Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Snow Like Ashes is a riveting YA Fantasy about the land of Primoria. Primoria is divided up into eight separate kingdoms, each falling into one of two categories. There are four Rhythm kingdoms—Paisly, Cordell, Ventralli, and Yakim—who each experience the changing of the seasons. Then there are the Season kingdoms—Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring—who each experience one static season. The rulers of each kingdom possess a conduit, or a item that contains the magic of their kingdom. The conduits allow the rulers to help their kingdoms prosper. Four of the kingdoms require male rulers to use the conduits, and the other four require female rulers to use the conduits.
The story begins with a band of refugees in exile. There are eight in total, each a survivor of the fall of Winter. For the past sixteen years, they have been trying to take back the conduit that was stolen from them in hopes of rebuilding their kingdom.
Meira has spent her whole life as a refugee. She was orphaned during the attack on Winter and has been raised by Winter’s General. She has been taught to be a warrior and hopes to be able to contribute something to her Kingdom. Soon, things go wrong and Meira must face dark powers and equally dark political ambitions. Along the way she struggles to find out who she really is, where she fits, and most of all, where her destiny is taking her.
This is an amazing YA Fantasy with some first class world building. The characters are real and three dimensional, facing compelling obstacles. Occasionally, I found the backstory a little convoluted. The reader is immediately thrust into a world with eight kingdoms with different alliances and backstories to keep track of. In the beginning it was a bit of an information overload. After you get into the story, however, things get easier to grasp and the focus narrows to three of the eight kingdoms.
Once I got into it, this book was impossible to put down. There’s lot of action with a butt-kicking heroine, epic battles, and epic love stories! I loved this book and highly recommend it to fans of fantasy. This book is the first in a trilogy and I am dying for the next instalment to be released!