Legends of Ash and Dust by Kate Cowan [BLITZ]


[The Fearless Saga - Book 1] They forged her into a weapon. Now, she is the last. Aerona was raised by legends. Her people, the Shae, are th...

[The Fearless Saga - Book 1]

They forged her into a weapon. Now, she is the last.

Aerona was raised by legends. Her people, the Shae, are the closest thing this realm has to the supernatural: they train their entire lives to protect, forging their bodies like steel. They are the stories told to children in the night, the monsters who lurk in the woods. Or, they were — until the massive Red Wolf army attacked, slaughtering them all in a single night.

Now, Aerona is the last, and it doesn’t help that she is the only female Shae in history. Besides the revenge she has sworn to get, she has one final mission: to protect Niran, a handsome prince with secrets of his own.

In Niran’s home, the Palace of the Golden City, nothing is as it seems. Aerona’s enemies are lurking around every corner, the Emperor is blackmailing her into becoming his assassin, and an ex-Shae librarian is convinced that she has a long-forgotten Shae magic hidden on her skin.

Caught between two worlds, Aerona must kill, spy and betray… even if it means unlocking the magic this world has long been starved of…

Preview Book
$6.99 at Time of Posting!
Fantasy | Sorcery | Young Adult
Published: January 23, 2023
Length: 370 Pages
Tour Provided by Xpresso Book Tours

 The Excerpt⇚ 

The sharpest blades are born of the hottest fires, Kentric had once told me.

I had become something the night of the Red Wolf attack. Something more. They had made an enemy of me, and I swore on the ashes of the Shae, I swore I would kill the men who destroyed our home, and I didn’t care if it took until the day I died—I would rebuild my people.

As long as I lived on, so did my people.


"Throwing myself to my knees, I plunged my hand into the icy water. 

Gods, that felt better. After a few icy moments the pain faded, and my heart rate began to slow. 

Replacing the pain, a faint tingling filled my hand. Numb and pale from the cold water, I sat back on the grass and rocks and peered at the back of my left hand.

One larger eight-point star was overlaid with a smaller one, with a circular design containing different points and characters in the ancient Shae language. Each of the four largest points was labelled with a character for a direction: north, south, east, west. Only the Masters and Elders knew the language it was written in fluently: the Shae had their own tongue, but like so many ancient languages, it was no longer used every day. I could speak a little of it: I made out the character for north under my middle knuckle, South near my wrist, and east and west on the sides.

Breathless, I stared at my skin with my fingers shaking unsteadily, still unable to believe that after all the hoping, dreading, and sleepless nights—finally, I belonged.”


"“What is it?” I demanded. “What’s happening? Kentric, I saw fire—“

“We’re being attacked,” Kentric said. Shouts and bangs and running footfalls filled the air, filtering in through the dark window.

What?” I started for the door, but he pulled me back to face him. “We have to go, we have to fight—“

“There are too many, Aerona. Far too many.”

“Too many? We’re Warriors.

“Fifty of us have already been slain in the Sanctuary,” Kentric said quickly. “More at the outposts and farmhouses. There are hundreds of them, Aerona, an army. We cannot win.”

“No,” I breathed. The world had been opening before my eyes that morning: now, it felt as if it closed in from every angle, crushing me.

Taking a step back, I looked to the glowing window, listened to the screams in the distance.

“We can fight them! Drive them off,” I was pleading, tears in my eyes, but there was ice in Kentric’s gaze.

He had stopped listening. From around his neck, he pulled something on a thin black cord out of his robes. It was small and silver, glinting in the faint light from the window. The symbol of the Shae—all of the Masters wore one, a hand-forged silver pendant. A mountain overlaid with two crossed swords, surrounded by a circle of four dragons. He pushed it into my hands.  

“No. I can’t,” I took a step back, looking shakily down at the heavy, cold pendant. 

“There’s no time for this. Listen to me carefully,” he took my shoulders, standing so close I could feel his breath on my face. “The prince is your responsibility now. He’s in the barns, Malik told him to meet you there. Take horses and get off the Shae mountain. Get far, don’t stop moving, and don’t use the gates to get past River’s Edge. Go through the river itself. Don’t come back here, don’t try to fight them. You are Shae. You are one of us. Never forget that. We will fight them as long as we can. Stay off the main roads and away from anyone until you reach Dothor.” 

I tried to suppress the tears welling up in my eyes, clenching my jaw and my fists, but my heart broke as Kentric wrapped me in a fierce hug. He was old, but like an ancient willow, he was supple and strong.

“Now go, Aero,” he whispered in my ear. “Go!” 

I knew I would regret it, Gods, I knew I would—but I did as Kentric told me. 

I ran.


Turn your fear in your favour, Kentric had told me once. Twist it into something you can use. 

We approached the river, only a faint silver shimmer in the darkness. The sound of the rushing water filled the air, and we stopped uphill from the closest bridge, scouting the area from behind a cluster of bushes. Ruby, my white horse, snorted nervously beneath me. The bridge was marked with a Torii, a red gate that symbolized the start of Shae land.

“Look there.” I pointed ahead, where two pinpricks of firelight illuminated guardsmen standing by the bridge’s mouth, under the red Torii. Seeing them moving, bobbing with each distant step, I felt a coil of hatred twisting in my stomach. 

Suddenly, I knew what I could twist my fear into. I felt it working, surging up, contorting up into my chest. 

This is what it felt like, to have nothing left to lose. 

Hi, I'm Kate Cowan. I'm an author, writer, painter, and illustrator. 

When I'm not writing or creating art, I love to take my three insane dogs out for hikes and explore the beautiful Niagara region of Canada, where I live. 

My passion is in telling stories that move people and capture their imaginations. I also strive to create art that is full of life and beauty. I love creating pretty things, both written and painted. 

I'm also a martial arts instructor, 3rd-degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate, and lover of badass characters (which I'm sure you can tell from my books!!)

 The Giveaway⇚ 


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TBR Addictions: Legends of Ash and Dust by Kate Cowan [BLITZ]
Legends of Ash and Dust by Kate Cowan [BLITZ]
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