Book Review: What May Rise from the Ashes


  • Title: What May Rise from the Ashes
  • Author: Susanne Schmidt
  • Series: None
  • Genre: Fantasy Novelette
  • Publishing Date: March 10th, 2020
  • Publishing Co.: Susanne Schmidt
  • Length: 48 pages
  • Format: Kindle and Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free paperback copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon Link: What May Rise from the Ashes

Ofronia Mills is far too old to retire. She has spent all her life as a librarian, and when Grand-Director Lorn Van Shipplestorm threatens not only her job, but the integrity of the library itself, she has no choice but to act. Evading her boss and Tess Dingly, it-girl and reluctant librarian apprentice, Ofronia descends into the library’s forgotten fourth basement, which once housed the collection of magic books. While Van Shipplestorm plots to bar the general populace from even entering the hallowed halls, Ofronia must decide what to do with what she finds. Will she entrust her fate to magic, although she once refused to learn anything about it? Or will she walk away quietly, like she has done all her life?

Final Judgment: 4 Stars

As this is a short novelette, I believe that the blurb is summary enough for the story without giving too much away, and what follows will be a mini-review. 

Set somewhere with both modern technology and medieval hierarchies, the juxtaposition enhances the story and lends to Ofronia’s plight. Just as she is becoming obsolete in her world, so too are novels in our own. Social media and the internet in general have abounded, and are not likely to relinquish their control. 

Written in an easy-to-read style, yet still engaging with its descriptions of both characters and setting, this novelette is perfect for anyone wanting a quick escape from reality or a nice brain break. 

Readers will encounter characters that they both love as well as hate, even though we only get to see a snippet of who these people truly are. And yet, we are able to cheer Ofronia on and rage when buffoons stand in her way. 

Just a dash of magic is sprinkled throughout, keeping the reader turning the page until we can figure out what exactly is going on. And luckily, we find out just before the novelette ends. 

Overall, this is a quick and easy read with a unique idea to pique readers’ interests. Perfect for a short getaway or a nice relaxing read just before bed after a stressful day.

Do you read short stories/novellas/novelettes? If so, which are your favorite(s)? Let me know in the comments below!

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