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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thoughts on Pages #12: Snow Like Ashes


I. love. this. book.

And in today's review, I'm about to tell you why.

Storyline

"Game of Thrones meets Graceling in this striking fantasy tale of dark magic, dangerous politics, and discovering your true self.  Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast story of loyalty, love, and controlling one’s destiny.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild their kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own."

Characters

Snow Like Ashes has some of the most complex, interesting characters I've seen in a YA Fantasy. Meira - the heroine of this story - is absolutely no exception. She surprised me again and again with every page, because not only did she go through the most extensive development, but she also kept me invested in her thoughts. The first-person narrative really let me in on why Meira felt a certain way, or why she wants to be a valuable soldier so badly.

The supporting cast - the refugees, mainly - are excellently written. Some characters frustrated me with confusing motives (I'm looking at you, Sir), but their development throughout the story added to the plot and even drove it in some instances. The villains are also fabulously dastardly and well-written.

There is a love triangle, but it's one of the best ones I've ever seen. Both guys are interesting characters. Both characters' romantic subplots were also very well-written, and their romantic scenes had this epic quality that I loved. While I do have a favorite, I will be happy with whoever Meira ends up with. 

Setting

Besides Meira as a character, the setting is one of the high points of this novel.

The entire story takes place within kingdoms based on seasons (called Seasons), and in surrounding kingdoms called Rhythms. Some of the cities within each season even fit the weather they experience (Jannuari in Winter and Abril in Spring). Each kingdom has specific characteristics (white hair for Winterians and blonde hair in Spring, for example), and each kingdom's season perpetually experiences their respective climate. 

The setting is beautifully simple, and it's easy to grasp once you get into the story. I felt that the kingdoms were an excellent backdrop for the epic plot to unfold. The magic in the story also really cool and makes sense with the plot, and I'm intrigued to see how it's used in the rest of the series.

My Thoughts

Did I mention that I love this book?

The plot of the story was GORGEOUS, and the narrative was only made better through an incredible protagonist, solid romance subplots, and a plot twist that made me want to literally applaud the book as I was reading it. To say that I'm excited for the next books in the series is an understatement. :)

So, I give Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch five Conduits out of five. This is easily one of my Top 5 books I've read this year, and I can't wait to see where this series goes.

Hey! :) Want to see what I'm reading now and what I'm into? Check out and follow me on my Goodreads!

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