Author: Sara Raasch
Genre: YA Fantasy
Happy New Year! Here's the first review of 2015, and it's a very worthy book to be kicking off the new year. A slight warning: there is one considerably big spoiler at the end of the review, but it's very well signposted, so feel free to read the rest of it without any spoilers!
"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."
There literally aren't enough words to explain my love for Snow Like Ashes. I knew from the get go that, with a cover that pretty, there was no way it could be a bad book. And, I have to say, for my first book of 2015, it sets the bar so high, I can only hope all the other books I read this year are this amazing.
Let me start by talking about Meira. Because, oh wow. Characterisation done right, right here.
She's so determined, so passionate, and, like most of my favourite ladies, she's completely unapologetic of who she is - and she has no qualms about punching (or, in her specific case, throwing weapons) first, and asking questions later.
I won't say too much because there is a massive spoiler, but I will say that I started having suspicions around halfway through, and was so, so happy when I turned out to be true.
Mather. Oh, Mather. I do love you, you labrador puppy, you. But, I have to agree with Meira - his 'inscrutable' face got old really, really fast. I do admire him, and I think he has all the qualities of a good leader. I guess we'll see how that pans out in the end. Hmm.
While I wouldn't be angry to see him end up with Meira, I have bigger plans in mind for my girl ;)Which brings me to my adorable nerd-Prince, Theron. Picture a guy with slightly more social skills than Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, and put that guy in a smoking hot body. There you have Theron. The best thing about him, though, is how he isn't pushed on us in any way. We're very much left to sort of slowly fall in love with him, always teased by the uncertainty if he's there to stay or not (I'm not telling!). I really loved his character development, and I think that, given time, if things pan out, he'll be a great King.
I am very interested in seeing how that relationship will work out, though. Would they merge the kingdoms, or...? And where would they live? I mean, I love them to death, but strategically it's a little tricky.
End of Spoiler
I do wonder about the title, though. I get the cover, but the title confuses me. Ashes? I don't quite get it.
Conclusion? Read it!