Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
The Skinny: 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. – From Goodreads
BFF?: By now I think I know myself enough to know that female MCs who are little more tomboyish are not characters that I generally “click” with. Meira, while I guess you could call her tomboyish, was a little different than your typical rough and tumble, I’m a soldier why would I wear dresses kind of character. She was so interesting to watch. One moment she’s hard and tough, then something will happen and she’ll completely melt into either this “OMG a boy looked at me!” kind of girl or this ball of self-doubt. I feel like she was truly a teenager, filled with warring emotions and feelings, a little unsure about herself most times but wanting others to see how together she was. Sure, there were times when I think as BFFs we would have clashed
Readability: It was a bit of a slow start for me but once I got into the story things really picked up! I loved the world building and that the descriptions of everything weren’t overwhelming but still painted a good picture. Everything seemed to flow easily, the language was easy to get into without getting lost, and overall was just a fun and exciting read.
Crush Level: 7
So we spend most of the book with Mather, who is FINE… but I felt kind of vanilla feelings towards him. He reminds me of Gale. Yawn. But then there’s Theron… who we’re introduced to much later in the book and who doesn’t get much screen page time, but still… yowzer!
I like this whole idea of kingdoms that only have one season and the people in them are adapted to that season. It makes me think of like Tinkerbell and how there are different seasonal fairies and they all control the seasons and wear different colors and look representative of their respective season. There were also kingdoms that were called Rhythm Kingdoms which I didn’t get until well after I read the book; these are kingdoms that have all 4 seasons. How trite.
So you know in the 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean movie where each of the pirate lords has these pieces of eight and they’re like little random objects but they’re supposed to be powerful? I cannot for the life of me remember what they are called in Snow Like Ashes but each of the kingdoms’ ruler has these power objects that give them their abilities and, yeah, it was quite cool.
Commencement Speech: Despite the fact that this one had a teensy slow start, I will go ahead and say that Snow Like Ashes was one of my favorite reads of 2014. While there were so many elements of the book that felt familiar to me, I felt as if this was still able to be fresh and new. I found myself craving more of this story and looked forward to getting a chance to read more. It left me heart broken, hopeful, triumphant, and quite honestly craving the next installment. Can’t wait for more of this series!
Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!
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