Cover Image: In an Orchard Grown from Ash

In an Orchard Grown from Ash

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Rory Power does it again! I loved this book just as much as the first one, which is such a rare thing for me. The worldbuilding is impeccable, the character growth is amazing, and I'm totally here for all of the Succession vibes. This series is SO underrated and I would stay in this world forever!!!

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An interesting conclusion to this duology. It is, without a doubt, one of the more depressing reads I've had in awhile. Almost needlessly tragic.

All four Argyrosi siblings have dedicated chapters in this one, although there was a certain character whose pov I felt was rather pointless in the long run. I thought Rhea's character transformation fascinating, but at the the same time it made her unbearable to read. Which makes things difficult as her chapters are a good 50% of the book.

I absolutely adored Chrysanthi though. Wheareas she was little more than wallpaper in the first story, she shines through in this one, which is more or less the point, I think. I loved getting to know more about her, seeing her change differ from the other siblings.

I can't say I necessarily enjoyed In an Orchard Grown from Ash, as I found the ending, among many other things, unsatisfying, but I do think it was a good followup for what this series was.

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This is a really tragic story. Despite being beautifully written and engaging, I don't love feeling so gloomy at the end. Call me shallow, but it's harder to find something that leaves me feeling inspired and uplifted, and tragedy is everywhere. Not everything ends poorly. Avoiding spoilers, at least one of the siblings does have a lovely and satisfying outcome. The trouble with the other three, is that none of them are unsympathetic. There are really no bad guys. Even those are sympathetic. The character development is deeply nuanced and complex, which makes it worthwhile spending some time with them.

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I was so excited to receive my ARC for this, I had also gotten In a Garden Burning Gold as an ARC. The story continued to be unique, set in a world unlike any I had ever read. However, the amount of plot lines and characters POVs we had to try and remember through the book left me mostly confused. There was a lot of unresolved “why” questions. I specifically felt like I couldn’t understand any of Rhea’s motivations through this book, whereas in the first one they were abundantly clear. The technical aspects of Power’s writing were on full display. I just think she tried to do a little too much all at once.

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The Argyros siblings have lost everything. With their father dead and their family home captured, they’re no longer the rulers of their fractured kingdom—and no longer bound to each other.

In the frozen north, Rhea struggles to wield her newly inherited command over death and to find her place in an increasingly distrustful rebel group. Chrysanthi travels to a distant, war-torn land in search of her elusive brother Nitsos, certain that he is there on a dangerous mission to restore the family to its former glory, this time with himself at its head. And Lexos, now stripped of all his power and a political prisoner of the Domina family, is left to rot in a hauntingly desolate palace with nothing but thoughts of revenge.

Alone and farther apart than they’ve ever been, the siblings must reckon with the pain of their past and find a new path forward—or risk their own destruction.

In an Orchard Grown from Ash is the dramatic finale of a darkly beautiful, atmospheric saga that explores the cost of power and the weight of legacy.

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I enjoyed this book. The plot was well paced and the character development was done well. I would recommend this book to others and look forward to reading more from this author.

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This was a conclusion I was not expecting to this duology. I had a bit of a rough time following the storylines in the first book. This book I had a hard time putting down I was so captivated! Adding all the siblings POV was an excellent choice. This book did not disappoint. Thank you NetGalley for the advance copy for review.

I just reviewed In an Orchard Grown from Ash by Rory Power. #InanOrchardGrownfromAsh #NetGalley

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Part two in the exciting and exhilarating epic fantasy story. A fascinating political thriller with family issues to the extreme!

When we last were together, the Argyrosi twins, Rhea and Lexos were complete opposites and become warring factions. In book two, the final chapter, all four siblings are at war and working separately to regain the power their family once held. We have pov from all of them with Chrysanthi at the head.

Like all great sagas, their is familial love and betrayal but the heart of the story is power and who will run the planet. This is a book as beautiful as it's cover and I am sure you will love it!
#RandomHouse #InandOrchardGrownFromAsh #RorryPower

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3.75/5
I enjoyed being back in the this world and I liked the addition of Chrsanthyi’’s POV. However, this book was so slowly paced, especially in the first majority of the book it was a little bit of a struggle to get through. I loved the characters and how fleshed out they were. The characters really drove the story. The magic system and world is so unique I wish we would have gotten to explore it a little more.

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Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for this ARC!

Book two of The Wind-Up Garden series picks up where In a Garden Burning Gold left off. In the first book, we followed the stories of Lexos and Rhea. In an Orchard Grown from Ash expands the points of view to include Chrysanthi. The siblings seek their brother Nitsos as they all hope to learn more about the old custom of saints worship while dealing with constant political jockeying and power plays.

I found this book tediously slow. It took me a long time to get through it. The action picks up about 70% through the book, but the ending leaves a lot to be desired. After the mind games and sneakiness of the first book, In an Orchard Grown from Ash did not resonate with me.

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I have incredibly mixed feelings about this duology. On one hand, I really enjoyed the first book in this series. I thought the characters were well-developed and the world was on its way to being fully explained. I was excited to see what would happen to the Argyros siblings in the sequel.
This book incorporated the POVs of Chrysanthi and Nitsos (to a lesser extent), which I did like. I liked Chrysanthi in the first book. However, for Lexos in particular. the siblings' stories didn't seem related to each other's for most of the book. Lexos spends his time getting involved in Domina affairs which end up having no real bearing on the plot. I was really bored for his chapters, and even though his chapters in the first book were usually more politically based, his chapters in this one were even worse.
Rhea's character had basically become nonexistent. I really liked her in the first book, but she just didn't seem....fully-formed in this one. Michali becomes an annoyance to her, and while I realize the romance was never a driving force in the plot of this series, it was a complete 180 from their relationship before. At the end of Book 1, Rhea notes that "something else" had come back with Michali when she raised him from the dead. That's never elaborated upon; Michali just follows Rhea around like a puppy until Rhea disappears.
This series was always primarily about politics, while also exploring complicated family dynamics. However, I didn't feel that all of the familial relationships were brought full circle. *SPOILER* Nitsos dies without fanfare, if you read too fast you might miss it. And this was right after he had been set up as more than just a background character.
The political conflict that Lexos is embroiled in for this entire series ultimately meant nothing. It's completely irrelevant to the final wrap-up of the series. And as for Rhea, the decision that leads to her death makes absolutely no sense considering how she felt about Vasilis since the beginning of In a Garden Burning Gold.
I am happy for Chrysanthi though. The last few lines really got me. I just wish the ending had made a little more sense. I figured it wouldn't be a happy ending for everyone, but I would at least have liked to have an ending that made sense for each of the siblings' progressions throughout the books.

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Jacqueline Carey really set the bar for alternate settings that cleave close to a known reality. I don't find many books that pull it off, but Rory Power would make a top 5 list for anyone who enjoys Carey's flavor of intrigue and politics, but with a greek flair. The magic is more emphasized and less mysterious than you would find in a Kushiel novel, but this duology is a jaunty tune in the same oeuvre, and I like that. I like that a lot. In a Garden Burning Gold, in fairness, could have used some more marketing attention, but some stories are slow-burn and gain their audience and traction over time more so than exploding onto the scene. Either way, I know I'll be flogging it to Carey fans as Cassiel's Servant hits the shelves this year.

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Big thank you NetGalley and to the publisher for the chance to review this book pre-release. I absolutely love Rory Power. Her writing style is IMMACULATE. This series is very different from her other books, but just as imaginative. The only thing I would like to see added is a map, because this book spans over so many locations, and as the reader, I can't imagine the actual distance. I would love to see this get added to the physical copies in the very least. A more formal review will be available on my IG/TikTok and Goodreads.

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Political scheming and the aim of consolidating power that’s been dispersed manages to dramatically alter the relationships between siblings in In an Orchard Grown from Ash by Rory Power.

After their actions solidified their stances on opposite sides of the rebellion that’s now fully materialized, the Argyrosi twins, Rhea and Lexos, find themselves at odds while leaving their younger siblings, Chrysanthi and Nitsos, to their own devices; Chrysanthi joins Rhea at her side as her first venture beyond their family home while Nitsos conspires with the Dominas to satisfy an investigation of the saints. As a prisoner of the Dominas with his power stripped from him, Lexos is taken to an unused home of theirs where he soon notices that he has company in Ettore Domina, a fellow prisoner with an escape plan, which is but a small part in a far larger plan. Meanwhile, Rhea suffers through the demands on her body from the matgios and her power slowly corrupting while formulating plans to find and end her brother Nitsos for his manipulations of her. Rhea sends Chrysanthi on a mission to find Nitsos, along with the company of a quiet guard Andrija, and return with Nitsos while she deals with whatever message the hummingbird in the stars entails. As the siblings venture forth throughout the world, their paths all lead them toward the same place – the spire where the saints are believed to be buried – and in pursuit of the same thing – power – albeit it with different approaches informed by their own experience with it and seeing what power can do, and has done, to others; the question remains whether the siblings will be able to reconcile or if they’ve been too fractured for too long.

In this installment of the duology, there remains a high level of scheming and relationship drama between the various characters to drive the story forward as they traverse throughout the vast world, which is well-described at the more minute level yet still has much that could be explored, as they pursue lead after lead for their broader plans. Where the first book had Rhea and Lexos’s perspectives, this one includes those of Nitsos and Chrysanthi’s as well, rounding out the depiction of their dynamics with one another and helping to clarify their motivations; Chrysanthi is given more time to shine in this novel, showing her playful and kind nature as it gets tempered by the more serious scenarios surrounding her. The sociopolitical struggles and scheming persist throughout this portion of the narrative and in it the societal structures begin to crumble as the power that held them up begins to rot and corrupt into something unreliable. The realizations that the characters make with regard to their usefulness to another person is a difficult confrontation, but vital in the growth of these characters and in how they then choose to interact with others while they grapple with their pasts, the familial legacies they hope to live up to (or prove different from), and forge a path for their future.

Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This book, like the first, was hard to get into. I ended up unable to finish it because I just didn't care about any of the characters or plot.

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5/5 stars
Recommended if you like: morally gray characters, magic, epic fantasy, Greek culture, political intrigue, multiple POVs

This review has been posted to Goodreads as of 1/7, my book blog as of 1/11, and Instagram as of 1/12.

Note: This review will have mild spoilers for In a Garden Burning Gold.

The Stratagiozi-Saint situation from the first book carries over into this one big time. We get to see
a lot more of people who understand the fine difference between Saint magic and Stratagiozi magic. We also get to see some of the differences between the two and the impact of using magic (and not using it). There are still some unanswered questions at the end of this book regarding exactly how the magic works, but I think I'm okay with the loose threads.

Unlike the first book, we get POV chapters from all four of the Argyrosi siblings. Chrysanthi is definitely the MC and she gets the most page time, followed by Rhea, then Lexos, and Nitsos with the fewest chapters, which I'm honestly thankful for. All of the major side characters who were living at the end of the last book also show up here (except for Evanthia), along with a couple of new ones.

Chrysanthi is a good MC to have. She manages to get a good balance of playfulness and seriousness going so that she understands the gravity of the situations she finds herself in but never seems to dwell on it too much. I liked the lightness she had about her as well as her grit and determination. It takes a lot to get Chrysanthi down, and when she is down, she often tries to find a way to understand or channel it. She's also very forgiving, loyal, and loving at her core, and even though I don't always understand how she can be that way toward her siblings (coughNitsoscough), I also like that about her. Honestly, she's remarkably stable for an Argyros. It was also interesting to come into this second book with a character who was both new and not new to the world. Chrystanthi is a 100+ years old and understands in a vague sense how things work and the political/cultural climate, but at the same time she's spent most of that 100+ years secluded in Stratathoma, meaning we get new eyes exploring this world in a way we don't get with Lexos and Rhea. It's an interesting position to be in for a sequel and I think it actually works out quite well since Chrysanthi is perhaps more equipped than her siblings to figure stuff out since she doesn't have past experiences and expectations clouding her view.

Rhea is, as before, my favorite character. Unfortunately for her, things have taken first a somewhat poor turn, then a decidedly bad one. As much potential and power as she had gathered around her by the end of Garden, lack of action and honesty by the Sxoriza has stunted her ability to be a moving force in their world. She's still very determined, and quite angry with Nitsos, and so though her power with the Sxoriza is limited, and things are on...uneven ground with Michali, Rhea still manages to find a way to make things happen. On top of that, she's struggling with the power she was granted at the end of the last book and struggles under the weight of being different than her father. Ultimately, Rhea is both a fighter and someone who is deeply tired of having to fight the world.

Lexos actually surprised me as a character. If you read my review for Garden, you know I liked him at first and then came to dislike him quite a bit. In that book he felt like a major hypocrite, particularly toward Rhea, and had a 'woe is me' kind of attitude at times. However, while he still slips and has moments where he clearly deeply resents the role he's been thrust into, Lexos also seems to develop a better understanding of himself and his place in the world. That doesn't mean he isn't chasing power (the only Argyrosi sibling who isn't is Chrysanthi), but it does mean that he comes to behave better and I liked him again by the end of this book.

Nitsos is...interesting. He gets the fewest chapters and so I still don't really have a good understanding of who he is as a person. I know what he did in Garden and definitely don't like him for that. He also doesn't really seem to have any regret for the things he did and is doing in this book, so that makes redemption out of the question. That being said, he's also ironically also seeking the same thing the other siblings are seeking, though likely for different reasons. It's definitely hard to figure out what Nitsos wants exactly, but it doesn't seem to be the peace Chrysanthi is seeking nor the reunion and rest Rhea and Lexos are (and, okay, fine, the twins want power too, but seemingly not to the same degree as Nitsos).

Falka, the same Falka from the last book, ended up being a surprisingly helpful and beneficent character. I won't necessarily say she's doing it purely out of the goodness of her heart...but she does seem to be a good person and when she and Rhea crossed paths, Falka seemed genuinely interested in, and concerned for, Rhea. She may or may not be in over her head, and her end goals may not be quite as benevolent, but I definitely liked her as a character.

The story did take the turn I began to suspect it was going to (and hoped it wouldn't) after I read the first few chapters. While it fits, I'm also somewhat disappointed by the way things turned out. Obviously it couldn't be a total happily ever after, all the characters are too complicated and too much in the gray for that to happen, but I did want something a twinge sweeter. Ah well. The important thing is that it fits the story and characters and that there is some sweetness and hope at the ending.

I will say, while the Argyrosi family story did come to a close in this book, I definitely see potential for more stories in this world. Stavra and her mother, for one, have the potential for an interesting story to be told. The Dominas also have good potential for another story, as always. It might even be interesting to see a book set a century or more down the line since so much change is happening all over the continent in this book and I'm almost curious to see how it turns out. Of course, it might stay a duology too and I'd be fine with that as well. As much potential as there is in this world, the Argyros family story is over and it did wrap things up nicely.

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This popped up on NetGalley right after I finished the first one, so even though I didn't love In A Garden Burning Gold, I figured I'd check it out. First off, HOW DO THESE BOOKS NOT HAVE A MAP. You have several countries, characters traveling between them all the time and talking about border disputes and crossings, and you don't give me a map?

After the ending of In a Garden Burning Gold, I hoped that the sequel would see the Argyros siblings really come into their own. Instead, it felt like there were entire plotlines from the first book that just fizzled out into nothing. I kept waiting for a big twist or reveal about the magic system that never really came. Chrysanthi gets a lot more focus in this book and has a nice arc, but the twins are just exhausting, and don't even get me started on what happens with Nitsos. I can't recall the last time I was so annoyed when I finished a book.

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Well, I just finished the second book in this two book series. Another good story that is again filled with intrigue, and brings the story of Lexos, Rhea, Nitsos and Chrysanthi to its conclusion. The difficulties between the siblings and the political factions continue. The story is well written and we see the consequences of decisions that were made by the characters in the first book. I don’t want to delve into the story because I am afraid that will spoil the story for readers. I dislike long reviews that give everything away. Suffice to say that if you enjoyed the first book, you should definitely read this book as well as I think you will enjoy it. Happy reading! And thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

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I really enjoyed reading this, it had the same writing style that I enjoyed from Rory Power's other books. This was a great sequel in the Wind-up Garden series. I had enjoyed the first book In a Garden Burning Gold a lot and glad the series continued. It had a great plot going on and the characters were what I expected, I can't wait to read more in this series and from the author.

"All right.” They stared at each other, the air suddenly awkward in a way it had never been before. She cleared her throat. “Are you ready to go, then?” Incredibly, she thought Andrija might be beginning to blush, but he did not flinch. “Go where?” he asked. Was he being purposefully obtuse? Or was he trying to make a joke? Much as she applauded the decision to branch out into new forms of expression, she didn’t think now was the time."

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This was a great sequel. The direction some of the characters went in was really different than in the first book, but as an overall arc it made sense and was really well done. The world-building is excellent and I had sympathy for the characters even when I didn’t really like them. The stakes of the book felt both like they’d impact the entire world of the book, and like they were incredibly personal to each character.

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