Beauty From Ashes by Pamela Hart

“If there is one thing I am an absolute sucker for, it is a good allegory…”

Review by Renae Powers

How far are you willing to go for love?

When Prince Arnion volunteers to infiltrate the prison colony of Gehenna, romance is the last thing on his mind. Rescuing its inhabitants is his only priority. But the corruption in Gehenna runs deep, fueled by the obsessions of its fanatical leader–a king rumored to devour human hearts.

To succeed, Arnion must conceal his identity from the people he’s been sent to save, including a young woman he’s inexplicably drawn to. And when her life is threatened by two merciless guards, the prince risks everything to stop them.

Afterward, she wants nothing to do with him or his promises of rescue. But she starts to realize there’s more to Arnion than meets the eye, and what he’s about to unleash on Gehenna will change everything.

Release Date: 7/25/2022

Genre: Christian Fantasy

Pages: 204

If there is one thing I am an absolute sucker for, it is a good allegory, and this book came through for me! There were so many parallels that were super clear and easy to draw, making it a well-done allegory. At the same time, the author was very original in her telling of one of the oldest and most precious stories of the Christian faith. The setting definitely had solid nods to biblical passages, as did the characters’ names and whatnot. But I never felt that this was just a retelling. This was a unique and creative allegory meant to show readers the love and sacrifice of Jesus in a new and compelling way.

“The water in Gehenna always left her feeling thirsty, no matter how much she drank, but after a few mouthfuls of this water, she felt inexplicably full and rejuvenated.”

While the story did have darker themes (it’s good vs. evil, so somewhat unavoidable), it wasn’t gratuitous at all. Characters were tortured and there was a heavy amount of sadism on the part of the Satan character and his lackeys. But again, that fits with the story and makes sense, especially because that is how we know the real Satan to be. And throughout the story, the light of the Jesus character was so very pervasive, outshining any of the darkness and filling every desperate moment with hope. My only concern here is that I’m not quite sure which age group this book was written for, as the allegory was simple and easy enough for a child/preteen to understand, but the torture and whatnot might be a bit much for that age group. I think maybe parental judgment would be the best thing to consult on this one, as I suppose each young person has different tolerance levels. 

“Their king had always been compassionate. Even the death of [spoiler] on behalf of these people wouldn’t change that.”

I especially loved the end of the story. I really was not sure how the author would pull that off and wrap things up, but the way she did it really worked. I genuinely enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves allegory, biblical stories, and stories that point to the hope we have in Jesus.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Content Ratings:

Action & Gore:

Rating: 8 out of 10.
8. Intense action (while not frequent or overly detailed, action takes a morbid turn here with abnormal deaths meant to shock/horrify reader). 

Romance & Spice:

Rating: 2 out of 10.
2. Mild content (no spice, just mildly sweet/clean romance; mild kissing)

Cursing & Vulgarity:

Rating: 2 out of 10.
2. Frequent substitute cursing (less than 10 "craps" etc. and/or book specific words).

Other Trigger/Content Notices:


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