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, 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.
An epic fantasy! Sara Raasch's SNOW LIKE ASHES is truly unique. It has all the makings of an unforgettable book. Magic, romance, adventure, action, and an unforgettable heroine who has quickly become one of my favorites. Snow Like Ashes gave me everything I had hoped it would, and then some. What makes this book stand out among many, is it's coming of age story. This story is about courage, sacrificing for the greater good of the community, and finding ones place in the middle of it all.
Set in a world, where kingdom are divided into seasons, each kingdom has it's own magic. A power, which comes from the royal heir who rules over that kingdom. This power is what helps the people living within in that particular kingdom. It is a power that can be used for good or something evil. When Meira's kingdom, the kingdom of Winter, is over thrown by Spring, most all of her people are destroyed. Much of the hope, and power that the few remaining Winterians need, now lies with the very few who have escaped.
THE MAIN CHARACTER
Though this story is set in a beautiful, and deadly fantasy world, I found it incredibly easy to identify with Meira's self discovery of who she is, and where she fits into this world. Meira is a character I liked from the get go. She is a feisty, stubborn, incredibly strong girl. Despite what others say, and what is customary, she doesn't let her lack of standing within the kingdom hold her back on what she wants, and knows she is good at.
She is out to prove she is worthy to fight for her country, and defend the last bit of Winterian magic that is still left. Her much of her life she's had to struggle with fitting in into a broken kingdom that has tried to mold her into someone she's not. She has had to work harder than anyone to prove her self, and her worth. She'll stop at nothing to be accepted for the greatness she knows she has within in herself, that she's constantly having to withhold.
Meira is the kind of heroine I wish I had read about when I was teen. She proves that even when she doesn't have much choice, there is always a choice. She proves that in a world ruled by power, and women and men have rules within her kingdom, she can fight for the role she knows she's destined to have. She proves that you can never give up, and you have to learn to face the things that scare you the most. Most importantly, Meira proves that when something is worth fighting for, you don't stop fighting for it.
PRINCE THERON STOLE MY HEART
From the moment he entered the story, I knew he would be a perfect match for Meira, and he'd would be the one for me. Prince Theron is not who I was excepting him to be. Especially after knowing who is father is, and the way Sir and Mather have treated Meira. I was excepting someone more like them. He's far from them. From the moment he meets her, Theron treats Meira like an equal. He doesn't look at her as anything, but someone who's capable of doing great things. Excuse me while I yell and cheer over that!
Theron supports Meira in what she can do, vs holding her back. He helps her learn how she can still be herself, and not lose herself to the circumstances that are currently out of both her and Theron's control. I admired the fact that against what is allowed, he wants her to be able to make her own choices. He understands what it feels like, more than anyone else, to have choices. I love that he gave her friendship. AND, Theron fights for Meira! If he hadn't already won my heart over with how he treats Meira, he would have won over it in the scene that happens near the end of the book. I love how these two got each other. They both offered each other so much. With all Theron gives Meira, she gives him trust, support friendship, and hope. She allows him to see that he can go against tradition and what is taught as right, and fight for something he knows is right.
While they come from different kingdoms, they both have so many similarities, and really understood what the other was feeling. There is a connection between these two, that I felt Meira and Mather never had. To me, Mather is a familiar safe harbor for Meira, while Theron becomes her rock. He makes her feel stronger by having confidence in her abilities, something she's never had before.
Sure Mather has grown up with Meira, and they've been through a lot (that's an understatement), but he doesn't fight for her like I wanted him to. He doesn't offer her all that Theron does. I felt Mather lacked in proving his worth to her Meira, because of that. He never takes a stand, and fights against all they are dealing with, to be beside her. He doesn't treat her as an equal like Theron does. I really needed Mather to do these things. Most importantly, I wanted him to always stand beside her, and he doesn't. While I get that he can't always, Theron proves otherwise.
Oh this book, and all the feels that come with it! It is one heck of an epic adventure, fantasy with all the makings of a top ten feature. This is a book when I was handed an arc of it, I was told this is a book that was right up my alley. Indeed it was! I feel like I've said that word many times during this review, but it is. I loved everything about this story. The twist and turns, the magical elements, the seasons, the characters, the writing, and the connection I felt to it's main character. SNOW LIKE ASHES gave me everything I wanted, and so much more. If this is Raasch's debut, I can hardly imagine how her next book will read. This debut is epic! I highly recommend picking this one up! I can not wait for it's sequel.