Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Source: I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary via Goodreads:
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.
Snow Like Ashes is one of those rare books that has everything I love in a book. The beautiful writing, kick-ass main character, picturesque setting, and an absolutely gorgeous cover. I absolutely love this book and everything in it.
Meira is the kind of heroine I love to read. I connected with her instantly and I understood everything she was feeling. She is having to fight a war for a Kingdom she doesn’t even remember. She’s trying so hard to figure out her place in this world. All she wants in the chance to prove herself, to prove that she belongs. She is a fighter. She is strong, brave, and willing to do whatever it takes to save the Kingdom of Winter. My favorite thing about Meira is the transformation she goes through. She grows up a little in this book and the woman she becomes is incredible.
Mather and Theron were amazing characters. A King and a Prince. Mather is King of a Kingdom that needs a female heir and like Meira is having to figure out his place in this world. He is the guy that Meira has loved for years. They grew up together, both orphaned by the falling of Winter.
Theron appeals to Meira because they share similar views of the world and of the war. They are thrown together in this book, but the connection they have is genuine. I really enjoyed their interactions. I like how much respect he had for Meira and her will to do what was right.
Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle. Although at this point it’s more of an I have very strong feelings kind of triangle. I expect that will change in the next book. I am annoyed sometimes by love triangles, but the one in this book seemed right. I think it fit with the story so well and it was so well written that it seemed genuine to me. I’m not telling you who just yet, but I have picked a side. I thought both Mather and Theron were interesting characters. They are similar in many ways, but with such different personalities. It makes it really hard to choose which one to side with.
Let’s talk about the world building. In this story we have 8 Kingdoms. 4 of the Kingdoms experience all of the seasons and the other 4 experience 1 season perpetually. In this book we get to visit quite a few of the Kingdoms. They are distinct in so many ways. The people of the Kingdoms have these interesting features that set them apart. Winter is cold and white and anyone from Winter will have pale skin and snow white hair. We didn’t get to visit all the Kingdoms, but I’m hoping we will get to do that at some point in this series. The writing was so beautifully done that even though I hate winter I wanted to live in Winter.
I found the magical aspect of this book to be so interesting. It was done in a way that way that was refreshing. It placed value on the female heirs on the Kingdom’s and I really enjoyed that. It made parts of the book very exciting.
The end of this book sets up a perfect transition into the next book. It is going to be very hard to wait patiently for the next book. I can’t wait to be back in this world and to continue this journey with Meira.
This book has something for everyone. Action, adventure, politics, drama, and of course a little hint of romance. If you are hesitant to read this book because of the hype it’s been getting, do yourself a favor and read the book. I absolutely loved this story and I think you will love it too.