Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschSnow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1) by Sara Raasch
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 14th 2014
Pages: 416

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, 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.

Snow Like Ashes takes place in the land of Primoria. Primoria is a land split into eight kingdoms, but this book just focuses on three of them, Spring, Winter, and Cordell. This book reminded me of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Like the fire nation, the Spring Kingdom desired more control and power, so they unprovokingly attacked the Winter court (about 16 years before this book begins). Most of the Winterians lost their lives, and a few hundred were enslaved. Meira, our heroine, is one of twelve Winterians, who survived Spring’s attack, and then fled before they could be enslaved.

I liked Meira a lot, because she kicked ass in a realistic way. She’s fearless, and clever, but not in an indestructible, or infallible way. Like her fellow escapees, Meira is dedicated to freeing the Winterian slaves, along with placing the Winter court’s rightful ruler back on the throne.

What would a fantasy novel be without a dash of magic? The magic in Snow Like Ashes is  so unique! Ordinary people can’t just create or use magic. There are certain locations where magic resides, and certain people who can use it with the aid of special objects. There’s also huge limitations to magic in Primoria. For instance, even though the Winter court defended themselves with magic, when the Spring court attacked, they still lost, because their army wasn’t strong enough. Magic doesn’t solve all problems in this world.

If you like high fantasy novels, that dabble in politics, features a strong female lead, and of course, are full of magic,  then you’ll enjoy Snow Like Ashes!