Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Snow Like Ashes

by Sara Raasch
published: Balzer + Bray, 2014
pages: 416

When the Kingdom of Winter was conquered by Spring, it left them enslaved and without magic.  Meira doesn't even remember it happening, only that it did, but she is living with the consequences.  Along with seven other Winterians refugees, Meira is searching for a way to get their magic and ultimately kingdom and people back from the power-hungry Spring kingdom.  She is willing to do whatever it takes to restore Winter to it's former glory, what she doesn't realize is that her destiny might not be her own to claim.  Greater powers are at work and she has to deal with them.

I haven't read high fantasy in a long while and I wasn't even sure this would be high fantasy but it was and it was so good.  I loved diving into a new realm with magic and war and people torn across lands.

Let's cut right to the chase, I freaking love Meira.  She is fierce and loyal and determined. Yes, she's selfish at times and doesn't always think about what's best for her kingdom when her own fate's on the line, but you you be willing to sacrifice yourself at all?  Her character development in this book alone makes me excited for the rest of the series.  Quite a bit of her character development comes with new understanding about her situation.  It's hard to stay stagnate when the world is constantly changing.  Meira may start off slightly selfish, but she sheds that quality when she realizes what's at stake for her and the Winter kingdom.  It takes her some time, but she really comes into her own.

The one thing I don't like is the love triangle.  It feels a little bit unnecessary, especially given the fact that there are so many more pressing issues at hand.  I get that she is a teenage girl and her best friend is ridiculously handsome and boy number two cares about things deeply, but let's focus on the fact that the Winterians are all enslaved, shall we.

The pace of this book was incredible.  I flew threw it, without even considering how well it was paced.  All I cared about was finding out what happened next.  The natural ebb and flow of the story line work very well, packed action and moments of discovery and explanation.

Meira and company have captured my heart and made me crave more from them! I cannot wait for the rest of this series.

Stars: 4/5


"Snow Like Ashes is a thrilling tory with unforgettable characters set in a stunning fantasy world that had me quickly turning pages.  I want more!"
      --Morgan Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Kingdoms

"The plot and writing are superlative...Highly recommended."
     --School Library Journal

"A new society, a grand adventure, and a first romance, all rolled into one big fantasy epic."

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