Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch.
The first book in the Snow Like Ashes series.
My Rating – 5*-5*
‘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, 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.’
“No matter what happens, no matter who turns on me, no matter what pompous swine thinks he has power over me, I am still me. I will always be me.”
Wow. This surprised the heck out of me, I’ve had it on my TBR for quite a while now and I think I’ve owned the book since the start of the year, I just kept putting it off and picking up something else. No idea why now as since I’ve read I’ve been kicking myself for waiting so long because this book is good.
Of course there is one unfortunate problem and that is there is a love triangle. Now, I don’t mind love triangles occasionally, but what I do mind is love triangles when they aren’t needed whatsoever and this is one of them, just leave it alone – just let her love one man and him to love her back, is that too much to ask!????
But, regardless of the stupid love triangle there are some very good bits of this book, for starters the setting is absolutely amazing, I can tell that the writer has put in a lot of thought into it. I believe this book has been compared to a GOT but young adult? I may be mistaken though. I love Meira who is our main character – it’s nice to see a strong, complex female main character.
“Even the strongest blizzards start with a single snowflake.”
The romance is good, I know stupid love triangle but it’s a difficult one because both love interests are likeable, I have no issues with either of them and I don’t really mind who Meira will finally end up with.
One thing that was really interesting about this book was that the colouring of each person matches their country, so all winterians all have snow white hair and skin – I thought that was quite interesting to read.
The world building in this book was just amazing, it’s quite a long book but not once did I think it was long, I got through it quicker than I thought I would as well which is always a bonus! ?
Now, I’m gonna talk bout Meira again because I was so impressed with her, there has been a lot of main characters in fantasy that I have read this year that I’ve had a few issues with but I don’t think I found any with Meira – she is a soldier all the way through and she will fight for herself and her country and it was so refreshing to read. Also, her feelings are amazing, sure she is a teenager and there are times when she acts like one when it comes to relationships but there is no insta love or anything in your face, the romance between Meira and her love interests is actually really sweet.
“I don’t need made-up strength. I’m strong enough on my own—me, Meira, no magic or conduit or anything.”
The twist in this book towards the end I actually didn’t expect, I know quite a few people who have read this guessed this within the first half of the book but I totally didn’t see it coming so it was a lovely surprise!
Overall, this book was really enjoyable and quite possible has become one of my favourite fantasy reads of the year! If you haven’t read it yet I recommend you do ?