Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Aschwood Academy: The Bloodline by M.B. Cohen.
Disclaimer: I was given a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book: Amsden Ironwrought is a master blacksmith living in a remote village in Ancient Egypt. Ethan Samuels is a good-hearted, fourteen year-old boy living in modern-day Chicago. Though two thousand years separate their intertwined timelines, the two of them have more in common than they would expect.
Ethan has spent the last fourteen years of his life moving from city to city with his mother, but after finally laying roots in Chicago, his life seems to have settled down. In a snowy alleyway, an unexpected mugging plunges Ethan into the magical world of the Bloodline and whisks him away to Aschwood Academy, a school for the magically gifted. There, he befriends a quirky mix of loyal friends and finds himself in the midst of plot by the Blood Host to steal one of the most powerful relics in the world.
Amsden’s tale centers upon the creation of those very relics nearly two thousand years ago. A group of ambitious foreigners have discovered an unknown material near his homeland that grants them near god-like powers, and the men conquer and mercilessly rule the land fueled by the talismans they had Amsden create. Enraged by the stories of brutality and chaos, he decides to use the powers he has secretly acquired and bring the fight to them.
Aschwood Academy: The Bloodline is the debut children’s, fantasy novel by M. B. Cohen and is the first book in the Aschwood Academy series.
My Review: This story intrigued me from the start. I’m a huge fan of fantasy and this looked like a fun read and I wasn’t disappointed.
The story was smooth and enticing, leaving me wanting to keep turning the pages to find out what happened next. The fact it parallels the Harry Potter series could be considered a negative, but I think that helped me to build a familiarity with the world, and, to be honest, how many magical stories taking place in a school aren’t going to draw comparisons to J.K. Rowling’s work?
With that in mind, I have to say I think it stands on its own with the backstory filling in the Bloodline’s history as well as serving as a cool alternate story. I think that’s a difficult thing to pull off in the same book, so my hat’s off to the author for that.
As far as the characters, I thought they were well written and fun to experience. My favorite was Ethan’s best friend Logan. He was adventurous and got into a lot of trouble. Those are qualities near and dear to my heart. Lol
I’d definitely recommend this for anyone interested in the fantasy or magical boarding school genres.