Happy Monday readers. I hope you all had a good weekend. I know I had a pretty great one for reading myself. Last week I finally read Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. I’ve had it on my shelf since shortly after it came out and a friend who was in total love with it and my own interest as well and then as book two came out I was still behind and now it’s just sad book three comes out this year, in September, I think and I want to be caught up dang it! So when the read along came up I knew I had to do it. Then of course I was excited to share my thoughts with you!
Snow Like Ashes is a high fantasy story about a world divided. Four kingdoms know as the seasons where they eternally stay in that season, and four kingdoms who have normal seasons but all ruled by magic in the form of a conduit held by their ruler. Sixteen years ago the Winter was conquered, their queen murdered, conduit broken, and people enslaved by the ruthless leader of Spring. Few escaped capture and have spent these years trying to find the pieces of their conduit hoping to put it back together and take back their home with their king, Mather who was only a baby when his kingdom fell. Meira, also raised on stories of her native home having been like Mather, a mere child at the time it was taken, trains alongside the others and tries to find her place and how she can prove herself to her kingdom and helping it rise to power. With a piece of the conduit's location known Meira goes in search of it and will not stop until she has done so. The mission doesn't go as expected and Meira soon learns more than she bargained for, thrown into a world of politics and magic. Beliefs and convictions are tested in many ways.
We follow Meira as she is struggling to keep the faith in this quest the only thing she's ever known. For her and Mather, they never knew the land they are fighting for, the land he is meant to be king of, only stories from the others. Still even with this, where some might not feel as connected, they and each and every Winterian, are fighting for their people. There may only be a small group free but they have tons of people in slavery waiting for them to save them. It's such a cruel idea really to know that while you try and try to fight the odds spending your life doing so, the majority of your people, people you've never met but are connected with ice in your blood (they are from a land of eternal winter after all) have lived this time in much different conditions. It's a struggle we see throughout and I enjoyed it. The same for duty and honor, putting aside ones own needs for the good of Winter. Such powerful themes and they are really brought out in different aspects throughout.
Now can I take a moment to love that Winter everything is always cold and they are miserable and suffer in hotter climates. Basically 98% of the year they'd hate where I live as much as I do. I do prefer the cold to the heat but I don't know if I'd survive winter 24/7 though if I was built to do so maybe. Judging by seasons only thinking Autumn would be more my speed. Maybe not, we didn't get to see Autumn mostly just Spring, a non-season kingdom of Cordell, and the forests and plains between. I really liked the dynamic of how the different kingdoms work and while it did take a little bit for me to fully grasp the concept of the magic in this realm, I was okay with it because the fact is no one is sure of it. Still while some aspects of the story were predictable I didn't mind as I enjoyed the reveal.
While everything in this book comes from Meria's POV we do get to see as she deals with an out of reach crush with her childhood best friend and future king, so basically impossible. Still as you get to see some sweet moments with Mather that make you want to root for him. But we also get to meet another leading man, Theron Prince of Cordell. He is a bit too good to be true, attractive and strong but also on the sweet side preferring art to war. Still both Mather and Theron have one thing in common neither wished to be future kings with the responsibility and so many choices taken from them but still they will do anything for their people. They have many similarities to be sure but I love their interactions with Meria. She was the real star and I enjoyed seeing this world through her eyes.
I had a fun time in this world and would recommend it for anyone looking for a good fantasy with a unique world. I'm ready to continue on in the series but I'm holding off on book two for a little while but will have it read before long and hope to check out the third book close to release! I'd love to hear your thoughts below in the comments. Which kingdom would you like to live in?
Until next time…