Sunday 31 March 2024


House Of Ash And Shadow by Leia Stone
Book 1 in the Gilded City series
Narrated by Vanessa Moyen
Genre: fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

“And what if I go dark?” I whimpered. His face sobered. “Then I will jump into the shadows and pull you back to the Light.”

Seventeen-year-old Fallon Bane was born with a a single touch from another person will always cause her excruciating pain. Thus, she has accepted that she will die without ever being kissed, without even hugging her own father.

But when her beloved father falls ill, she breaks into the magical Gilded City to find a healer fae that can save him. When handsome healer Ariyon Madden agrees to help, everything she knows about herself and her curse changes. Because during her father’s healing, Ariyon reaches out and touches her bare skin. She waits for the agony… but it never comes.

For the first time in her life, she imagines a new future for herself. However, that fantasy is short-lived, because not only does Ariyon flee from her in disgust when he learns of her curse; he also reveals her existence to powerful fae who want to hurt her.

Fallon is then swept away to a magical academy, there she learns the terrifying truth about her family history and her dark magic. Her life and the future of fae everywhere hang in the balance, and all the while Fallon is dreaming of being touched by Ariyon Madden one more time before she dies…
Source: Info in the "About House Of Ash And Shadow" was taken from GoodReads at on 22/01/2024.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
I like the premise! It appeals to the fantasy geek in me. However, I was not fond of the cliffhanger ending. Authors with a tendency for cliffhagners tend to be avoided. I bought the second book because I wanted to know what happens after the cliffhagner, but, I have only read about a quarter through it and I am not sure if I am going to finish reading it...

There isn't much of a plot. The entire book is about Fallon going to school and finding romance and that is it! And yes, there is the usual teen angst, too.

This is my second series with Vanessa Moyen narrating and I still like the way she reads!

Quantitative Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 1.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (8 hrs and 20 mins listening time)
Plot = 2
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Gilded City Series:

Meet The Author

About Leia Stone:
Leia Stone is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Matefinder series which is optioned for flim, and the Hive Trilogy. She lives in Arizona with her husband, two kids and her dog. When she is not chasing around her twin son and daughter, or writing, she has her nose shoved in a book. She wrote her first book when she was 23 years old. Keep reading and live with purpose.

The Narrator

About Vanessa Moyen:
Vanessa is a voiceover actor living in New York City with her husband, baby boy, and fat pug princess, Olive. Her voice can be heard on national network TV, radio and video games for companies such as NBC, Nickelodeon, MTV, Noggin, Travel Channel, HGTV, and most recently for the MTV VMAs and 2021 Olympics! She's narrated over 250 audiobooks, most of which fall in the young adult fantasy genre. A California native, Vanessa grew up tapping her toes in the theatre world and holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Emerson College in Boston. She's a fangirl of new adventures, DIY'ing, Mother Nature, and all things chocolate.

FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook were bought with private funds.
No money received for this review.

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