to cheer for her and her grandmother was no different though I do confess that my thoughts toward her changed slightly by the end I also greatly loved Elenora's relationship with her brother and how close they were Seeing him grow and change throughout the novel was so wonderfulAND THE ROMANCE fangirls It was perfect and my heart was pretty devastated by a certain event I honestly can't wait to read book two and hope that the romance unfolds the way my heart is aching to see sighsOverall this was such a fun and incredible story I loved sooooo much about it and eagerly anticipate book twoI have provided an honest review after having received an ARC from the author All thoughts expressed are my own and was not reuired to write a positive review


  10. says:

    Wonderful read And what an ending am so excited to see what happened I stayed up way to late to start the next book in the series This book Kingdom of Ash and Soot really allows you to follow Eleanora through her life which in the last 10 years has gone downhill but while on that downhill run she has made some unbreakable relationships like her brother Ben and Tulia Then when we meet her for the main part of the book her life seems to mostly improve even though she makes a few mistakes and for some reason doesn't trust her gut instincts when it comes to men I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book All thoughts and opinions are my own