I just finished reading Snow Like Ashes, by Sara Raasch!
"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.”
This was one of the books I was highly anticipating last year, and it did not disappoint! Although it took me a little while to get attached to the plot and the characters, they eventually grew on me, and I ended up really enjoying this!
Snow like Ashes is about Meira, a girl training to be a soldier with the last few remaining Winterian refugees. She really just wants to prove herself worthy of going out on missions and fighting like the others. One day, she is sent out on a mission, and comes back mostly successfully. Things fold out from this, going into a crazy fantasy world.
So imagine the seasons each having their kingdom and their people. Kind of like Avatar (the last airbender) but with seasons. Magic is present but rare, and is reserved to a few people. These seasons are at war. Spring is the bad season in this book - they want to own the other seasons. It sounds so cheesy when I’m writing this, but I promise it’s far from it!
Sara Raasch managed to take this idea and create an awesome world, full of plotting between kingdoms and unexpected turns, with characters you can really either relate to or come to understand.
I loved the characters! Like I said it took me a while to get into the book but it was great once I did! Meira feels like a pawn in a huge game, and all she wants to do is prove herself - so she plays along, although not without grudges. She’s head-strong and smart. She did scare me sometimes, when she lost control... But I must say, she is super brave, and incredibly skilled. At times she seemed slightly off as a character - there’s an obvious love triangle, but even though one side of it is portrayed as sweet, I feel like that side is a bit forced and it’s like it just fell upon her... you know? She has one of the most incredible character growths that I’ve read in a long time, though! She matures so much in just a few months!
Mather is such a sweet, protective yet slightly confused-like king-to-be. He’s often caught in situations in which he has no choice, and you can really tell that he does not like to be forced into making such choices.
I loved all of the other characters - Sir, Theron, and all of the others... even the bad guys were amazing!! They weren’t really new or unique or anything but they’re amazing anyway!
The plot was such a good idea! I don’t want to say too much about it because, ahem, spoilers, but honestly, it was so worth the read for the story!
What I really liked was some of the revelations made throughout the book. Some you see coming, and others just leave you completely surprised! Such a great high-fantasy!
Overall, I’m giving this a 4.5/5 feathers, just because of the fact that it took me a while to get into. I can’t wait to read the next books!!!
Have you read Snow like Ashes? What did you think about it? Let me know! :D