This is the third book in a series. If you have not read the others, you might want to skip this review. If you want to read the reviews for the first two books you can find them by clicking on their titles below.
Within Ash and Stardust by Chani Lynn Feener
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Summary from NetGalley:
Having gone from kidnapped faux princess to the legitimate heir to an intergalactic throne, an impulsive, sarcastic teen must take charge of her own destiny in this epic YA novel.
On Earth, Delaney is a normal teenager who recently graduated high school with a fantastic best friend and a loving boyfriend.
But Delaney isn’t on Earth. She’s on Xenith, a war-torn planet half a galaxy away. Originally mistaken for an alien princess, Delaney has gone from kidnapped imposter to the recognized heir to an alien throne. Oh, and she’s engaged to the prince of an enemy nation whose ruthless father is on the warpath.
Torn between two planets, two fates, and two loves, Delaney is finally ready to choose her own destiny in Within Ash and Stardust, the stunning conclusion to Chani Lynn Feener’s Xenith Trilogy.
ARC provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley for an honest review.
This final book in the series was just as exciting and fun to read as the other two. While I don’t totally agree with Delaney’s choices at the end, I could see that they were the right ones for her, given her growth in this book.
Poor, poor Delaney. She has had a tough time of it, but she comes out much stronger than she started. It was fun to see her growth in this book, from a girl who had a chip on her shoulder and had a difficult time making decisions to accepting who she is and finally making choices for herself. Finding herself in really tough situations, with two guys who keep getting in her way trying to keep her safe, Delaney often took matters into her own hands and pushed them away to stand on her own two feet. She is definitely a badass by the end of this series.
Tristan also has some major growth in this book. He really does start to own up to the fact that his father is evil and needs to be dealt with. I think he truly cares for his planet and wants to do what is best for the people not himself. He also genuinely cares for Delaney. Although he sometimes has a hard time showing it.
And then there is Ruckus. I felt really sorry for him through out the book. Mostly because he begins to realize that he no longer wants to be an Ander (soldier) or even to live on his own planet. He just wants to take Delaney back to Earth and he can’t quite understand why Delaney doesn’t just want to pick up and go. His constant sniping at Tristan didn’t help the situation. I loved Ruckus in the first book, but his character just sort of felt off throughout the last two books. I would still like to see a spin off series with him though.
The plot of this last book was just as good as the others. The world building continues as we learn more about the planet’s different cultures and traditions. There were some great scenes where Delaney was able to experience some of the planets cities and interact with ordinary citizens. Some were quite beautiful, and made me want to visit Xenith. The book does start off a bit slow though the rest of the book certainly makes up for that. The series had a great ending, even if I didn’t totally agree with it.
This is a well done and solidly fun romance with some science fiction thrown in. I loved the planet Zenith and the author did a great job of creating a new world with its own cultures and traditions. This would be a great summer series to read on vacation.