Carnaval of Ash

By Tom Beckerlegge

Publisher: Solaris

Print Length: 528

Release Year: 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Avg. Goodreads Rating:  3.18

Available on Amazon

Special thanks to theWriteReads for including me in this tour and providing me with an ARC.

An extravagant, lyrical fantasy about a city of poets and librarians. A city that never was.

Cadenza is the City of Words, a city run by poets, its skyline dominated by the steepled towers of its libraries, its heart beating to the stamp and thrum of the printing presses in the Printing Quarter.

Carlo Mazzoni, a young wordsmith arrives at the city gates intent on making his name as the bells ring out with the news of the death of the city’s poet-leader. Instead, he finds himself embroiled with the intrigues of a city in turmoil, the looming prospect of war with their rival Venice ever-present. A war that threatens not only to destroy Cadenza but remove it from history altogether… (Goodreads)

World Building★★★★

If are you familiar with my reading habits, you may know that I’m generally not the biggest fan of historical fiction. Of course, this doesn’t stop me from picking one up from time to time, and Carnaval of Ash came to my attention with a particularly interesting concept. Additionally, the added bits of fantasy made it all the more enticing. 

This book does not fall short in beautiful lyrical writing, with dialogue in particular that reads like poetry. Beckerlegge manages to develop the setting and introduces us to characters with natural ease, and while the story itself can be hard to follow the world is fantastical enough to make you want to know more. In saying that this is definitely a book you sit down to read and focus on as I would find myself losing track of the plot. 
Carnival of Ash is a fantastical foray into historical fiction that could benefit from some fine-tuning but otherwise has the foundation of a solid story. Definitely more for the historical fiction fans, I recommend this book for those who would like to spend some time admiring the simple beauty of the English language.

Subjective Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Objective Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Final Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.


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