Title: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: October 14th 2014
Buy on: Amazon | B&N | BookDepository
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.
Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one’s destiny.
The world Primoria has 8 kingdoms, four known as the seasons or Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring these kingdoms retain the station according to their name all the time, ie. the Kingdom of Winter is always winter and snowy; and so according to their name/season, the other four kingdoms have different seasons and they pass or switch throw stations/season as is suppose to be. The world in which the story unfolds is complex and because I read it on my kindle, I struggled to locate or remember the other realms that are not seasons, so I recommend you read in physical book, if you want to be checking the map that comes at the beginning.
Sixteen years before the story begins the Kingdom of Spring declared war to the Kingdom of Winter and won; so only 25 winterians escaped, living as exiles/refugees and trying to regain the magic amulet that was taken from their Queen when she was murdered, among the refugees is the main character Meira, a 16 year old girl, that has been on the run since she was a baby and doesn´t know her country. From the once 25 refugees now only survive a few of them along with her, her best friend Mather, he´s the prince of Winter, an she has a crush on him but for the reason that he´s the future king, they had been told that they can not be more than friends.
Meira wishes to be an active member and help in the pursuit of the amulet (even though their leader does not want to involve her in such missions, because he doesn´t believe that she´s ready for the task) and the rescue of Winter prisoners living in the kingdom of Spring as slaves; something that I love about her character is that her weapon is a chakram, something I didn´t know about before I read the book but after some research I found out that is the object that appears on the cover.
Something I always dread in a book is the love triangle (because most of the time I end up rooting for the other one) and Snow Like Ashes it has a love triangle. On one hand we have Mather, the Winter prince and Meira´s best friend and her crush since forever, even though she knows she can not get anywhere because he´s royalty and she's just an orphan, so they could never end up been a couple. And there is Theron, another prince, he´s very cute, a nice person (totally swoon worthy), that wants to be something more or different that he already is (like Meira), he has artistic aspirations and is a god fighter. I liked both Theron and Mather, so I just have to wait to see what will happen in the following books.
Overall, I really liked this book, the world building is very interesting, very well written, with likable characters, with enough action, with a very interesting twist and a good ending. I´ll definitely read the subsequent books.