Snow like Ashes – Review

Even the strongest blizzard starts with a single snowflake…

Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch was an amazing high fantasy novel. The only reason I didn’t finish this in one sitting was because I had school – but when this Canadian long weekend rolled around I finished over 300 in three hours flat. I’m already passing this story onto my sister (who loved the title) and I hope she’ll pass it on, and on, so more people will get to read Snow Like Ashes.

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 loved Meira. She was tough and she never backed down, even when she really wanted to. The way she stood up to people just took my breath (in excitement and a little fear for her), and at one point when she charging towards her next target, I was thinking, oh, man, here comes the stormMeira’s weapon of choice is pretty awesome, and not something I’ve ever heard of, which was very unique.

I completely understand the Theron obsession, but I actually really liked Mather. Up until he did what he did, I was in love with him. Mather is all unyielding iron with a few soft spots here and there. Theron, however, oh sweet snow,  he’s like velvet, with his poet’s heart, and steel with the clash of his blade. Perfect. What I really appreciated the most about the three main characters is that we didn’t get a tormented love triangle. Yes, there was tension between the three, but it wasn’t overdone to drive me to madness.

This story’s plot doesn’t run in a straight line. It curves and bends and changes so there’s always something new coming at you. The pace and momentum of the story never slowed down, which is why I burnt skin off my fingers flipping the pages.

The best thing about this book was the way I felt when it ended. The book ends in such a way that I feel like I got a whole story (not just a third), even knowing that there’s more to come. I finished the book, and I had this bone-deep, ahhhh satisfaction that you get from a book that just fills everything you want so perfectly and so wholly that you can’t help but feel like you’ve been wined and dined.

How convenient that me reading this book should fall on the Canadian Thanksgiving Day because I am always thankful for amazing writers like Sara Raasch and the wonderful journeys they paint for us.

Quotes I loved:

Sometimes placing our belief in something bigger than ourselves helps us get to a point where we can be enough on our own, magic or no magic.

All that really connects us is stories, and memories, of what should be. 

Fear is a seed that, once planted, never stops growing.

I will matter in ways beyond my comprehension of the word, because I will matter in whatever way my kingdom needs me most. That, I think, is a truer mark of belonging somewhere – being willing to do anything, everything, that needs to be done, regardless of what I want. 

 

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