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“Ash and Echoes” by August Li

ash-and-echoesAsh and Echoes is a Romantic Fantasy Epic. I don’t have the opportunity to read many of those, and I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like this work, but if I had to pick something similar, the closest I can think to compare it to is Deckard’s Baal’s Heart trilogy or The Devil’s Fire by Sara Bell. Baal’s Heart is probably the most similar since it was also a trilogy and menage. The power of three!

Our main character, Yarroway L’Estrella, is a bit of an odd ball (my favorite). Not only is he a magic user–something I interpreted as a rare trait in Li’s world–but he’s also got a little special something…well, a big special something. He has hitchhiker, if you will, or an entity living in his consciousness. The entity is ancient, has malicious intentions, is a sociopath, and is extremely pleasure-driven. Fun! He also has a host of magical tricks up his sleeve that he dangles like the proverbial carrot in front of our poor Yarrow, making Yarrow do unspeakably naughty things.


The world of Ash and Echoes was incredible, and I loved how I adventured through a fantasy land. Not only do we have a terrific journey with the tasty morsel of a main plot, but we are also caught up in court intrigue, an assassination, and convoluted and bloody politics. Sweet.

Oh, and to top it all off, this is a MMM. Yup. Three dudes fucking. It’s also a Romance–sometimes tragic, tender, and humorous. Duncan is our lawful good knight, and Sasha is our chaotic neutral rogue (you know the type–always good for a few unexpected plot twists). Yarrow’s sort of a mixed bag. His entity is probably chaotic evil, but Yarrow’s more neutral good, since he doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s side because no one is on his side. His actions oscillate wildly between following his own code of freedom and following the promise of power.

This book took me a while to finish–it’s a thick read. It’s also part of a series, The Blessed Epoch. Sweet again!


To Boldly Go.
To Boldly Go.

About me: Beth Brock is a reviewer for Dreamspinner Press and Queer Scifi.  She enjoys reading, writing, running, family, and food–and fills her life with bent bunk.  Her website is




Dreamspinner Press – Where Dreams Come True…International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007.

DSP Publications – Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey.

Harmony Ink Press – LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction.


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