Review

Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes

by Sara Raasch

Series: "Snow Like Ashes" #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: October 14th, 2014
by Bazler + Bray

four-stars

GoodreadsPurchase



Summary:

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.

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, 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. 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.

Review:

With reviews praising it as “the next Throne of Glass” and giving it shining star after shining star, I suppose you can’t blame me for my anticipation of Sara Raasch’s debut novel Snow Like Ashes. And, for the most part, it certainly did live up to those high expectations.

In the world Snow Like Ashes is set in, there are 4 kingdoms – Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn – and 4 provinces. Yet, 16 years ago, Spring conquered the Winter, destroying their magic and enslaving their citizens.

Except for us. The seven who still live with Winter’s future king. Originally twenty-five refugees who kept Spring’s rulers up at night, we are now reduced to eight.

Our protagonist, Meira, is one of the eight who survived. She spends her life training with the other seven, waiting for the right time to take back their Kingdom. And when a scout finds a hint of the locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it; but little does she know that in doing so she will be thrown into a world of magic and politics that she never knew existed.

As a main character, I felt Meira was absolutely fantastic. Her stubborn and fierce character might seem a bit unoriginal (because, honestly…when is there ever not a book where the main character is fierce and rebellious?), but the way Raasch executes her character development makes her feel a lot more real and relatable than some of those characters.

There is a love triangle here, and, dare I say it, I relatively enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it because each of the two love interests had a sufficient amount of depth and development to them; and, unlike some love triangles, it wasn’t senseless teenage hormones getting in the way. The attraction between Meira and the two love interests felt really genuine and well-written, and you could really see where her feelings came from. There will be moments where you don’t know which love interest to root for because each is well-written in his own right.

The fallback of Snow Like Ashes is most definitely it’s predictability. One of the book’s big plot reveals at the end the one concerning View Spoiler » felt a bit predictable and cliche to me. It wasn’t the mind blowing ending or resolution I would have hoped for; but at the very least I wish there would have been a few more red herrings to make it less predictable.

All things considered, Snow Like Ashes was a solid fantasy novel – possibly one of the best I’ve read this year – and I am anxious to know how everything is resolved in the sequel.

four-stars

36 thoughts on “Snow Like Ashes

  1. Oooo I like the sound of this a lot! The names for the Kingdoms are not super fantasy-style like, but okay I think those will do… I’m really interested in the character dynamics. Seems like the author at least did a good job in the romance aspect. Great review Zoe 🙂 And yes, I have returned from the void!

  2. You enjoyed a love triangle? It’s a good thing I bought a copy of this one, so I can see about this triangle business 😀 The premise of this reminds me a little of Throne of Glass, but also The Iron Fey series as well, with the seasonal houses. For me the sassy and strong heroine never gets old. I’ve read so many awesome books that have these horrid weak narrators and it peeves me to no end. Bring on the tough chicks!

    Now if only authors created them more realistically. I mean, who can still sport a flawless updo after fending off a group of assassins. No one, that’s who.

    Brilliant review Zoe, really excited to start this one now <3

    1. Since you bought a copy of this Kelly, I will assign you to be the jury of this whole love triangle business, okay? Think you’re up to it? Thank you! Looking forward to seeing what you think of this.

  3. Oh the love triangle…I’m with you, Zoe–I enjoyed it as well. Which sucks because it’s a tad easier when you can just pick a side and be done with it but they’re both decent guys and gahhh whyyyy?! Meira was written brilliantly, right? I adored her. But you’re super point with the whole predictability thing. I think we could all smell that from point one, which is a shame. But I definitely think this series has a great future. Fabulous review, as always, Zoe! <33 x

    1. I KNOW! Gosh authors…we already have an infinite number of hot guys in YA…we don’t need two more! 😉 The series definitely does have a lot of potential though! Thanks Jess. 🙂

  4. I’ve heard good things about this book. I’m surprised you liked the love triangle. It’s too bad that it wasn’t as good as you were hoping. I think I’ll still read this, but lower my expectations.

  5. Ooh lovely review, hon!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this 🙂 Your thoughts seriously mirror mine!! Those two love interests were pretty well-developed equally which I was impressed with. I really like Meira’s character; you can totally see the character growth. I love that scene when she stumbles upon the shirtless guys XD The author is such a sweetheart too! I agree about the predictability… I’m so excited for the next book! Wonderful review as usual, Z <3

    1. Thank you Rachel! 😀 I know how much you loved this one, so I am so glad I liked it much. 😀 I’m definitely excited about the second book too! If Raasch just copies what she does here and makes it a tad less predictable, it’ll be golden. 😀

  6. Even though there are a lot of great reviews for this there have been quite a few of disappointed ones as well. I do want to read this and am hoping I like it. I am trying really hard not to have too high of expectations.

  7. I’ve checked this book out at the library and can’t wait to pick it up! I’ve seen a couple people say it’s predictable, so I’ll just have to brush past that. The love triangle worries me more, but I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it anyways 🙂

  8. Woah, woah, baaaack up. DID YOU JUST SAY YOU LIKED THE LOVE-TRIANGLE?!!! *throws confetti* Hehe, I’m juuust teasing you, Zoe. 😉 I have read quite a few good love-triangles this year and as long as it’s not in a dystopian (looool, I feel guilty for saying that but it’s mostly true) then they’re not usually too bad! I DO want to read this. Although I’m actually surprised it uses the seasons. I thought that was a writing cliche?? Eh. Whatever. *goes to see if library has it yet*

  9. I seeeee. Hmm. I don’t know. But you liked the love triangle? To be honest I have a feeling I would too. I actually really like love triangles where they are well done.

    BUT ZOEEEEEEEEEE. arghhhh I don’t know. Your review isn’t helping meeee. I’m really torn between reading this or not, so for now I’ll just put Snow like Ashes on the TBR, maybe pick it up next time I go to the library? I don’t know.

    Awesome review Zoe!!! 😀 😀

  10. Okay, so I opened that spoiler tag because I like to live dangerously, and I kinda facepalmed because that’s the one plot twist that I didn’t want to read again because PREDICTABLE ALERT! It’s like having Celaena from Throne of Glass being you-know-what (when that was revealed, I was kind of disappointed because that’s what usually happens when there’s a lost/destroyed kingdom……..) . I’ll still try this one, though… hopefully the cliche plot twist wouldn’t affect me as much.

  11. I’m eerie of any book being compared to ToG BECAUSE NOPE. YOU CANNOT. ToG is untouchable 😉

    This is the second review I’ve seen of this today alone dude, so that must be a good sign. I’m so glad Meira was so kick-ass BUT BUT BUT love triangle 🙁 You know they’re my kryptonite.

    I’M SO CONFLICTED NOW

  12. I don’t usually enjoy love triangles, it just gives me unnecessary stress, and you enjoyed it? The author must’ve written this part well 😉 Although some stories can be predictable, the way it is delivered is crucial. If it just shows up sloppily, you’ll be like, “Ah, okay.” Right?

  13. Confession: I generally like love triangles, as long as they are done properly, which it sounds like this is. So this actually excites me 🙂 And I like that you enjoyed the main character, that is so huge for me. I am really excited to read this book, especially because it’s pretty! And now your review has me even more excited!

  14. Wonderful review, Zoe! This makes me so, so happy! I really like the concept of this novel and it’s great to hear that you enjoyed the main character and the love triangle. I actually like love triangles. But only if they’re done right, which is hard to do these days. Thanks for sharing! <3

  15. i’m halfway through this and things are getting intense!! been enjoying myself so far but tbh the names and geography stuff keep me perpetually confused xD i agree with you on the predictability. i haven’t finished the book so i can’t say much, from what i know though, things are pretty standard fantasy things so even though it’s been fun so far, nothing catches my eye. we’ll see! you’re amazing, zoe, great review and hopefully i’ll check back again when i finish ! 🙂

  16. WOW. Finally a fantasy that I could actually enjoy. After the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, I honestly thought no other fantasy would come close, but this sounds like an absolutely stunning novel. I’m sold.

    Amazing review, Zoe. Its good to be back 🙂

  17. An enjoyable love triangle, hmmm. They aren’t too bad, but I am intrigued by the sound of this particular one. I’ve heard mixed things about this book, but I’m glad you liked it! The predictability of the novel on the other hand is a bit sad, but I don’t think it’ll ruin a lot of things for me.

    Wonderful review, Zoe!

  18. I literally JUST finished this book and pretty much loved it. Meira was awesome! and I loved the writing style. I totally get what you mean about the love triangle, I felt the same way. Honestly, it’s one of the few I did enjoy because it was incredibly well-written.
    I totally get what you mean about the predictability as well… haha, when I got to the ‘big revealing-thingy’ I shouted ‘I KNEW IT’ throughout the living room (scared my cousin half to death). I figured it out quite early on.
    Still, I thought the book was awesome! (this way there’s room to improve for the second book and all *winks*)
    Great review Zoe!!

  19. I don’t typically read a lot of fantasy, but this one definitely intrigued me. While I’m not a big fan of love triangles, *when* they are executed well I can deal with it in a story. Predictability can slightly take away from my enjoyment of a book too – I like to be surprised! Great review 🙂

  20. Oooh, the world building definitely sounds interesting, but it’s a shame this one seems to wholly focus on the love triangle. At least it’s well written as you said, and it’s pretty hard to pick one. A shame about the predictability as well! I’m glad you ended up enjoying it despite those concerns, Zoe. Wonderful review lovely!

  21. Even though I haven’t read this book yet, I couldn’t resist peeking at your spoiler, and you’re right, talk about predictable! I could have guessed that from the blurb. o_O My post today is about how much I HATE love triangles, so I’m kinda scared to add this title to my TBR bow even though you did enjoy it…

  22. Wow, one of the best fantasies of this year?! That’s high praise even though it sounds predictable and quite cliche. I mean…love triangle, rebellious and stubborn protagonist, a fight for her people/kingdom. All the makings of a pretty normal fantasy book! But I’m still intrigued because of all the high praise. I’m glad you enjoyed it overall Zoe, I’m excited to read this one as well just to see whether it’s been executed properly. Wonder, wonderful review <3

  23. I want to read this one badly, as Throne of Glass is one of my fave series, but at the same time I’m worried that my expectations are too high. I think I shall wait till it calms down, but yeah one of the best fantasies of this year! I need to see that. Amazing review, Zoe 🙂

  24. I always get so leery of super hyped-up books because I’d most likely end up feeling quite underwhelmed. 🙁 I read Throne of Glass when it first came out, and while it wasn’t the best fantasy I’ve ever read, it was still enjoyable enough, and I know plenty of people who are totally in love with the series right now (I still need to read CoM, so I can’t really relate to them, haha), so I have to admit that I was pretty impressed with all the positive reviews Snow Like Ashes was receiving. Too bad it didn’t quite live up to the hype, though.

    I’m super curious about Meira right now! I know, so many of the MCs in YA books these days are these ultra kickass girls. I can’t wait to see how the author wrote her in such a different and relatable way. Because I’m definitely not kickass or brave at all! *hides*

    Aha… here’s where I admit that not all love triangles piss me off. I’m really cynical when it comes to romances, so it’s quite hard to please me, but there are rare times when I love the romance so much that I even enjoy the love triangle too! It’s definitely reassuring that the love triangle in this book made you feel that way. Sometimes a little drama is entertaining in a good way, bahaha.

    Lovely review as always, Zoe! 🙂

  25. While I thought Snow Like Ashes was fantastic, I definitely wouldn’t call it the next Throne of Glass. It’s hard to live up to that kind of brilliance…
    I didn’t mind the love triangle either! I think a big part of that was because it was kind of obvious from about 3/4 who Meira was going to end up with (although I suppose the author might suddenly bring up more angst about that in sequels..let’s hope that doesn’t happen)

    1. Haha! I see where you’re coming from… 😉
      And I actually thought the complete opposite about the love triangle. Honestly I have no idea who she might choose, because, honestly, it could go either way. 😀

  26. I’m actually really happy right now that I took two weeks off from blogging, it means I’ve been able to have a massive binge read of your reviews. I have this on my Christmas wishlist and I’m really hoping I end up getting it. I didn’t know there would be a love triangle, so I’m happy to know that before I start. I usually hate love triangles, they seem to be everywhere, but I like that both characters are well developed. I’m also thankful for the warning about the ending. I didn’t look at the spoiler but I am prepared to not be completely blown away by it. Great review, as always! 🙂

Leave a Reply