Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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.
First Sentence: “Block!”
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Snow Like Ashes is probably one of my most anticipated Winter 2014 title. Many of you can probably see why – Snow Like Ashes has a gorgeous cover (and it is gorgeoussss in person), it is high fantasy (who doesn’t love high fantasy?), and the hype for it is pretty big. To make things even better, I’ve seen nothing but high ratings for Snow Like Ashes, which should hopefully pretty much guarantee me to love it too right? (Let’s ignore the fact that I’m usually the black sheep for books everyone else loved.) After reading Snow Like Ashes, all I can say is that I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it like other people did. To me, Snow Like Ashes was just okay.
“Why?” I growl at him. “Why would you do this to me?”
“We had no choice.”
“No,” I spit. “I have no choice. You forced this decision on me. Why?” (ARC 137)
I’m sure other people talked about this before because you just can’t talk about it when it plays such a huge part of Snow Like Ashes – there is a lot of world-building in Snow Like Ashes. When I say “a lot,” I mean a lot. There was just so much information about Primoria, the world which Snow Like Ashes takes place in, throughout the book. There was world-building in the dialogue between the characters, there was world-building in the form of info-dumps, there was world-building when the characters look at or talk about certain objects, there was world-building when people talk about their kingdom and magic, and there was world-building in Meira’s musing thoughts. Yeah, you get the point. The good thing about all the world-building in Snow Like Ashes is that I know Primoria really well and don’t have any questions about it.
There is kind of a love triangle in Snow Like Ashes. As the summary of Snow Like Ashes says, Meira is desperately in love with her best friend Mather, who is also Winter’s future king. However, one thing lead to another and Meira finds herself meeting a new guy, Theron. There was some thick tension between Mather and Theron throughout the book and Meira is in the center of it all. Both guys never admitted their feelings for Meira though, so it’s not completely clear if they both feel the same way for Meira (I don’t want to assume anything), which is why I call this love triangle a “kind of” love triangle. I think the love triangle was resolved near the end of the book – I say “think” because it is up for interpretation and there are no solid answers.
“I let you sneak up on me,” I snort. “All this future-king-of-Winter stuff has gone to your head, Your Highness.”
Mather’s face twitches at his title. “You always say you let me sneak up on you. Too scared to admit you’re not as good as everyone thinks you are?” (ARC 58)
The main reason why I’m giving Snow Like Ashes a rating of 3.5 stars is because some parts of the book just didn’t work for me. In a book where the main character, or any character really, is trying to find their identity for lack of a better word, I prefer it when the character is being more subtle about it and not so repetitive. In Snow Like Ashes, I’ll estimate about 12% of Snow Like Ashes was focused on Meira’s thoughts about her identity – Meira is trying to figure out how to feel like she truly belongs to Winter and how to be who she is when so many people demand other things from her. Meira had to spell every single thing out for us all the time; everything is spell out for us instead of letting us conclude all that for ourselves. I don’t mind if Meira spelled everything out for us instead of letting us figure out things ourselves, but to do it so many times just got repetitive and annoyed me.
Overall, I did enjoy reading Snow Like Ashes, but I did have some problems with it. I think I will read the sequel, depending on how the cover looks like. But even if the cover of the sequel isn’t as gorgeous as Snow Like Ashes‘s, I’ll probably read it anyway.