Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

SPOILER ALERT! Before reading about the long awaited and eagerly anticipated conclusion to LHA’s wonderful, wrenching Seeds of America trilogy below, please make sure you have already experienced the awesomeness that is CHAINS and FORGE. Once you have read and fully absorbed Isabel and Curzon’s previous adventures, then by all means, READ ON.

Isabel is exhausted. She and Curzon have been searching for Isabel’s stolen sister Ruth for years now, and the endless journey has a taken a toll on them both. Even though Isabel has forged manumission papers for them, there is always the danger that they could be kidnapped and forced back into slavery. And their close friendship “lay in ashes,” after they fought bitterly over the justness of the Patriot cause. Now the only thing they share is a mutual resentment and desperate need to locate Ruth. Just when Isabel has given up all hope, she and Curzon stumble upon Ruth safe and sound on a farm in South Carolina. Helped by a slave couple who use the confusion of recent Patriot skirmishes to screen their escape, Isabel, Ruth and Curzon flee to Williamsburg, Virgina, where they hope to find food, rest and steady work. But soon they discover themselves on the doorstep of the war, and when Curzon again sides with the Patriots, Isabel is forced to choose a side as well. But which group of white men is she willing to gamble her and Ruth’s freedom on–the slave-owning Patriots or the promise-breaking British? And now that she’s found Ruth, is Isabel really prepared to lose Curzon, the only other person she’s ever trusted besides her family? Whether you love Hamilton or run screaming from the room when you hear the cast recording (I’m firmly in the former group) you will appreciate LHA’s as always meticulously researched milieu, spot-on period dialogue and detailed author’s note. Set during the exciting, unsettling days that lead up to the Battle of Yorktown, ASHES is a deeply satisfying conclusion to an extraordinary historical journey. NTBM! (Not To Be Missed)

4 thoughts on “Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

  1. Your review is wonderful! I’ll be reviewing the whole trilogy soon on my blog and have loved these books. I did struggle a bit with the relationship with Curzon and Isabel in Ashes…wanting them to be open up with each other sooner about their feelings especially after Curzon shared his heart with Isabel in Forge (the meaning of his name) and a kiss! Why, then, were they hesitant to do so in Ashes? But it seems there were trust issues to overcome in light of the uncertainty of war and slavery and their own disagreements, not to mention their ages and the careful treading of feelings that remain so fragile. What do you think? OH and Curzon’s words at the end of Ashes when he tells Isabel what he’s thought of her since he first saw her 🙂 Loved the way Ashes ended but definitely would love to catch up with them after the war 🙂 PS: I’m a Hamilton lover also and this series is the perfect companion to that amazing musical 🙂

  2. Is this book the book after Forge? Is it any good? Does it say bad words (swearing) and is it suitable for a pre-teen?

  3. I found it amazing and it fit with what I was learning in history, Especially after visiting colonial Williamsburg and being a Hamilton fan. It barely has any cursing with I think two exceptions, but it was mild in meaning and suitable for a pre teen. Ashes is thoroughly engaging and educational.

  4. This book compells the reader’s attention to the freedom of Isabel, Curzon, and Ruth including other characters. I reccomend this book to those learning about the experience of the American Revolution of the slavery that has happened.

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