Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
Author: Sarah Raasch
Publication: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Genre: High Fantasy
Read: August 2015
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild their kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Plot -4 out of 5 stars
This was action packed and full of adventure. It hooked me from the beginning. There was intrigue and mystery. A LOT of plots and twists, some small and some freaking huge, they blew me away. There was a lot of magic and politics and they both played an integral part of the plot. It was very engaging and interesting.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s very simple but carries a lot of weight with it. I don’t know if that makes sense but what I mean is that it works well with the plot and gets the message across very well. It’s a very up and down pace, sometimes slow and other times really fast but it never feels strange. My favorite part is the incredible world building. It was rich and detailed and well thought out and it was awesomeee!
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked the characters in this story. There were very interesting and complex and had really intertwined relationships that played off each other in a way. Meira, our main character, is great. She’s strong and loyal. She is very determined to do well for her kingdom and to matter to them in some way. She has a tendency to be dramatic and is very unsure sometimes of what she has to do but she’s fierce. She gives as good as she gets. Then we have one of our male protagonists, Mather, who we meet early on. He’s the future king of Winter. He’s also kind and loyal. He’s really stoic but strong and responsible. He has the tendency to be easily persuaded by other people on to what to do and what not to do. I still don’t know how I feel about him. And last but not least, is our other male protagonist, Theron, who is the prince of another kingdom. I love him, he’s amazing. He is very sweet and passionate, he has a very artistic side to him. But at the same time, he’s strong and brave. He has a really good head on his shoulders, he’s clever and selfless.
I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I actually did.
The plot of this book revolves around Winterian refugees and their fight to take back their kingdom from Spring who conquered them and enslaved all of its citizens. They have been fighting for 16 years to find the two halves of their kingdom’s magical conduit. There was a lot of action right off the bat. One of the first scenes is our main character and another refugee going into enemy territory to try and steal half of their conduit and it was exciting and nerve wracking as hell. There was a lot of adventure, being refugees and trying not to get taken in, they have to move around a lot. At one point, they have to relocate quickly, the group separates and they go to another kingdom called Cordell. Honestly, one of the greatest parts about this book is the world building. There are eight different kingdoms, four seasons and four rhythms. The seasons, pretty self explanatory, Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter. All their citizens have different facial and skin characteristics that coincide with their kingdom. I thought that was a very interesting aspect to add to an idea that could’ve been incredibly simple. Because there are so many different people in power and so many different kingdoms at play, there’s a lot of politics involved in the plot. Everyone is trying to do what they can to get ahead which in turns brings in a lot of intrigue since you don’t really know anyone’s true motives in the beginning. It helps push the story forward. The magic system involving the conduits was really interesting as well as their back story. I wish there would’ve been more description about it but what there was really caught my attention. There are also some crazy plot twists in this thing! I di not see the majority of them coming but a few were predictable. I appreciated what the other was trying to do with them though and it just makes me excited to see how she’ll develop them further in the next books.
Meira is a great narrator. She’s strong willed and very determined. The thing she wants most in the world is to mean something to her kingdom, to do something that matters for them. But at the same time, she doesn’t really know what that is. She wants to be a soldier and fight and liberate them and it could be not in the cards for her. She has the tendency to want approval from the leader of their refugee team and she isn’t sure how to get it or how to figure out what her role is. For all her will and her tenacity, she is still very unsure about herself and other things. Towards the end, her growth is beautiful and she takes that drive to do great things and actually does them. I can’t wait to see how else she is going to grow and mature as the series goes on. When it comes to the two male protagonists, I definitely liked one much better than the other. Theron to me was great. He’s sweet and passionate. A real good guy who wants to do great by his kingdom considering how awful his dad is handling it at the moment. Even with his artistic side, he’s still brave and strong and knows how to fight, knows how to handle himself and I feel like he’s a stand up guy. Mather on the other hand, I didn’t connect with him at all. He’s very stoic and and responsible to the max. He was kind to Meira and he treated her nicely. And he’s very loyal to his kingdom all you want but he was too easily manipulated for my taste. He let other people tell him what to do and when to do it and although he’s young, that’s not how a king should behave.
I want to briefly mention two of the side characters that are pretty important to the story. Sir, who is the leader of the refugees I guess you can say, is very intense. He’s really tough on both Meira and Mather. Meira is always looking for his approval and I don’t think she needs to. He’s that kind of father that has the motto, do as I say not as I do, that’s the kind of vibe I got from him and I didn’t enjoy it. We got to know more about him and his choices towards the end but he’s still pretty meh with me. And finally, Hannah. Don’t want to talk too much about her because anything to do with her is pretty spoilery but she’s absolutely amazing. I love her and I hope she continues to show up.
So that’s it for this review! Thanks for reading and let me know what you think! I was really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait till the sequel comes out. See you on my next post!