Keeper of the Ashes Review: A gripping novel set in a dark time and place.

Keeper of the Ashes is a gripping novel set in a dark time and place. The book centres around a group of people who are struggling to get by, trying to make ends meet in a world where magic is real. And while most of us can only hope that our future lies in our own hands, this is clearly not the case with these characters. Their world has been struck by an epidemic called ‘the Madness’ which has left many families broken and whole villages decimated. And now this family have also fallen prey to the disease, though they have done so unbeknownst to each other. As a result, they are now locked in an endless battle against time itself as they struggle to understand what has happened to them and how they can survive.

The world of Keeper of the Ashes.

In a world which is full of magic, it is easy to forget just how real it is. The world in which we currently live is a result of natural and man-made processes. It is not something which has always existed, and it is important to remember this. The world in which we now live can, and has, changed in the blink of an eye. From the development of the first written documents to the invention of the Internet, human progress is a result of both the things which remain constant and the things which change. Keeper of the Ashes is set in a time and place where the lines between man and the supernatural are becoming blurred. The book is set in the 1600s, in a world where witches are real and the idea of ‘poltergeists’ is known. It is also a world where the concept of a ‘keeper of the ashes’ exists and is used to keep the dead from being reanimated as a source of evil.

The dark time and place.

The dark time and place which the novel is set in are the result of human folly. The British Empire was at its peak, with countries around the world under its control. The British people, although highly regarded, were at their most superstitious during this time and held a particularly malicious view of witches. They believed that witches used their powers to cause ‘black cackling’, which they believed was caused by a witch’s ashes being scattered on the ground. In addition, peoples’ customs and beliefs are a result of a combination of factors, as well as being influenced by the environment. The people of England, during the time of the Salem Witch Trials, were notorious for their unquestioning support of the Church of England over the protestations of its members. Themes explored in Keeper of the Ashes include: the power of belief to corrupt, the corrupting effect of wealth, and the importance of family.

The characters within the book.

The characters within Keeper of the Ashes are divided between good and evil. Main characters, may be divided into two groups. The first group consists of the Hale family: Caleb, Kit, and May. The Hale family are a close-knit group, with Caleb at the helm. They are a normal, functioning family, with a happy home life. They are also the least religious family in the novel, with Caleb being the first to break the news to his wife and children of the existence of the supernatural. The second group consists of the black family: the Watchers. These are the forces behind the Madness and they are the primary antagonists of the book. Watchers are a race of supernatural beings which are invisible to the human eye, and more importantly to the eye of the beholder. They are not human, but something else. Something which is extremely intimidating, even to humans. This something is called a ‘Watcher’. The Watchers are also the Keepers of the Ashes. Also known as the ‘costly teachers’, the Watchers are the ones who have chosen to remain in human form to observe and learn from humanity. The Watchers are a very interesting group to write about. They are a mysterious, centuries-old group who have chosen not to be known to the world. They have chosen to remain in the dark, keeping mankind in the dark about their existence. Indeed, the Watchers have chosen to remain in the dark about many things. There are few details known about them, though it is known that they are powerful, wise, and kind. They have also been known to be patient and kind.

May was a difficult character to get right.

May was an unusual child. From the moment she was born, she was different. She was not the kind of child who asked for things. There was no sign of this in May’s nursery. On the contrary, May was the opposite of a feather-brained child. She was deisce and quiet, and when she was not writing, reading, or talking to her pet mice, she was studying or trying out new skills. She knew how to cook, she could sew, and she could garden. She was very smart, although she was not always sure how to use her gifts. It is clear that things are going to become harder for this family in the coming years, as they try to deal with the effects of the Madness.


Keeper of the Ashes is a novel set in a dark time and place. It centres around a family who have fallen prey to the ‘Madness’ and are now in a race against time to understand what has happened to them and how they can survive. The book is filled with suspense, mystery, and thrills and spills as the family deals with the unexpected introduction of the supernatural and the effects of the ‘Madness’ on the body.

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Lumia Shaffer
Lumia Shaffer
I'm Lumia Shaffer! I'm a Kirby Research author, with a passion for writing, I've researched and published many in-depth product research articles!
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