Title Snow Like Ashes
Author Sara Raasch
Description from Amazon
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. 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 the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find 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.
I had seen this book online and at Barnes and Noble for years, like literally years. And for some reason, I always seemed to pass it by. I found the whole series in paperback on Book Outlet recently, and decided that this must be a sign, it’s finally time for me to read this series.
Yes, before I go on, I feel the need to justify my love of paperbacks. While hardcovers are beautiful and durable, there’s something about the flexibly of a paperback in my hands that just makes me happy. The corners are more susceptible to bending and the spine is more fragile, but paperbacks make me happy. Unless I have a mismatched collection, in which case, hardcover all the way.
Anyway, back to Snow Like Ashes. I’m not 100% sure why I never picked it up before now, but there’s nothing wrong with the description. It seems like a perfectly adequate YA fantasy series with no obvious flaws.
Theron – why do I always like male characters in female main character books? I’m not too sure, but I loved Theron. He just wanted to be free to write his poetry (and make Meira happy). I feel like Meira is kind of leading him on (since she’s super into Mather still – which is another relationship that frustrates me), so I want more for Theron.
All in favor of a spin-off all about Theron, raise your hand!
A Character I wasn’t Crazy About
Mather – he’s ok, but I didn’t love him. He’s so blah, if you know what I mean. He’s very wishy-washy with his feelings for Meira, so I don’t blame her as much for being confused about her feelings for Theron. Oh, how I hate love triangles!
He just didn’t really do much for me that was interesting or exciting. I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t love him either.
To be honest, I saw the plot twist coming a mile away. The way magic is inherited is explained like fourteen million times in the story so I really wasn’t surprised at all to see who ends up with magic by the end. I’m not saying I didn’t like the twist, but it was very transparent.
I just want to go on the record for saying I thought the names of the “Seasonal” kingdoms were cheesy.
Winter with Jannuari as the capital? It was a bit too literal for my taste. Not enough to deter me from continuing the series, but I wanted to make note of it.
Snow Like Ashes is a great start to what I hope will be an epic YA fantasy trilogy. I like the political struggle featured in the plot. Additionally, I thought the way Sara Raasch addressed themes like racism by showing discrimination between the kingdoms was very intersting. I didn’t feel like I was reading a book about racism, but I did feel that theme throughout. This book got me to think about real world issues instead of fictional ones. I applaud authors who convey real world issues into fictional worlds so seamlessly.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Ice Like Fire and Frost Like Night both by Sara Raasch – these are pretty obvious choices, they are the next two books in the series.
- The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross – this is another story of secret royals, romance, and political intrigue. I thought the main characters were similar and both stories feature a sizable plot twist relating to the identities of the royals in question.
- The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen – another story of secrets, romance, and politics. I liked the alternating POVs better in The Traitor’s Game and thought the magic system was better in Snow Like Ashes but read both for yourself and let me know your thoughts in the comments.