Snow Like Ashes
Balzer + Bray
Meira has spent her entire life under the shadow of the Spring kingdom’s oppression. Her own kingdom, Winter, has been decimated by Spring armies and most of her people enslaved. Only a handful of refugees live free, protecting the future king, waiting to execute the plan that will restore Winter’s magic. Only then can the other Winterians be set free and the kingdom restored.
All Meira wants is to fight for her people. Yet every time she tries, it seems someone stands in her way. When she finally finds her own way to fight, she learns a truth that shatters everything she thought she knew about her life, her people, and how to free them.
Readers looking for a strong heroine will definitely find that in Meira. I liked that finding her strength wasn’t as simple as learning to handle a sword or having a chance to go into battle. Though she holds her own in more than one conflict, she learns that there’s more to serving her people than killing some bad guys for them.
I loved the way the romance developed. I kind of thought I knew what was going to happen, and Raasch switched things up, and I found I liked that even better. In other series’ I sometimes feel like the two boys that the heroine has to choose from are not very equally matched. One is really passive or weak and the other is really the strong one. In Snow Like Ashes I felt like Raasch did a great job bringing two strong lads to the table. I’m excited to see how the series progresses and if there are some more unexpected twists and turns in the romance waiting for Meira.
Fans of The Red Queen or the Graceling books will enjoy this one.
In one scene, Meira’s enemy forces her down on a bed. It’s unclear whether he intends to rape her, but it’s definitely intense. There are a couple of brief kisses.
Each ruler has an item which serves as a source of magic for the kingdom. Some rulers use their magic to help promote success among all their people while others use magic to control the people. Magic used to harm increases the power of an evil magic Meira calls the Decay.
Most of Meira’s countrymen are imprisoned in work camps and terribly mistreated. There’s not a lot of description of this, though. She recalls a memory about a man who escaped from Spring soldiers only to die of his wounds. There are a few battle scenes with some brief but vivid descriptions of war wounds.