Sunday, 11 January 2015

Snow Like Ashes #1: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch *First post of 2015, Happy New Year Guys!*

Published: October 14th 2014 by Balzer + Bray (first published January 1st 2014)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Goodreads Summary: 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.


-MY THOUGHTS-


After going through rave reviews after rave reviews, I had high hopes for this one. But, in the end, I didn’t join the bandwagon. I’ll go straight to the point there: I didn’t enjoy Snow Like Ashes much or rather I didn’t care for it much.

I really wanted to know how Raasch’s debut novel ended, but I couldn’t be bothered to read every single page to reach it. I must have read about half the book rigorously and the rest I skimmed through.

The book wasn’t bad but it was far from being the breakthrough YA fantasy novel of the year, for me anyway. Perhaps, if I hadn’t read The Young Elite which I adored right before starting Snow Like Ashes I might have appreciated the later a bit more. I actually doubt so, but who knows *shrugs”?

From the worldbuilding to the character with the plot in between, I wasn’t impressed. The book started well, but about halfway through it, my interest dropped a notch or two. 
Winter, Autumn, Summer, Spring, those were the name of the countries that had the most importance in Raasch’s story. I felt like I had stepped into Disney Channel territory or something. 

I really couldn’t shake the feeling that Disney should have thought about naming countries after seasons first and made a movie about it. Many other readers loved the worldbuilding, personally I found it lacklustre. 

The magic and its history didn’t enthral me either. This is coming from someone who gets excited whenever there’s a little supernatural on the page. There’s also a twist that I saw coming by page 5. More than its predictability, it’s the twist in itself that I didn’t like.

Anyway, Spring wants to eradicate anything Winter from the world. The Winterian they haven’t enslaved, they have been killed. There’s currently only 8 free Winterian, among them the heir to Winter’s throne Mather and the heroine of the story Meira.

There’s nothing that Meira wants more than to be a soldier and be able to protect the love of her young life Mather. However, Fate had other plans for her. She can have neither the job nor the man. Kings don’t mingle with orphan and before she could even walk Sir (the guy who’s supposed to be her mentor but isn’t) betrothed her to the Crown Prince of Cordell, a wealthy country. 

Mather may not have a tangible country to rule over, but he nonetheless has kingly powers. He can do and undo nobility as he pleases and so Sir ordered him to give a title to his childhood sweetheart.

Consequently, Meira who prefer to slice her time away rather than dress up will become a Queen someday. Talk about reversal of fortune!

Understandably, Meira is angry nobody asked for her opinion before taking decision concerning her life. However, there were no reasons to keep on whining about her soon-to-be-wedding and the fact that she felt she didn’t matter. Out of all the Winterian, Meira was the one in the most powerful position. 

Theron, the crown prince is smart, sweet and loved by his people. He’s also a little bit in love with Meira. Yes, there is a love triangle. It was unnecessary, but which YA book doesn’t have a love triangle? 

Anyway, back to me showing you guys why Meira was important.

Theron, a future king accepted Winter’s cause as his. Besides, Meira has the means to become influential because she’s going to be the Queen of a wealthy nation someday. So, what is there to complain about? For all his royal blood, Mather was nothing more than a beggar who had to accept any conditions his “allies” had. 

More than having to become a queen, it’s not being able to be a soldier Meira resents the most, and I thought it was silly. Even though Meira is proficient with weapons and can defend herself, she isn’t very good at close-range combat. This wasn’t the biggest problem. 

Meira doesn’t have a home and never had one. She and her fellow Winterian settle where they deem safe and leave at the instant they feel Spring’s force loom over them. She’s seen her friends come back from missions battered, injured and tired. She knows that Mather’s life is in constant danger.

Taking into consideration her life experience, I consider that Meira isn’t a regular teenage girl but a survivor. This is why I think her reluctance to marry was abnormally childish and self-absorbed. If it wasn’t because Winter’s future was at stake nobody would have betrothed her without her consent. Of course, her feeling toward her imminent marriage turned out conveniently in her favour *roll eyes*

I’ve never been a fan of love triangle and still aren’t one. Mather and Meira grew up together, he’s always been supportive of her and most importantly he’s the only boy her age she has ever known. There’s no way she couldn’t have fallen in love with him. 

Mather is duller than Theron, but all in all, they’ve got pretty much the same personality. I’m team Theron. The King of Winter was the childhood crush, and the Crown Prince is the future hubby (or so I hope). 

Snow Like Ashes was a bit predictable and kind of generic. However, for a debut novel, Raasch did a fine job. The ending was promising, so despite my underwhelmed feelings, I’ll most likely read the next book.

By the way, as I said at the beginning of this review, Snow Like Ashes has gotten mostly positive reviews. Therefore, even if I personally didn’t enjoy it, I see no reasons why you guys couldn’t.




2 comments:

  1. AW, not a fan?? I loved this one but I can see where you're coming from! I'm definitely a Theron fan, just because there's something more to him than Mather. IF HE ISN'T WHAT THIS TRIANGLE IS AIMING FOR THEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I'm being overdramatic but seriously, why do they have to triangle it up all the time? Lovely review, dear!

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  2. Thank You!! I'm with you on this one. If she doesn't end up with Theron, then the whole love triangle thingy would have been really useless.

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