Book Reviews

Book Review- The Ashes of Waterloo by Olivia Andem

Reviewed for Reader’s Favourite

Andem’s Ashes of Waterloo isn’t my typical fare. I’m not the biggest fan if historical romance (or romance in general), but I’ve been working to expand my reading horizons. I do greatly enjoy historical fiction in general, and this book provided a great story. The title is what captured my attention first. I have a particular interest in the Napoleonic era, and with Bonaparte himself. Side note- I also really liked the cover.


Ashes of Waterloo focuses on the story of Lisette and Darbin, and the relationship they develop. It is set amidst the larger backdrop of the devastating battle at Waterloo, between Bonaparte and Wellington. The battle, the war itself, that larger picture, shapes the relationship between this French farm girl, and her English officer. War is a worldshaper. It can mix the most unlikely of allies, and certainly changes all it touches. War also helps one realise just how precious life and live can be. I found the characters to be good, strong complex ones. They were thrown into situations that allowed them to grow, and rise to their potential. They felt ‘real’ to me, and I cared what happened to them.


While I enjoyed the story itself quite a bit, I did find the writing a little difficult to parse in places. Sometimes it was sentence structure. Sometimes things just seemed incomplete, like there should have been more to a scene or conversation. I do not feel this to be overlooked errors, but writer quirks, and it quickly faded into the background for me.


If you have an interest in this particular time period and enjoy historical fiction, romance or no, I highly recommend checking Andem’s Ashes of Waterloo.


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