(Snow Like Ashes, #1)
Published: October 14th 2014
( Disclaimer: Totally changing up the way I do my reviews )
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
First of all, I'd like to say that the blurb doesn't mislead in this case, and stays true to the book 100%. Although, it doesn't necessarily grab your attention like it should. This book is everything I look for in an amazing fantasy novel, and I'm glad I decided to give it a chance to experience the glory that is Sara Raasch's writing.
This book starts off slow and steady, with a lot of information laid out for you to digest. Although many people see this as a bad thing, and I did too at first, I came to realise it was completely necessary for the plot. There were constant plot twists throughout this book, and the reader would've only been able to fully enjoy the action if they completely understood the premise of the story and all the little details that make this new world a fantastic one. I wanted to lower my rating because of the slow start, but I couldn't bring myself to do it with the rest of the book being as phenomenal as it was.
Now for my actual thoughts about the story. I loved the idea of Season kingdoms, and I guess that all started with Game of Thrones. No, I have not read it. No, I have not watched the tv show. Do I still like the idea of it? Hell yeah. This is one of the few books I've read that are more within the higher fantasy range, and for everyone intimidated by it, don't be. I would say this book has the same gripping action as Divergent, with love interests that are, for once, not annoying. The world building in this book is so good and descriptive, I could genuinely see myself by the main character's side, witnessing the whole thing as if it were a vivid dream. Speaking of dreams, I found the incorporation of them throughout the book as a great addition, intensifying the suspense as Meira discovers all the truths about her situation. That being said, I think Meira is by far the most badass female protagonist I've read so far, with the right amount of vulnerability to make her seem more realistic. I loved the relationship between her and Sir, and I find him by far one of my favorite fictional fatherly figures. Reading this book, I was at the verge of tears many times. From both happiness and saddness. It was such an insane novel. In a really good way.
This is a must-read for fans of Sarah J. Maas or even J.K Rowling. Oh, and team Theron all the way!