Most people probably lead with the novel cover and summary, but I'm going to lead with the author, because she's just so cool! So without further ado, here she is!
And now the novel, which is available on Amazon here. You can leave a review on Goodreads here.
Jaina Indera has been preparing her entire life for the chance to prove herself a superior and loyal citizen of the Imperial Alliance. In order to do so, she believes she must win the galaxy-wide competition known as the Trials. With training at her Gifted School progressing swiftly, everything looks like it is on pace for her to achieve her dream…until a boy named Dragon enrolls in her class.
Suddenly doubting herself and everything she’s been taught to believe, Jaina and Dragon are teamed with six of their classmates for the chance to compete and achieve their dream: winning the Trials. Consisting of four different tests, the Trials are about to challenge these eight young adults to the limits of their abilities. But learning to work as a team is more difficult than they ever imagined and dark secrets from Dragon’s past emerge that put them in mortal danger. Now Jaina must discover what she’s really fighting for if she and her team have any hope of finishing the Trials…alive.
Exploring the nature of self-reliance and self-confidence, McKendry delivers a perceptive, nuanced portrait of the importance of teamwork and the strain it puts on individual desires and motivations. Playing with the concepts of dark and light, her novel is a complex coming of age story that encapsulates the complicated hero’s journey from student to leader. A dark tale of love and revenge, From the Ashes is a powerful reminder to think for yourself instead of blindly following what you’ve been taught to believe.