Book Review: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch

Title: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Pages: 416
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

           
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. 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 the ancient locket that can restore Winter's magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find 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.
When I first began reading this book I was not sure that I was going to love it. However, in the end, it was awesome, and I am looking forward to the next installment.

I love fantasy books, and I know that the books in this genre can tend to be slow reads. However, this is never an issue when I love the characters and am invested in their stories. The reason why I wasn't sure about this book, was because in the beginning of the book, I just did not like the characters, at all. What kept me reading was the world and the little glimmers of greatness that I saw between the pages.

The world that Sara Raasch built in this story was simply wonderful! We have the world of Primoria, which is broken up into Season and Rhythm Kingdoms. The seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, are the main players in the world of Primoria. The subjects in each of the Seasons literally embody the season. For example, the subjects of Winter are all pale skinned, with snow white hair and ice blue eyes. Furthermore, each Season has a magical conduit that can only be controlled by the heir to the Kingdom. However, each heir must be the correct gender in order to wield the conduit. For example, in the Kingdom of Winter, the heir must be female in order to use the power contained within the conduit. Unfortunately, the only surviving Winter heir is male.

And this is how the story begins.

Winter has been destroyed by Spring, its conduit broken into halves, and all its people enslaved. Only a handful of Winterians escaped, along with the only surviving heir. 

Mather: Heir of Winter. I did not like him the entire book. I could not connect with him at all. He is a reluctant King and in my opinion weak. Taking orders from Sir and not following his own mind.

Sir: Leader of the rebels (Winterians). Also did not like him the entire book. He was a complete jackass, ordering people around and never explaining anything, just expecting people to follow him. He never redeemed himself in my eyes.

Meira: The book is told through Meira's POV. She was hit or miss for me in the beginning. I knew her to be a strong female lead, but most of the time her actions conveyed the opposite. She really drove me nuts with her stupidity, cockiness, and childishness. HOWEVER! Character development is your friend! Though the events that unfolded within the pages of this book, Meira grew into a character that I absolutely LOVED! Her growth in this book from beginning to end is stunning. I mean, I began wanting to punch her in the face, and ended thinking she was worthy of her badass title. 

Theron: I don't want to give anything away about this character, except to say that I LOVED and ADORED him from the moment he was introduced. 


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