Series: Snow like Ashes, #1
Author: Sara Raasch
Category: High Fantasy/Romance
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 1 star out of 5
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.
I really thought this book was for me. It had all the elements I enjoy in high fantasy reads, themes I love getting lost in. However, that was not the case for this book, sadly. I really did try to find something I enjoyed about it, the characters or the world that the author created, but I couldn’t find a connection with the characters and though the world was interesting, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped.
I also nearly put the book down so many times, but I hate DNF’ing books. So I bared through it, but it was hard. I ended up skimming most of it and actually reading only a few parts. I was hoping maybe it got better, for me, the farther in I went.
The concept of the four seasons and the other kingdoms within the book was interesting. I found that a fresh perspective. The magic and its hold on the world, how it came to be, was another concept I did enjoy. But it wasn’t enough to let me get lost in the book.
I found Meira to not be the kind of heroine that I enjoy. I wanted to connect with her, to feel for her situation, to understand her thoughts and her actions, but since I couldn’t connect with her on any level, I didn’t. I felt she mostly complained, rushing ahead without thinking, and was a bit back and forth with her feelings. I was also able to figure out nearly from the beginning who she really was.
The love interests I just could not fall for. Though I did find Theron to be a bit endearing, I couldn’t really stand Mather. He too felt like he was back and forth, he frustrated me just as much as Meira did. I also couldn’t feel any connection between these two and Meira. It was supposed to be a love triangle, I assume, but to me it didn’t play out right nor did the feelings feel genuine.
Oh, I really wanted to enjoy this one. I really wanted to like it more than I did, but sadly, I didn't. I just couldn't connect with the story at any level. Nonetheless, I did enjoy the world that Raasch created; a very unique concept on seasons and magic. And I do encourage those who are interested in the book, though it wasn’t for me, maybe you will enjoy it way more than I did!