Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Add it: Goodreads
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.
Snow Like Ashes was my first read of the Debutathon and it let me down a little bit. It’s not a bad book, but I don’t think it’s a good enough fantasy to stand the heat next to the likes of Throne of Glass or Fire and Thorns.
One thing I really enjoyed about Snow Like Ashes was the world building. I liked the world that Raasch has created with Primoria. The split between the Seasons and the Rhythms and all that was really interesting, as well as the history behind each one. I enjoyed reading about how Spring took over and how Winter had been enslaved. I would have liked to have seen more of the Seasons, particularly Summer and Autumn, because it would have made this world stand out more to me.
Meira is an interesting main character, although I felt like her characterisation was all over the place. One minute she was being a snarky BAMF and then she was sitting back and letting everyone else get shit done. Don’t get me wrong, I liked her, but she doesn’t stand out amongst other female leads, nor is she overly appealing.
There is, of course, a love triangle, although romance is certainly not the main focus of the plot. I can only think of one kissing scene, and very few instances of Meira fawning over the guys in this novel. I don’t care for either romance, so I don’t have a ship. I don’t think Meira has chemistry with anyone, which is a shame because I do like my shipping.
Snow Like Ashes was also ridiculously predictable. If you’re an avid reader, especially of fantasy, you’re likely to figure out what the big twist/reveal is. At least, I did. Very early on.
Overall, Snow Like Ashes is a decent fantasy debut, although Raasch fails to flesh it out enough to satisfy me. I might consider reading the rest of the series when it’s out, although it won’t be high up on my wishlist. It’s a good thing that I like stories about uprisings and slave rebellions!