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.
Song For This Book: Fight Song by Rachel Platten
To be completely honest, I bought this book because I fell in love with the cover. When I paid for it at the bookstore, I didn’t even know what it was about. It was just so beautiful that I needed to take it home with me.
Cover buys can be a gamble, because the book might end up being terrible. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case with this one. It actually turned out to be pretty good. It wasn’t as dense and difficult to get through like some fantasy novels can be, and the world it took place in was interesting. All in all, I think my instincts to buy this one based on its cover was a good one.
The Good Points of Snow Like Ashes:
There’s been a thing in YA fiction lately where authors don’t bother to properly develop their world. Not the case with this one. We didn’t get a ton of details about it (it is book one of three, though), but it was one of those books where once you knew something, you could go back and see where it fit. It was a really nice change compared to some other books I’ve read.
There are a lot of common tropes in this book, but the approach varies a bit from the norm, which was nice. For example, Meira is obviously one of those special girls from the very start, but she doesn’t find that out until much later on. She spends quite a bit of time as a pawn. If there has to be the same old stuff being used, at least it’s a different approach to it.
There is a love triangle in this one, but it’s kept a bit on the back burner. It’s there, and it is acknowledged, but it’s never the most important thing to the story. For my taste in romance, I really liked this aspect.
There were also a lot of smaller details in regards to the themes of betrayal and cohesion, but I won’t get into too much detail, because it would give away bits of the plot. They really added to the story, though, and made it a lot more enjoyable.
The Downsides of Snow Like Ashes:
As mentioned, the common tropes of YA were present and obvious. Authors really need to start getting on this and getting into some new ideas.
There wasn’t a lot of character development. It makes sense, because the main focus of the book was on the plot and the history and all those other things. But it would have been nice to get a bit more than we did.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I actually started reading another new release mid-way through it, and still went back to it, which is a sign in my world, as I never do that. Definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a relatively easy fantasy read.
Have any of you folks read this one? What did you think?