Parents need to know that Scott Reintgen's Ashlords is the first book in a duology about phoenix horses who flame out at night and are reborn as the sun rises, as well as the young people who race them. Imelda, Pippa, and Adrian, have much to lose in the brutal, multi-day Races, and the stakes couldn't be higher: Escalated oppression and civil war threaten to sweep them up regardless of who wins. In a world that values success at any cost, characters struggle with betrayal, what it means to do the right thing, and loyalty to community, family and self. Characters represent a variety of skin colors, described variably as "dark-skinned," "pale," and "golden." Very mild when it comes to sex (a couple of quick kisses) and language ("fool," jackass"), this book delivers on violence. Characters use guns, swords, switches, batons, and poison to injure or kill, but the violence is not excessively gratuitous or gory. The unique conception of phoenix horses, the alchemy that lends them different powers upon rebirth, a touch of blood magic, and a complex politics mean this action-packed tale will appeal to a variety of readers.