BOOK REVIEW: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Balzer + Bray
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli
“Someday, we will be more than words in the dark.”
For a long time, YA Fantasy was repetitive and boring, with the same special snowflakes, the same innocent, pure heroines. All the stories were formulaic, as if it wasn’t physically possible to write anything different.
Lately, though, YA fantasy has started branching out. It was easily forgotten how much this reader loved the magic and forbidden love stories, the strange creatures that lurked in the dark, the different kingdoms, the results of a beautiful imagination. Snow Like Ashes, even though it followed the “special snowflake” trope, was all of the above and more.
Meira is a Winteranian soldier, one of the twenty-five survivors that escaped the night Angra, King of Spring, invaded. Now there are only eight survivors, and the race to piecing the locket holding all of Winter’s power is tighter than ever. Angra has one half, and the second half is floating, waiting to be grabbed. When Meira is entrusted with the mission to recover the floating half, she can’t believe her luck. Finally, she can show Sir just how good she is!
Once the locket pieces are restored, Mather, the love interest and prince of Winter, can return to his rightful place on the throne and free the Winteranians from the brutal work camps run by the ruthless Angra. However, things are not quite as they seem and, as Meira and her friends embark on another journey, she’s going to find out just how difficult it is to really be “free.”
There is a love triangle. I don’t mind. Meira is a special snowflake. I don’t mind. There’s, sometimes, a bit of deus ex machina at work. I don’t mind. Raasch weaves a story of mystery and love, betrayal and strength, so well that it sweeps you up and carries you on. I found myself sitting down with this book in the morning and finishing it in the evening. It is that good.
I loved the idea that the seasons were kingdoms, and each kingdom’s cities had names based after the months in the respective seasons. For example, Abril, Jannuari, Oktuber. I also loved the humour in the story — there wasn’t too much to take away from the severity of the cause, but there wasn’t little enough to make the story drag. Theron and Meira like to banter, and it’s sweet and funny.
When Mather and Theron both try to prove their worth, it’s not only funny but also interesting to see Meira pull away from the love that cannot be and free herself of it. It’s nice to see a heroine grow into her role, and take on bigger responsibilities, shirking the ideas of “I just wanna be me”.
Yes, some of it is highly predictable but there are also some twists and turns that take you completely by surprise. Ice Like Fire, book 2 in this astounding trilogy, is one of the most highly anticipated reads of 2015.
Some other stuff you might dig
About the Author: 21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.