Friday, January 16, 2015

Review: SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch (@seesarawrite)

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 422
Source: Own

Goodreads 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: Here I am with my review of SLA, as I promised yesterday during Sara Raasch's Author Spotlight post. I have been hearing amazing things about this book since before it came out. It seemed like everyone that read it had really enjoyed it (at least from the blogs and videos I watched), so I was quick to pick it up on a trip to Barnes and Noble shortly after the release date. Of course, much like I usually do, I came home and put it on the shelf where it stayed until this month. I really, really wish I would have picked up this book right away because it was amazing. I was a little worried that the hype had become too much and it might not live up to it, but I was very wrong about that. Guys, you need to read this, yesterday.

I have to be honest, I don't often read a lot of fantasy. Sure, Harry Potter is by far my favorite book series, but I can be pretty picky about the fantasy books that I am willing to read because I know I will not be able to enjoy some of them. Still, the synopsis of this book had me from the very beginning, and I knew that it was a story that I would enjoy reading. While a big part of the story revolves around the fantasy elements, There are tons of other amazing qualities to this book as well. So much so, that a lot of the time I forgot I was reading a fantasy novel because it all meshed together so well, and was so believable to me as the reader.

Main characters are a huge thing for me when it comes to enjoying a book, and I really enjoy our protagonist, Meira. She is easy to relate to as she spends most of the book trying to figure out where her place is, and hoping to be someone important and helpful instead of someone who is just there. She wants to defend the Kingdom of Winter that she came from, even if she was an infant when it was destroyed. She so desperately wants to prove herself, and I think that is something that many people will be able to relate to. She was emotional and real, and I absolutely adored that about her.

Now, while Meira was great, all of the supporting characters were fantastic as well. The characters that Meira loves I ended up loving, and I completely despised the characters that she hated as well. I loved the relationship she has with her guardian, Sir, who took charge of her as Winter was destroyed and people were trying to escape. Despite some things that happen, and their almost constant bickering back and forth, it was quite clear that the two of them cared very much for one another, and it was great to see that form of relationship carried out in a YA novel.

Continuing with characters, let me tell you, I thought I was over the whole enjoying love triangles thing...and then Sara threw one at me that I just could not resist. Mather is the best friend that Meira grew up with; he was an infant at Winter's fall as well, so they really did quite literally grow up together. Not to mention, he is the future heir of Winter when they hopefully bring it back to standing. Because of this, Meira was told by Sir that nothing could ever happen between the two of them, but that did not stop them from developing feelings for one another. Then we are introduced to Theron, the Prince of Cordella. Upon arriving to the Rhythm for assistance, Sir and Mather tell the King, Noam, that they will allow Theron to marry Meira, as she will have some royal standing in Winter as it is revived. At first I was sure the whole thing would make Meira completely miserable, but then Theron was completely charming and wonderful from the very beginning. I loved the way Meira responded to him, and the butterflies and other feelings she would have around him that she did not experience at other times, even around Mather. While I love both guys, I have to be honest, I'm already Team Theron all the way. He's such a sweetheart!

One of the best things about this book is a surprise twist that comes towards the end. While I was starting to wonder if something was up, and had part of it figure out, I certainly did not know HOW it was going to be possible. It was thrilling to realize the truth without knowing that it was going to happen. While their were subtle hints and some great foreshadowing, I did not know the truth until it was completely unveiled to me. That's the sign of wonderful writing, I believe. And boy, oh boy, is Sara's writing wonderful. The words and story were just so beautiful, and I found it impossible to put the book down once I was hooked, even reading through a lunch break so that I could finish it. 

Needless to say by the amount of words and my gushing here, I am a HUGE fan of this book. I know it is one that I will probably reread on several occasions, and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out so that I can see what happens with the characters next. I highly recommend this book to everyone, as I think that it has a little something for every person, no matter what genre you usually enjoy reading.

Rating: 5.0/5.0


1 comment:

  1. Great review! I've heard amazing things about this book (especially when one of my closest friends read it and couldn't stop flailing over it), so I'm really curious. I've got a copy on my Kindle and look forward to getting to it. I like the sound of Meira - I've had it with so many YA protagonists, but she sounds promising and relatable. I hope the love triangle won't bother me, too. I can deal with it if it's done well, so I'm hopeful!


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