Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
How Did I Get This Book: Bought
Why Did I Read This Book: I initially read the first two chapters months ago and I was not impressed but since I had this book on my shelf for two years I wanted to read it and get it off my TBR! Of course I had high hopes because it is a YA Fantasy and featured a unique magic system!
Review Written By: Elizabeth @ The Owlery
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.
“One flake falls, twisting down through the empty sky. One frozen speck of snow. Then another, and another, and before I know it the roads will be covered in dozens of distinct flakes. All these little pieces combining to create one giant, volatile snowstorm, something beautiful and dangerous and epic”
The unique magic system was very enjoyable! Each of the season kingdoms (Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall) have a conduit that is connected to their current monarch and this conduit strengthens their magic. Each monarch can push their magic to make the strengths of their kingdom even stronger, for example Winter strengthened their mining before Spring took them over 16 years ago!
I was pretty sure I knew the ending early on and while Raasch had me going back and forth I did end up being correct, so I wish this was not as predictable. Another complaint is that there are no diverse characters in the entire book and that would have been nice to see.
The love triangle in this story was very well written! It was not thrown in your face and it was not full of teen angst! The three characters involved all had more important responsibilities and did not let their love problems get in the way! The world building and writing skill show by Raasch is superb! She was able to leak out information as it was needed and the reader never feels overwhelmed!