Review of Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Snow Like Ashes
By: Sara Raasch
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: E-ARC, Print ARC

An electronic copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
The world was complex, I was reading the e-arc and so didn’t have a good map to really keep me straight on where each kingdom was. Being able to reference a map would have helped clear up some of my confusion on the different kingdoms and where they all were. Raasch’s idea of separating them and their people by seasons was very creative and I loved the descriptions of each place. I did find some of the explanations a bit convoluted at times and there were minor instances of info dump. None of this was prevalent enough to detract from my enjoyment though. It felt like a complex world that I will enjoy learning about through-out the series.

Note– I later received the print ARC and I love that there was a map! I almost wish I’d had the patience to wait for the print version since I might have been able to connect to the world and characters even more.

Raasch created likeable characters and I very much enjoyed watching from Meira’s point of view. I felt that Mather and Sir were both very well developed and I found it easy to like them though I didn’t agree with their actions at all times. As the story progressed I did feel that more attention was spent on the story than the characters so the book began to feel more plot driven.

A love triangle was some-what present and it could possibly continue into the next books. One of the characters we are introduced to was Theron. He was of noble birth and I felt that he was a rather stiff character and felt very cardboard cutout to me. This made me incapable of connecting to him on any level. His attributes were great on paper but I had zero feelings for him and never felt the chemistry between him and Meira. I couldn’t shake that he felt too perfect and I wanted him to have some more depth and be less ‘good’. I enjoyed Mather because he was a much more complex character. I felt that he was pulled in many directions and this made him likeable and real. Theron felt like the creation of the ‘perfect’ love interest. He was understanding, handsome and brave. None of this appealed to me especially in comparison to the author’s more well rounded characters.

Final Thoughts:
I felt that the overall story was predictable but fun and I was entertained by it. I am very interested to see where the story goes in the next book and though I had some issues with Theron this book was still capable of causing a book hangover.  It was easy to become swept away with Meira’s journey and it was able to instill some powerful emotions for me.

Comments

  1. says

    Hmmm, the love triangle bit is not something I particularly care for but I think I could get through it if it’s either done right or not terribly prominent for the story, we’ll see!
    I’m so glad to hear that you loved the story enugh to give it 4 stars despite a few minor snags here and there Kristen!
    I cannot wait for my preorder to arrive!!

  2. says

    Yay maps!!! I’m excited to get into this world! I don’t enjoy love triangles but it seems to work for you so I’m hoping it won’t be too bad for me 🙂

    • says

      I’m not 100% against triangles but most times I would prefer there not be one. But some of my fave books have them. This one I was so for this one guy I didn’t like the other getting any attention. haha

  3. says

    Amazing review Kristen. <3 I'm so glad you enjoyed this book. But also so worried. Grrr. I don't like love triangles 🙁 SOBS. I just want it to be done with. But I also think I would love Mather too, like you. Sigh. I'm not sure I'm ready for this book, lol 🙂 Thank you for being honest sweetie. <3 you are awesome.

    • says

      Like some have mentioned it’s not the worst type of love triangle. It’s there but I think it’ll be resolved fairly quickly in the next book? Maybe? I don’t know how you’ll feel about it. I really enjoyed the world and main character. The fighting scenes were done well too.

  4. says

    It always bugs me when a love triangle features one dude who’s fleshed out and interesting, and the other dude who’s like just there. It’s almost the book yelling who’s going to win the romance. -_- I’m not wholly opposed to love-triangles, I just need them to be AWESOME. 😉 I’m glad this one was pretty good though! I’m keen. :))

    • says

      Most everyone seems to prefer the guy I thought was a paper-cut-out. I will say that this book had me absorbed and I had to set it aside for a bit because of my emotions. I think that’s always a good thing right? I can’t wait to hear what you think Cait!

  5. says

    I read the ARC with the map, but I didn’t feel compelled too often to look at it. I actually thought the author painted a pretty good portrait of the lay of the land as I read. And I didn’t mind the love triangle because it felt more like a progression of the romance than that she was actually trying to choose between the two potential love interests. Glad you enjoyed it despite a couple misgivings!

    • says

      I was peeved because my ship might be sunk *sobs* We’ll see. I thought it was a fun read and she did do a great job with the world especially as the novel progressed. Every time I read an electronic book I feel detached in some way from the world building. It’s like my brain can’t grasp the words as well if I’m not holding the book. grrr to that.

  6. says

    Thanks for your review! I was so upset to hear that there’s (yet another) love triangle, so I may have to hold off reading this until the sequel releases to see how heavy it gets in the future. Otherwise this does sound like a very exciting new YA fantasy series.

    • says

      The love triangle in this one really bothered me. I got so pissed off in fact I had to set the book down. In a way that shows how passionate I was about what I was reading but I’m nervous about where it’ll go in the next book. I will say that it sort of seems that it might be resolved fairly early on? We’ll see.

  7. says

    Thanks for this review – I’m really enjoying looking through your bog. I just reviewed this book and I love reading other people’s thoughts once I have had my say! It’s funny because I actually preferred Theron even though I agree Mather was more complicated but I found him a little too moany! I agree with your conclusion though that the book is fairly predictable but reasonably enjoyable.

    Feel free to check out my thoughts at: http://iwillwritewithit.blogspot.co.uk/

    KatieB

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