Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Publishing Date: October 14, 2014
Page Count: 416
Summary: 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.

I wasn't sure how things would go when I started Snow Like Ashes. I honestly haven't read that much fantasy, though with the start of the new year I've challenged myself to read more, so I'm a bit of a newcomer! However, books like this make me want to read more and more from the genre. This was definitely the right book for me. Th pacing of the story, the action, and the reveals all had me pretty immersed.

Snow Like Ashes introduces Meira an orphaned refugee of the Winter Kingdom that was destroyed and overturned 16 years ago by the Spring Kingdom. Meira is at that stage of her life in which she is discovering who she wants to be and what her life is to become. It was interesting to see her own discovery and how it correlated into the world she lived and the struggles she had to face. What she wants is the be just as important to the other Winter people in the plan to get their kingdom back but she's often left to safer tasks. She was fed of up of being treated differently from the others and I loved her challenging attitude, and the perfect imperfections of her own pride. The urge to prove herself is part of what moves the story into it's intricate plot.

The plot of the book was pretty badass, I'd have to say. The struggle that the Winterian citizen's have had to face at the hands of the savage king that took control has been extreme, and the citizens themselves have been greatly diminished to a small number, but they don't give up. The do everything they can to keep their pride and fight even at the worse of circumstances. The revelation of just who Meira is in the story, while not a complete surprise was well done within the scheme of things.

Then there are the swoon-worthy boys, Mather and Theron. Both are worthy love potentials in their own way, and are great strong characters who don't treat Meira as a delicate flower (in comparison to Sir, of course). For once, I liked both love interests. Or, potential love interest because another thing I liked about this book is while we get a clear idea of Meira's feelings they aren't the focus of the book and it doesn't drive you crazy with the back and forth because you get a clear idea of the possible outcome (unless of course the next book takes a complete 180). It's good to have a romance that's more a slow burn given that there will be more books in the future. However, I do have a soft spot for Theron...

Overall, this was a really good read! The plot had me hooked and gave me a few surprises I didn't work out on my own, and great characters to enjoy along the way. The world building Raasch presents was well done, especially when showing the history, culture, and traditions of the Winter Kingdom that had basically disappeared with the destruction, through the surviving people. I'll definitely be waiting for book two in this series!