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 »as much as I like Sir, I thought his “death” was a step in the right direction for the plot, Meira’s character development, and FINALLY something that didn’t benefit the characters. But nope, he is miraculously saved. « Hide 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.