Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sarah Raasch
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Snow Like Ashes, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A rich, well-thought out fantasy with a compelling story and an amazing heroine, I really, really enjoyed Snow Like Ashes! Despite some minor flaws, this book is highly recommended to fans of high fantasy!
This book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Meira is one of the few precious orphans that escaped the slaughter of the country of Winter. Lost and desperate to help the cause--namely, the war between the Seasons and Rhythms--she struggles between her duties and her affection for her best friend, Mather--a friend that grows to be so much more. But when she digs deeper into her past, and as she falls farther into a web of shadowy, clandestine political alliances, she discovers that in order to make a difference, she must find the resilience to become a true hero, and just maybe sacrifice everything she holds dear in the process..
Here's the thing about me as a reviewer: Recently, I got bitten by the high fantasy bug. So when I got approved for this title, I was completely stoked. I read through this book with real excitement, because to me, it had everything: a strong, badass heroine who was more than what she seemed, strong, richly thought-out world-building, amazing battles and magic abounded. Despite some minor quibbles, this novel was highly enjoyable for me!
What I enjoyed:
-I loved the pacing of this novel--it took off immediately and I couldn't put it down, especially when things were starting to pick up toward the end
-The rich, strong world-building--for me, this is a high fantasy dealbreaker, and everything was explained really well and seemed plausible, given the scope of the story--I really liked that aspect
-Meira, the young woman who feels lost and alone, despite being one of the orphans prophesied to save the kingdom of Winter--I really related to her, and I really enjoyed her character development, as she went from apathetic orphan to a true hero
-Mather, the boy she loves and cherishes, and is closer to than anyone else in the world
-Sir, the gruff man who seems to be so hard on Meira--I really liked his role in the story, as well as his relationship with his young charges
-The various band, the motley crew of bedraggled Winter soldiers that Sir leads
-I really liked Theron, and the chemistry between him and Meira
-What made this novel so compelling were the amazing, sometimes gory, battle scenes
-I really enjoyed the ending, as well--I can't wait for the sequels in this series!
What could've been better:
-At times Meira's self-contemplation made it difficult to focus on the politics at the novel
-Sir, though he had his heart in the right place, seemed rather rude to Meira at times
Overall, I really, really enjoyed Snow Like Ashes--wonderful! Next on deck: No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige!