Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Readership: Young adult
Genres: high 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, 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.
Snow Like Ashes is a lot like the books I've been reading lately: high fantasy, filled with magic and a war beyond the protagonists power. Basically, I had to read this book. I was thrilled when I received an ARC through HCCFrenzy but I put off reading it for just a little bit because I was so inundated with other books.
I picked it up one night after a long day of classes and got through the first 50 pages easily. But I wasn't sure how I liked it just yet. Meira felt a little flat and puppety in the sense that I really wasn't sure why she was doing what she doing. She felt like a two dimensional damsel that's trying to be a soldier but falling short and just kind of flopping around on the pages with no real zeal, doing things that the others wanted her to do. I felt like this for the next 50 pages as well. Usually if I'm not sure about a book one hundred pages in, I call it a day and throw in the towel. However, I was fascinated with the magic of the world and the eight different kingdoms. Eight! Each were unique unto themselves, not just the fact that four of them had the same season all year round. So I kept going and wow, I am glad I did.
I don't know what it was exactly, but after about the first hundred pages, things really turned around. New characters were being introduced that I immediately liked and the ball was really rolling for the band of refugees. I suddenly went from being indifferent to the novel to not being able to put it down, so much so that I... didn't sleep much until I finished the book. Again, this has never happened before. Like, ever.
I think part of what had me initially weary on the book was the "romance" between Mather and Meira. It just felt like nothing. It felt stale and forced and I wanted nothing to do with it but then, since I got through those first hundred pages, everything turned around and it all became clear.
That said, I loved all of the characters. Even evil as all heck Angra was someone I enjoyed reading. Theron though, was by far my favourite. I fell for him the moment he appeared and wished he was in it way more. I wish we got to see the rest of the Winter refugees more and got to know them outside of Meira, Mather and Sir. I hope we get to in the next book.
Overall, I really enjoyed Snow Like Ashes and I am excited to see how the story progresses in the next book!
I REALLY LIKED IT
*Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for providing an ARC for review!!! Follow @HCCFrenzy on twitter and HarperCollinsCanada on Facebook!*