Review: Snow Like Ashes

08:00


Snow Like Ashes
By Sara Raasch

Source: Library, paperback
Published: 14th October 2014, Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy


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.


The first thing that struck me about this book was the cover (I think it’s beautiful, and I really love all the detail), so when I looked into what it was actually about, I thought I might give it a go! I’m a fan of YA fantasy, so I went in not knowing much, apart from that everyone seems to love it! Thankfully, I really enjoyed it, even though I did find it to have a few flaws.


What I Liked



  • The writing: I really enjoyed the writing style. I found it easy to get into, and never too complicated. It was quite simple, which I think worked really well for the book, because we could focus more on the plot and world building. I’m sometimes a little worried that I’ll find new fantasy series too hard to get into, but that was never the case with this book - this was down to the writing!
  • The pacing: I have to say, this is one of the best paced books I’ve ever read. I was never bored, yet never confused because things were moving too quickly. It was paced with such skill, which made the book so much better. I think pacing is one of the most important things in a book, so I’m glad it was done so well!
  • The action and adventure: There were lots of action scenes in this book which I really enjoyed. It was a really exciting adventure story, and I liked following everything that was happening. I found myself really caught up in what was happening, and I liked being so invested in the story!

What I Didn't Like



  • The romance: What even was the romance?! It was weird, cringe worthy, and just messy. There was a completely unnecessary love triangle-type thing going on, which I really didn’t enjoy. It wasn’t too overbearing, which was fortunate for me, but I didn’t love the protagonist, Meira, with any of the love interests, so I’m hoping it will be sorted out in the rest of the series.
  • The characters: I didn’t like Meira. She got off to a bad start for me, as she made a really stupid and selfish decision which put others in danger. She was brave, heroic, and strong in places, but overall I didn’t enjoy reading about her. It was also a bit of case of “the chosen one”, which didn’t bode well. She didn’t make the book feel original at all, because she was quite typical for the genre.
  • The cliches: This book is a prime example of a typical YA fantasy. It literally has everything you’d expect from the genre: a love triangle, a divided world, the protagonist is the chosen one who can save the day, and a touch of magic. I was skeptical of how it ticked every box for boring YA fantasy, and sadly, it stayed the same throughout the entire book, and didn’t get any more unique.



I feel like I should hate this book, but I really can’t. It was so enjoyable, and I’m really pleased with the way it ended! I hope to read more of the series as soon as I can, because if it carries on being as good as this, I think I’m really going to enjoy them. Raasch is a very talented writer, so I hope to read more of her books in the future!

You Might Also Like

22 comments

  1. The premise is really gripping - it kinda sounds like the opposite of a fantasy novel, with that last line! Because usually in fantasy novels, I think the hero/heroine usually discovers that their life is their own, they can make their own destiny etc.?
    I'm glad you managed to enjoy this book, even though you feellike you should hate it! xD
    I think this book isn't for me, because characters are just so very important to me, and I don't think I've ever been able to like a book when I haven't liked the protagonist! Thanks for reviewing though, Denise! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I know what you mean! But having read the book, I know what it means, and it does fit in with a lot of other fantasy books. In my opinion, the protagonist does end up searching for her destiny!
      Thank you!
      Yeah, I don't think it will be for everyone, though lots will enjoy it. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I liked the protagonist :D

      Delete
  2. I've been wanting to read this for so long! I've heard so much about it! I totally get what you mean when you say you feel like you should hate a novel. I get that all the time but I end up loving the book! Great review!
    Alicia- #lovebooks!
    PS! I tagged you to do the Secret Life Of A book Blogger Tag! http://hashtaglovebooks.com/tagtime-secret-life-book-blogger-tag/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get to it! Thank you for the nomination too!

      Delete
  3. I've heard so many mixed reviews about this book, so I'm glad I read yours. I'm definitely going to be giving it a read - I hope I'll like the love triangle haha. xD I'm excited to get into it. Great review, and thanks for sharing! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The love triangle isn't too prominent/over bearing, so you don't need to worry about it putting you off! Thank you!

      Delete
  4. I agree with all the points of your review! I loved the action scenes, but the love triangle was iffy for me. I haven't read the next book yet, but hopefully it'll be just as good!
    Great review :)
    Erika @ Books, Stars, and the Pages in Between"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I agree - the action scenes were really well done, and it showed how badass Meira could really be! I ca't wait to read the next book either :)

      Delete
  5. The cover pulled me in too! I agree with you about the pace, and definitely the overuse of cliches, but I still enjoyed it :) Great review!

    Sophie @ Sophie Reads YA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it was just a really enjoyable book! Thanks ☺

      Delete
  6. Too bad about all the cliches, but I will probably read this one anyway. It just looks so enjoyable! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was really enjoyable! It was such a fun story!

      Delete
  7. I'm really happy to hear that the pacing and the writing went well! BUT UGH THE ROMANCE :( Why am I so sad to hear that it didn't seem to work well? I'm a sucker for romance in novels though. I'm not exactly sure if I'd pick this book up, but I guess if I'm given the opportunity, perhaps I'll nonetheless will! Great review Denise!

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I KNOW!! It did let the book down!! You might enjoy the romance if you usually enjoy romance - I'm not usually a fan but it wasn't the worst I've ever read. I hope you do pick it up, because it's a really good book! Thank you, Jillian! :D

      Delete
  8. I really want to read this one, although now I know not to expect much from the romance aspect. That sucks though cause I'm a sucker for an awesome romance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the romance isn't very big, but it still annoyed me. I think you might enjoy it if you like romance though!

      Delete
  9. Great review Denise! I've seen this book around but never really tried to know more about it until just now. I'm sad to hear that, for a promising book, it has this love triangle thing going on, I really don't like it, especially when it's not well-done, or serves the story and the character development. But yay for the writing, and I love a great book where the pacing is great! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's still a super enjoyable book, so don't let the romance put you off! It doesn't add anything, but it's only a small section of the plot, so you can still enjoy the writing and character development :)

      Delete
  10. My thoughts exactly Denise! The action and the writing were really top notch here. And I was actually surprised by the way the love triangle ended up - both of the love interests are likable, and it doesn't take away from the plot. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I know - I couldn't pick a favourite. I liked how it wasn't good guy vs bad guy for the love interests; they both had different qualities going for them! :D Thank you so much ♥

      Delete
  11. Wonderful review, Denise! I read this a while back and I thought it's one of those books that you really want to like but it's just so much like all of the rest of the books in the genre that it isn't particularly memorable at all. When I picked it up, the whole idea about seasons being tied to kingdoms sounded so cool to me. The first time I read it, I was so psyched about that and I didn't really notice anything else which is pretty much what I wrote my review on. But then I read it a second time and it just seemed very meh. I'm reading the second book now so hopefully I like that one better! I hope you like it as well!

    You have such a lovely blog design by the way! I love your header :)

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yeah I definitely agree - it wasn't fantastic or memorable at all. Yeah, I liked the concept too! I hope you enjoy the next book! I don't think I'll be re-reading it because it was a bit bland. Thank you so much!! :D

      Delete

Thanks for commenting! I read and respond to every comment, so make sure to check back to see my reply. Have a nice day! ☺♥