I suppose I should have mentioned at some point before in my reviews of this series that it's definitely not for kids. Each book reinforces that point. I swear, each one manages to become more sexually driven than the last! They're not all sex all the time, but even just delving into Silveo's back story would make for an awkward parent-preteen talk.
Ashes was a bit of a bridge book, I see that now. It bridges the gap between what the story *was* and what the story *becomes*. Out of the Ashes brings back Gwain, Basil, Lu, and all the other characters we thought we'd never see again. (It also brought back Gwain's chapter openings, which, after learning more about his book, made me giggle when I read them.)
Like I've come to expect from this series, the book ended on a cliffhanger - nowhere near as frustrating as Flames' cliffhanger, but a pretty obnoxious one nonetheless. Of course, I've got the last book already, so I just continued straight on through to the next one.
With Silveo calmed down a bit, there are some really nice relationships built between him and the other characters. Where he originally was incredibly stand-offish, since the last book he's become a lot more open in his interactions with everybody. This gives him some great dialogue with Gwain, and even shelts he knew before have deeper relationships with him. Perhaps because we're just now really seeing what those relationships were like. As always though, it's him and Gerard that steal the stage.
These books just keep getting better and better, and I'm anxious to see how it all ends.