Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on October 6, 2014 | 2 Comments

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Published by Balzer + Bray (10.14.2014)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 432 pages
Source: Edelweiss

3 Stars

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.

My thoughts

snow like ashes

As far as high fantasies go, this one was fairly well done but it felt very generic. The pacing was fast, making the 432 pages go by pretty quick. The main thing that ruined my enjoyment of this book is that I felt like I’d already read it before: In Throne of Glass. There were too many similarities – strong, ass-kicking orphaned heroine, a dead queen talking to her in her dreams, a princely untouchable love interest, View Spoiler »…and a quasi love triangle that felt like Dorian and Chaol all over again. Just replace Captain of the Guard with another prince.

Just like Sarah Maas, Sara Raasch is fabulous at world building. And that’s where the similarities stop – because the world in Snow Like Ashes is completely different from Throne of Glass. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting. Sara is a pro at bringing her world to life! This could easily have been a movie for as cinematic as it was. Such a realistic setting! Sara’s writing is very descriptive, albeit a bit dry.

The beginning was a bit confusing. There’s talk of conduits, and Rhythms, and I had no clue what was going on. There were a few info dumps that made my brain hurt a little bit, but once you get the gist of the world everything starts to make sense. Just hang in there! Once you understand, the world building is spectacular. Everything is very well fleshed out and you can tell that Sara Raasch spent a lot of time and thought on the setting of her story.

I didn’t form much of a connection with the characters, to be honest. I didn’t care about Theron or Mather. Angra and Herod weren’t scary or menacing like they should have been. Meira was a good lead, and while I did like her, I didn’t connect to her quite like I hoped. So much time was spent on the world building that I feel as if the characters were left out. If they had been as fleshed out as the world was, this book would have rocked my socks!

Sara is so good at portraying death and war in a very clear and realistic manner that it affected me. View Spoiler »

View Spoiler »

However, I do think this series has great potential and I’m interested to see where it goes next!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 4.5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 2/5
Characters: 2.5/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 2/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

  1. I’m still excited about this regardless of the similarities (I’ll be honest, I don’t remember Throne of Glass that much XD ). World building is key for high fantasy and I’m happy that Sara did it well!

    Thanks for your honesty!

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

  2. I had the same experience as you with this book. I really struggled through it and also never connected with any of the characters. Honestly, they could have gone up in a big explosion, and I would have been ok with it. I actually liked Theon better than Mather if I were forced to choose, which seems like the rare opinion lol! I also thought the world building was probably the best part of the book, and agree with the info dump in the beginning (read like a history book instead of a fantasy)! Thanks for the great review! Christina @ Ensconced in Lit

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