“Even the strongest blizzard starts with a single snowflake.”
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
by Sara Raasch
Published October 14th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Link to Goodreads
Young Adult | Fantasy
Read: 28 May 2015
My rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
As someone who has not read that much high fantasy novels, I found this read a bit difficult–but easy at the same time. If that was even possible…? Anyway, it wasn’t too difficult to follow since the world building Sara made was exceptionally brilliant. I mean… she used the four seasons winter, spring, summer, and autumn! Genius! The only things that confused me were several concepts that weren’t brought up as much–but still mentioned throughout the story.
ANYWAY, CAN WE TALK ABOUT MEIRA FOR A SEC. Meria, Meira, Meira. She was an amazing lead character and it was just difficult to not like her! She’s someone to look up to. Brave, courageous, and undeniably fearless. She’s the perfect main character and that’s a huge plus for the book. I just find myself wanting to douse in her life even though there’s a lot of hardship and struggles. She wants to prove herself to everyone that she is worthy to the people around her; to Sir, who raised her, to her fellow refugees, and to the other Winterians who’s been captured and enslaved by Spring. She sought herself to be selfish at some point, but I thought, hell she’s just sixteen and that’s hella normal. When I was sixteen, I was complaining about my first year in college and how rough it was… non-stop. There’s no certainty of what future lies ahead for her, but she still pushes to become greater. Meira was bound to her fate of becoming a soldier to save her fellowmen from the evil Spring. She sacrificed countless of times for the Winterians, and that’s what a real soldier would do. I thought of her as someone I wish I could be in an alternate universe, if there was another world. It’s obvious enough that I enjoyed this book because of her–and I’m looking for more of it soon.
The romance isn’t really present that much, and I find that great because some books tend to focus more on the sick lovey-dovey, and that was clearly not I was looking for. Which is why I am greatly amused at how this story went, and how strong the female lead turned out. She was down right focused on helping the people.
I would like to talk about Mather and Theron, but I just CAN’T because I feel like I’m going to spoil some juicy gossip so I won’t. BUT I DO HAVE SOMEONE I’M ROOTING FOR. *wink* *wink*
Plot-wise, the twists and turns in this book turned the novel incredibly enthralling. I mean, it’s skilfully written, detailed, and action packed! I’m stoked for the sequel to come out. I don’t think I’ll be able to forget about this one for a while!! 😀
This story was filled with hope, faith, and strength. And the power to believe that “someday we will be more than words in the dark.”