Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Loved this one!
Snow Like Ashes is the first in a new fantasy series by Sara Raasch and I have to admit, I am looking forward to more from Raasch. I was approved to read this a little while ago and kept seeing others reading but made myself wait. Mostly because I knew that I would have to wait extra-long for the next book in this series if I read it super early. This book had everything I was hoping for – action, amazing world building, solid character building, and swoony bits! Now, please forgive me if my review gets a bit rambly as that tends to happen to me when I write about books I love. Be warned though, I am not going to spoil anything so apologies if anything sounds a bit vague.
Meira is from the Kingdom of Winter. When Winter was attacked sixteen years ago, she was protected by Sir and 24 other survivors. Their group is now down to eight and they continue to hunt down the magical conduit (a locket) that Queen Hannah lost when she lost her life.
I love Meira as a character. She is tough and really wants to add more to their cause than just hunting down food. She continues to train so that she can prove to Sir that she can handle herself in battle and when she gets the chance to go on a mission (Thanks to Mather) she comes face to face with Herod, the right hand man of Angra, the King of Spring. Things don’t necessarily go perfectly but Meira happens to be pretty smart and figures a way out of the mess she is in and from there, things move forward.
It is hard to talk about this story without giving anything away. What I can say is that this book is full of action and danger…most of it surrounding Meira. We find out there are plenty of secrets and they are all pretty big ones. Don’t hate me for that…seriously.
As for the other characters in this book – I really enjoyed them and thought they all added to the story. Mather is the King of Winter and will take the throne when they get the conduit back and can take back the Kingdom. He is also the boy that Meira has grown up with. We quickly find out that Meira has “more than friends” feelings toward Mather but she has also been warned by Sir that Mather is meant for bigger things – as a King he will need to marry and produce heirs…and not with someone who is not Royal. Mather also has feelings for Meira and he is determined to figure something out.
Sir is the father figure of the story and he does the best he can. He is also the character who appears to know everything and does his best to keep everyone safe.
Prince Theron is the son of Noam, the King of one of one of the Rhythm Kingdoms, Cordell. I loved Theron as he is in a situation where he fully understands what Meira is going through. He grew up being trained as a soldier which was not his choice and despite that, he continues to explore his love of art and writing. He is good for Meira because he helps her see that even though she is in the situation she is in, she can still be who she wants to be as well as what Winter needs. I freely admit that Theron is one of my favorite characters and the banter between him and Meira is wonderful. He definitely makes my favorite swoony boys list.
There are plenty of other characters in this book. The bad guys are definitely bad but I am looking forward to finding out more about Angra as I have feeling his motivation may be about more than just power. Yes, that appears to be what he wants the most but I have a feeling there is more to it than that.
As the story moves forward, so many things happen that I can’t even go into it all. As I mentioned earlier, there is plenty of action and don’t forget all the magic and secrets. I feel like I haven’t even been able to tell you anything…mostly because I can’t without giving anything away. Something I will tell you is that I love the world that Raasch created here and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I will be waiting for the next book in this series and encouraging everyone who likes high fantasy to check this one out. I can’t wait to have this on my shelves and high five to Sara Raasch on the beginning of what I expect to be a great series.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for the review copy.