Tawney here to talk about a book I just couldn’t put down. I love fantasy. Most of you who know me know this by my collection of dragons in my library….and fairies….and Game of Thrones figurines. Gosh I’m such a nerd. LOL
I was super excited when I picked up Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. It had a intriguing plot and sounded amazing. The world building intrigued me so I picked it up and never put it down until I finished the book.
Let’s take a look at the book!
- Title: Snow Like Ashes
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray (October 14, 2014)
Game of Thrones meets Graceling in this striking fantasy tale of dark magic, dangerous politics, and discovering your true self. Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast story of loyalty, love, and controlling one’s destiny.
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.
My Review: I have read a lot of fantasy books and Snow Like Ashes stands high among them. This book brings us into a world full of season kingdoms and the rhythm kingdoms. The world building was incredible. It was a magical read with adventure at every turn of the page. With the first turn of the page, we’re swept into a world of magic, deception, wars, refugees and one young girl who just wants to make a difference.
Our main character is Meira, who’s an orphan from the defeated kingdom of Winter. Winter had fallen to the Spring King and Meira and the only 23 refugees of Winter, among them the prince, are on the run. Winterians are pale, with white hair and blue eyes. They hate the heat, which is a given since their kingdom is full of snow and ice. King Angra of the Spring Kingdom hates them and he won’t be appeased until all Winterians are defeated and enslaved. There could be a way to bring back Winter and save Meira’s people. King Angra had stolen Winter’s magic by breaking a locket held by the Queen. Each kingdom has a conduit, a magical object that draws magic from an orb deep within the Klaryn Mountains. These conduits can only be used by the kings and queens of the kingdoms. Winter is ruled by a queen and the female line can only use their conduit. The locket was broken in halves and Angra changes is location constantly. Mather’s is the heir to Winter but can’t use the conduit if they even find it because he’s male.
Sir, the captain and head of the refugees, trains Meira and Mather for the upcoming wars and whatever it will take to get the conduit back. Missions are sent out leaving Meira always behind. Until on day she persuade Sir to let her go and she happens to find a half of the Queen’s locket. Meira uses a weapon, a chakram, and boy is she skilled to use it. She even outshines Xena!
When Meira returns everyone is happy but Sir, who remains cold as ever. Spring scouts had followed her and they must retreat to the Rhythm kingdom Cordell before they are fully attacked. Once in Cordell Meira is treated like royalty and immediately knows something is wrong. Sir and Mather have given her as a bride to the prince of Cordell, Theron. Now Meira is caught in a love triangle with two princes. And here is where the action intensifies because King Noam is working with Spring, that is until Angra marches on Cordell. Many seem like they won’t survive and revelations are revealed. Meira has been having dreams of the night the Queen died and the conduit broke. They seem to be real, a message of help only Meira can appease.
Meira is a wonderful main character. She is a warrior who wants to help her people, especially Mather. She loves her friend but knows it can never be since he is the prince. She’s fierce, loyal and really doesn’t like being told what to do. Sir seems to be the true person behind that. She wants his respect, and looks at him like a father figure. When Theron enters her life she finds another guy to fall for, someone different and new. I’m not much in love triangles but Sara does a wonderful job at keeping it low and subtle. Sara did a wonderful job at writing Meira and I loved reading Meira’s thoughts. She has flaws and sometimes you figure things out before her, but it was wonderful character building.
The secondary character were wonderful as well. Mather truly cares for Meira but the status of their differences keeps the feelings at bay. He’s strong and handsome to boot. Theron is practical and quiet. He’s just as handsome as Mather but brings a new thrill to Meira’s life. Sir was one of my favorite side characters. He has his people’s interests at heart and wants to protect them. But sometimes that protection causes more damage than good.
The story was wonderful. The world building amazing! It reminded me of Game of Thrones, and what a wonderful filler it has been until the next Game of Thrones book and when the TV series begins. Sara does a wonderful job with description and giving us a detail account of Meira’s world. The characters mesh well together and the plot weaves it’s way into different outcomes, some surprising.
Should you read it? Yes! If you are looking for a great fantasy novel, this one is for you. With intense action and well developed characters, you won’t be able to put this book down.
About the Author:
Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.