So, you may have heard a lot of hype surrounding the From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout lately. I had never read anything by her before, but decided to pick it up since it's been all over BookTube/Bookstagram, and I devoured both books in about 4 days last year and am now impatiently waiting for the third book to come out in a few months.
With the Ascension looming closer, Poppy is assigned a new guard, Hawke, to ensure her safety. No one knows much about the handsome guard, but Poppy is instantly drawn to him. Hawke isn't afraid to push Poppy's buttons, and the more time the pair spends bickering, the more Poppy questions everything she was raised to believe. When word of an uprising from a long-forgotten kingdom stirs, Poppy is thrown into a race not only for her life, but for the fate of the entire world as well. She'll also discover the dangerous threat they call the Dark One, maybe closer to her than she thinks.
This may have had its cringey bits, but honestly, I was into this from the very first page. Poppy is such a strong-willed character. I loved how despite being caged in her entire life, she never let it break her spirit, but instead used it to feed her determination into taking her life into her own hands. And Hawke! I mean, come on. He's everything I look for in a love interest. He's handsome, cocky, and completely devoted to Poppy from the get-go. Their banter was hands down my favorite part of this whole story. It was so snarky and fun. The only issue I had was that I felt the writing was a little repetitive at times, and that it was very easy to figure out who the Dark One was. Other than that, I couldn't get enough of this and immediately picked up the second after I finished. If you're looking for a new action-packed fantasy, this is it.