Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch – Snow Like Ashes #1 – Balzer + Bray – Published 14 October 2014
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.
Very cool. Beautiful world building, a spunky heroine that modern readers will love, magic, battles, secret plots, romance – Snow Like Ashes has everything you could want in an epic fantasy.
Snow Like Ashes reminds me of Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, which I loved. It shares that same basic plot line – a kingdom destroyed and a group of survivors searching for a way to save their fellow refugees from work camps and poverty and to return to their lost kingdom. The action in this book is beautifully written and the romance is a sweet undercurrent to the main story of our heroine learning to find and value her worth. I saw the main plot twist coming (no, I’m not going to tell you what it is), but that didn’t detract from this wonderful book. If you’re not a fan of long fantasy series, you could easily leave this book where it finishes, but I for one can’t wait to see where the story goes next.
Highly enjoyed and highly recommended.
Young Adult Fiction: ages 14 and up. Action and Adventure. Fantasy. Survival Stories.
If you like this try Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta