Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: 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. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild their kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

 Where to start with my first review? Well, honestly I did not have high hopes for this novel. After reading the synopsis, I thought the concept of the Season Kingdoms was a bit silly. And yet for some reason I bought the book anyway. I am so glad that I did!

I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre. And this was a great start by Sara Raasch to a fantasy trilogy. Meira is a strong heroine who constantly questioned authority but also seeks constant approval. It's a coming-of-age completely unlike any other story I have read.

Okay so what is the downside? There is, of course, the dreaded love-triangle.  Thankfully, Raasch goes very light on this subject and it really doesn't hinder the story the way many times it would.  It wasn't as much of a triangle as it could have been in this respect since Meira went from wanting her best friend, Mather, to seemingly falling for Theron.  What are Mather's true feelings? We'll find out in the next book I would suppose.

Overall, the book did hold a few fantasy clich├ęs and stereotypes. But I can overlook them since Raasch paints a beautiful landscape not only of the Winter kingdom but of the other Seasons as well. We even get to learn a lot about one of the Rhythm Kingdoms.  It's such a rich world and I was easily immersed in it. I can't wait for the second book to come out.

So what did I think?
I really liked it. I would totally recommend this (and already have). This series has great potential. I just hope that Raasch does as good a job on the next book.

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