Ashes in Winter by K M Cannon

320 pages, Dystopian

Karen’s Magic Review

It’s not often that I read a book twice, especially on request.

The Rangers of Waldren was a series of four books if I remember correctly, and I read them over two years ago. They were great dystopian stories that followed a band of survivors when something catastrophic happens.

The first book was called After Oil, which was a great title because it immediately conveyed what the book was about, or made you query as to what indeed happened after oil. When it runs out, the electricity can’t be powered, and gradually society breaks down.

K. M. Cannon withdrew the series and decided to rewrite them because there was a lot of characters, which I believe, she has now blended together, and also merged two of the books.

The new book is the one I re-read and is now entitled Ashes in Winter, which doesn’t seem to offer the same insight.

Ashes in Winter is based in Canada, the home of the author. It is immediately obvious that Ms. Cannon knows the area well, and those who live there, will be able to relate to the story on a different level.

The setting is during one of Canada’s harsh winters, with more than knee-deep levels of a snow. It makes a great backdrop for the story. The family are the Withers, with a good handful of friends. They don’t know what is going on when all communication drops out. Looters soon appear and a band called The Slavers, which are exactly what the name suggests. They are menacing enough to make the story intriguing, but don’t appear much in this book. An army, not affiliated with the Canadian official one, is also intent on killing people

My biggest criticism last time, although I really loved the books, was that there were too many characters to keep track of. They have been cut down to four, as well as the Withers family. Each of the four went out to either find food and supplies, or to just find out what was going on. En-route, they discovered other survivors. This is what makes this book appealing. What is going to happen? How will our four get out of the situations they find themselves in?

I was intrigued as to the age of the four, particularly the men. Just to give me a clearer picture of who they were. One, was referred to as old man, so I put him in his forties as he battled with a younger man, who would think forty was old. I presumed the two other men were similar but in one scene I had the impression he may have been younger than that.

Much later in the book, although I had already remembered from the original story, two of them had their surnames mentioned, which told me they were brothers. I can’t remember the relationship of the third, possibly a family friend, or the how the feisty female firefighter is related or connected. So, I still found the characters a little hard to follow, but their adventures made me forget that.

It is an enjoyable story, and the box set will be great, and a good one for series-lovers to follow. I suggest that you also follow the author on Amazon to get notified when there is a new release. Once you have read this, you will immediately want to move on to the second.

The pictures above all relate to the storyline. With there being no power, they have to rely on horses to get them about. There is a great battle, and a scene in a deserted shopping mall to enjoy. Gina, the firefighter, drives a snow machine, which she has stolen from her, and determined to retrieve it back, which is why I describe her as feisty. The other photos relate to the blizzards and the deserted houses they come across. I chose the map because a lot of the places named are mentioned in the story.


Surviving the winter will only be half the battle…

At the height of a brutal Canadian Winter, the world as everyone knew it came crashing down, leaving the survivors to deal with the ashes of their fallen nations. In the Northern Ontario city of Sudbury, the Withers and other survivors scramble to pick up the shattered remains of everything they knew while a warlord known only as Colonel Harnet and other raiders press in on all sides.

​In Sudbury, Daniel Wither must protect the Mayor and other survivors in City Hall from direct assault. In the now distant Whitefish, his daughter grapples to pick up the pieces of civilization with the help of Derek Moss. Further west, at a dam cut off from the rest of civilization, Garrett Wither must keep his people from becoming the raiders he had to defend a small town from. The tough as nails Gina Egivand rescues the eldest Wither brother, Russell, from freezing to death on the side of the road before venturing into Sudbury for supplies and food so her people can survive.

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