Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

April 19, 2015 Review 42 ★★½

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 432
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Family, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Orphans & Foster Homes, Survival Stories, Young Adult
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.

 Prepare yourselves, an unpopular opinion follows. Many people fell in love with this book but I, sadly, was not one of them. KISS OF DECEPTION flashbacks, anyone? (I was in the same boat with that one.) I have come to expect a lot from fantasy, as it is my favorite genre, and SNOW LIKE ASHES did not deliver.

I struggled to establish a connection with any of the characters.  Meira’s personality seemed to change throughout the book and the secondary characters, besides Sir, lacked depth. Also included, a love triangle complete with the stereotypical scene of the two guys literally fighting over the girl. Unfortunately, the love triangle doesn’t seem completely resolved by the end of this book so I expect to see it adding drama to the next installment as well.

The writing is relatively simple; there weren’t any knock-your-socks-off quotes and even the lands themselves were named things like Winter and Summer-with capitals of Jannuari and and Juli, respectively. However, this is also somewhat of a positive because the book reads easily.

Conveniences abound. Everything always worked out for the main character perfectly. When there was conflict, it actually turned out not to be a real issue, if that makes sense out of context. There were even twists that seemed to be there just to make things easier for the characters. Plus, View Spoiler »

Readers who prefer lighter fantasy novels will probably enjoy this, but if you are looking for the next Game of Thrones, this definitely isn’t it. When compared to other YA fantasy giants like THRONE OF GLASS, which actually has quite a few similarities to this book, ToG just does it better, in my opinion.

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Rating Report
Overall: 2.2

42 Responses to “Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch”

    • Alise

      The hype really got to me as well, I was expecting the next great YA fantasy but it did not hold a candle to my other favorites. Thank you!

    • Alise

      That is what happened to me, all the great fantasy books set the standard so high this one was not of the same caliber at all. Same!

  1. Joy @ Thoughts By J

    HAHAHAH that gif at the end – pure brilliance! I’m glad to hear that ToG is much better than this book, at first SLA looked promising (plus its cover is gorgeous!) but once the reviews start rolling in I started to hesitate. It didn’t seem like it broke any new ground in the fantasy genre, so I think I will keep avoiding this book. Oh well, I would rather read ToG anyway
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…ARC Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J. Maas

    • Alise

      Ahaha, thanks! Right? That cover with its siren song. It really didn’t, I would describe it as a REALLY light fantasy book. Can’t blame you there!

    • Alise

      Exactly, especially if you prefer more character driven books like I do. Maybe! If you are interested I say give it a shot! Thank you!

  2. Terri M., the Director

    I’ve been curious about this one, Alise. The cover is so pretty. When it comes to fantasy, I like something a bit middle of the road. Nothing too simple, but nothing to epic either. I do enjoy the Game Thrones series, but I doubt I would have ever pick that series off the shelf without first watching the TV series!

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews
    Terri M., the Director recently posted…Comment on In the Spotlight: Aaron Bunce, author of Within by bn100

  3. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Yup^^ ToG really raised the bar for YA-Fantasy and put it on a whole other level and sadly, other stories have yet to catch up. Considering how much adult high-fantasy I read as well, I’ve become quite discriminating in my YA-Fantasy reads too. I think that’s why I’m a little scared of this one and haven’t read it yet – despite how excited I was for it when it first came out. You’re not the only blogger who’s had issues with this one, if it makes you feel any better. The plot-conveniences and love-triangle bothered quite a few people. In any case, I’m sorry that this one failed to deliver for you. Hopefully your next read will blow you away :)
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Let’s Discuss…(1)

    • Alise

      Ooh, yeah, I know how much fantasy you read. I feel like you might be let down by this one, at least if you were expecting something big. It does! On Goodreads it seems like I am the only somewhat negative review xD No worries, thank you :)

    • Alise

      I’m glad that someone felt the same! It did definitely have its moments, and it was entertaining. Gosh, I know, the cover is seriously gorgeous. Heading over to check out your review right now!

  4. Joy // Joyousreads

    The thing that aggravated me about this book was the build up that Meira is such a fierce fighter, but proceeds to show her strength by marrying her off to a prince to save the kingdom. Really? I mean, I’m tired of that trope. Give me another one, please. Needless to say, I didn’t like this very much either. Also, that love triangle. ENOUGH ALREADY.
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 145

    • Alise

      Oh, that’s actually a really great point I hadn’t thought of but you are right-the book did exactly that. Completely agree about the love triangle, it couldn’t get more cliche.

  5. Zoey @ Uncreatively Zoey

    I picked this up in B&N a few days ago and started reading it only to put it down after six pages because she’d spent the entire time pining after that guy. I had no idea there was a love triangle, too. That’s so disappointing to here because I’ve heard about all the hype with this, but now I really don’t think I could handle reading it. Hardcore rolling my eyes at Jannuari and Juli.
    Zoey @ Uncreatively Zoey recently posted…The Sunday Post {4}

    • Alise

      Oh yeah. If you thought one love interest was bad wait until there are two. Same here, I had such high expectations it was really a shame. Right? Glad I wasn’t the only one.

  6. Nova @ Out of Time

    I actually really enjoyed this one but I think it was mainly because I liked the characters. If you don’t like the characters, especially the main ones, there’s almost no way you’ll like the book as a whole.

    I agree that the love triangle was a huge no and was annoyed that Miera acted like a martyr for a lot of the book, but I felt like this book showed serious development. Great review!
    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted…Book Review: The Fire Sermon – Francesca Haig

    • Alise

      I definitely agree, I really need to connect with the characters.

      I am curious to see what happens in the sequel with the boys and how Miera begins to handle everything that is on her plate. Thank you!

  7. Romi

    I have heard that this is fairly incredible, and I’m willing to try a new fantasy (like you, it’s my favourite genre) if there’s the potential for it to be good, but I will say that I’m almost certain this is the first time I’ve heard about a love triangle, and a scene where they’re actually fighting over the girl? EH. That seems ludicrous. Do people actually do these things, outside of fiction? Are love triangles, if/when they ever happen, not sorted out a lot more quickly and with a lot less indecision?
    I’m sorry it was such an unsatisfying read for you, Alise, but hopefully the next fantasy you pick up is incredible and makes up for your disappointment here. And great review! Xx
    Romi recently posted…Learn things about me!

    • Alise

      Yep, most of the reviews are positive. Really? The love triangle is pretty prominent. The boys literally fight over the girl. I don’t think it could get more cliche. Actually that’s a good question., I’m sure I’ve ever seen/been in/heard of a real life love triangle! No worries, thank you :)

  8. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    So sorry this was a miss for you, Alise! My expectations weren’t too high when I read that, and I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed it more than you did.

    Personally, I liked this more than Throne of Glass (ToG–book one–lacked a plot for me), but if you’re comparing this to the whole series, ToG is of course way more sophisticated.
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Halfway Perfect by Julie Cross & Mark Perini / A Sexy, Slow-burn Romance

    • Alise

      Yeah I do admit I had really high expectations for this one.

      Agreed. ToG has its issues but DAT SERIES THO

  9. Kirsty-Marie

    I’ve been waiting to see what you think of this one and nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, Alise, nnooooooooooooo. Shame you couldn’t connect to the characters , that can definitely ruin a book, and I didn’t think much of the love triangle either, and yeah, it probably will just be there to cause drama in the next one. It did have a lot of similarities to Throne of Glass (especially that main “twist”) but I read this not that long after reading 1-3, so I enjoyed it. :)
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…DNF Review: Trouble from the Start

    • Alise

      I KNOW, I’M SORRY D: I think I just had really high expectations for it and yeah, the characters. I’m glad you liked it!

  10. Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

    Sometimes I have a hard time following high fantasy, so it’s nice that this one is easy to read, but I am so not a fan of stereotypical love triangles *sigh* Eventaully I will get to a place where I could probably pick this up and finish it, but I doubt that will be today. thanks for the wonderful review, sometimes I have a hard time reading popular books because I don’t always enjoy them like others do. It’s nice to see I’m not alone!
    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted…Romancing Olive by Holly Bush

    • Alise

      This one is very linear so I don’t think you would have problems following it at all if you are interested. Sure! :)

  11. Wattle

    I haven’t heard of this book before buuuut I think I’m going to pass on it because I have plenty of good fantasy (errr I hope lol) to read! And love triangles make me sigh. It has a neat cover though :) I’m sorry it didn’t wow you.
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review: Wait! by Stacey Nash

    • Alise

      Awesome! *high fives* I didn’t DNF because I thought it would get better (surely all the positive reviews had to mean something) but…nope. Sure!

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