Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
I was super excited for this book when it first came out, then I got caught up reading other things and life got busy, so I’m just getting to it now. I was also reading the book at the same time as reading another fantasy novel. . . super bad idea. I had a hard time switching back and forth between the two worlds. . . on the other hand, I did get to live in two totally awesome fantasy worlds for a couple of weeks.
Meira is an orphan from the kingdom of winter living and traveling with the last remaining members of the Winterian kingdom. Angra, the king of Spring, stole Winter’s magic from the Winter’s queen, Hannah, sixteen years ago. Since Hannah died and the magic locket was broken in half during Spring’s attack, Winter has been trying to recover. Meira, her best friend and future king of Winter, Mather, and the rest of the survivors from Winter are trying to find the two halves of the locket to put it back together to restore Winter’s magic and power. However, they find that they can’t survive against Spring without help. They reach out to another kingdom, Cordell, for help, where Miera meets Prince Theron, who provides assistance to Winter’s people against Spring.
Meira starts off as a young and rather whiny sixteen year old, who wants her own way all the time. She even puts herself and others in harm’s way to get it. She stays this way for much of the story, and is really quite annoying. She only changes once she finds herself in a situation where she is on her own with little to no help. It is, at this point, that she grows up and begins to take responsibility for her own actions and the consequences that they have on the people around her.
Final Thoughts and Favorite Quotes
Every good YA novel has some sort of love triangle, and Snow Like Ashes doesn’t disappoint. The amount of posturing between the two men in the love triangle between Miera, Theron, and Mather is outrageous and hysterical. Don’t worry there are a couple quotes from it below. Most of the male posturing, and, trust me, that’s exactly what it is, take place in Chapter 12 and 13, so that is where the following quotes are from. And, no joke, Mather and Theron literally fight over Meira.
At one point, Meira is in Cordell and happens to make her way onto the training grounds. After looking at all the Cordellian men, including Theron and Mather, training she states,
**“Did they outlaw shirts in Cordell?”
Just before the boys fight,
**Theron says to Meira, loud enough for Mather to over hear, “My weapon of choice doesn’t matter.” His eyes flash to Mather over my shoulder. “No matter what I use, I always hit my mark.”
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. While it has the typical characteristics of a YA fantasy novel, it has one of the more interesting settings. It isn’t quite as creative as Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, or as terrifying as Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, but it does have its conflict among the different kingdoms. I find it especially interesting how each of the Season kingdoms represents one of the seasons. I can’t wait to read Ice Like Fire when it comes out in the fall.