Wow, that was a rollercoaster of emotion. I knew Asher's book was not going to be an easy read, and it wasn't, but it was one of those books that just has to be read. I wanted to cry for Asher, and for Ember, both struggling with their new reality.
This book was amazing, and I'd highly recommend it. But, I still don't believe it's a standalone. I believe this book, Asher, is the only book in the Ashes & Embers series that cannot be read as a standalone. I started reading Carian Coles' books with Talon (book 4), and worked my way back. It was fine, this is not the case with Asher.
I think without reading the other books in the Ashes & Embers series, and Torn (Devil's Wolves), the book would just be this conflagration of intense emotion, which at times, almost feels like too much to bear. It is having the background and build up of Asher's character from the previous books that takes this story from just an extremely emotional book, and elevates it almost to art.