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Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
My Pre Reading
Upcoming Release Date: October 14, 2014
Synopsis: 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.
Review: This book was fantastic. This is the kind of YA fantasy I want more of! The world building is awesome. The magic is totally cool. The characters are interesting. The imagery is breathtaking. Everything about this book is just fantastic.
There are 8 kingdoms. And although it may seem confusing at first to try and remember them, they all are unique and interesting. Four of them are Seasons and the others are Rhythms. The four Seasons represent each of the natural seasons and have the physical features that go along with that season always occurring. In Winter, it is always cold and snowing. I also really enjoyed the names of the cities within the Seasons.
Each kingdom has a magic conduit in the form of a device like a locket or a sword. The history of these conduits is expanded on more and I found it really cool.
Although there is a little bit of a love triangle, I felt that it was very well handled. It felt natural. One of the boys Meira has known all her life, while the other she has just met.
I love when books hint at things to the reader that the characters don't realize until later. I felt like this was one of those books where the audience should have most of the pieces of the puzzle together, just waiting on the characters to figure it all out. All the reveals felt organic.
I loved Sara's writing. There is a particular chapter that I thought was excellently written. Chapter 24. I won't spoil anything about the chapter, but I loved it. The imagery Sara paints with her words is wonderful. I loved the aesthetic of each kingdom. The "spring-in-darkness motif" of Agra's palace was captivating.
Some of the characters have unusual names that may take some time to get accustomed to (Sir), but I was used to them a few chapters in.
We are Winter!
I give this book a 5/5. I am so excited to continue this series. It is everything I like in a YA fantasy. It reminds me of Jodi Meadows's Incarnate trilogy and Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy. If you're a fan of Kristin Cashore, Leigh Bardugo, or Pearl North you should check this book out, too! I cannot give this book enough praise.