Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

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, 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.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review!

“No matter what happens, no matter who turns on me, no matter what pompous swine thinks he has power over me, I am still me. I will always be me.”

Stars (Out of 10): 5/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: While I enjoyed this, it was far from one of my favorites. I always love kingdom novels, so this one gained points just from it being one of those, but it fell in areas where other series have risen. It was predictable at points, and unfortunately I am always put off by love triangles, but I did enjoy the combat scenes, especially how Meira was already a girl with some skill, and a major plot point wasn’t her getting better.

The Good: Had a decent plot and world, and I’m definitely intrigued as to where this is all going. A lot was built up, and overall felt well-connected. Additionally, when a character flaw was introduced, it was actually kept! Not just ditched when found inconvenient.

The Bad: Love triangle, Meira wasn’t always a character I liked, plot twist I predicted early on, and the world building came a tad too late (had no feeling of normalcy/what they were fighting for, but in the POV of a character who has never been a part of the kingdom, this somewhat makes sense.)

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

The Characters: My love for the characters was very on and off. I didn’t care for the “leaders” of the Winterian refugees, such as Sir, and while I now understand their actions due to Meira being the true queen, they just all felt overly condescending and blegh. But hopefully my empathy for them will increase after seeing an attitude change in the last two books. Also, while I liked Meira most of the time, she was annoying at times, and a bit too self-pitying. (Also, just Mather was just a ball of blegh.) But Theron! Poor, controlled Theron. I hope we get to see him grow and stand up to his father, he could make a great king someday (with maybe Meira at his side? A combination of Rhythm and Season kingdoms?).

The Plot: While there was quite a few of twists and turns, I predicted, or was close to predicting, most of them (Meira’s true heritage.) Made the ending less “revealing,” and thus less impactful. However, it was a cool plot nonetheless, and I did enjoy the various areas it went to (from camp to kingdom to camp to Winter.) Also, the story felt realistic in the “darker” parts of the Spring kingdom, such as the camps and horrors Meira almost experienced.

The World Building: Felt like this could have been better paced, because in the beginning I felt no passion/motivation for the characters, as I felt I didn’t understand the world enough. But as the book continued, we got more information and I got more invested into the world and story. Just had a rocky beginning.

The Favorite Character: Theron (Poor guy deserves love guys.)

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