Snow Like Ashes SPOILER-FREE Review
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.
I was really excited to read Snow Like Ashes, as I needed another fantasy to hold me over for Queen of Shadows, and it did NOT disappoint. The story was super-fast paced: I COULD NOT stop reading, nor could I stop thinking about it while I wasn’t reading it. Also, I LOVED the world. Aside from the Summer kingdom and a couple Rhythm kingdoms, I thought the kingdoms were very well developed, for being the first book in a series. I have a gist of what most of the kingdoms were about and it added a lot to the reading experience. Although the plot twists were a tad predictable, I thought that they were still well done. Raasch’s writing style makes this story easy to understand, while also being able to explain all the complexities of the plot. Although this book was very entertaining, I thought that this story had quite a bit in common with another certain young adult fantasy book (Throne of Glass, I’m looking at you). I’ll get more into that into the next couple of sections.
As I was saying, Snow Like Ashes reminded me A LOT of Throne of Glass. Luckily, the main characters are nothing alike. And, if I’m being honest, I enjoy Meira more than I enjoyed Celaena in Throne of Glass (I’m STRICTLY talking about the first books; We’ll see how my thoughts of Meira improve throughout the trilogy). Personally, I find Meira more relatable than Celaena. We really see Meira struggle to achieve what she wants: To be a fighter. And in the end, we see her come through. I think this something everyone can relate to, wanting to achieve something while everyone’s pushing you around. Another thing we see her struggle for was fighting for a kingdom she’s never lived in. All her memories of Winter are passed down from the adults she’s with. She has no memories of her own at Winter and we see her make some tough decisions based on it. I also loved the choices Meira made. They always seemed logical, or they at least made sense in the position she’s in.
Then we have our two love interests (Yes, there’s a love triangle… Ugh), Mather and Theron, who completely remind of Chaol and Dorian respectively. Mather is the king of Winter, struggling to deal with all of his responsibilities. Towards the end of the book, he REALLY started to remind me of Chaol. It’s just the way he’s written: He’s very serious, loyal, and is pretty stubborn. Remind you of someone? And then there’s Theron, who is LITERALLY Dorian. I mean, from standing up to his evil father constantly to loving the arts and writing poetry, just replace writing poetry to reading books (which Theron also has a HUGE collection of) you have Dorian. And I can’t complain. I love Chaol and Dorian and this is just the first book in this series. I hope they both get developed more in the next book. I know we’re getting Mather’s P.O.V. which will be very interesting.
Another important character we meet is Sir, Meira’s guardian. Sir acts like a father figure to Meira and I enjoyed exploring their relationship. Sir is a very complex character who wants to do what’s best for Winter, the kingdom he grew up in and saw crumble. His interactions with Meira make more sense towards the end of the book and made me appreciate Sir’s character even more.
Again, my main problem with this book was that it was basically filled with all the fantasy clichés that was possible, making it resemble more than just Throne of Glass. Yet again, when I read this book I was very much in a Throne of Glass mindset, which obviously affected my reading experience. I mean, I was actually picturing Chaol and Dorian as Mather and Theron! I kind of felt like I was reading Throne of Glass fanfiction at some parts of the book. To be fair, all I could think about while reading this book was Queen of Shadows (It shows in this review, which I am writing as I’m reading Queen of Shadows).
Overall, I highly enjoyed this book. Although I did compare this book to Throne of Glass, I have to say this book was perfect for me at the time I was reading it! I enjoyed all of the characters, I LOVED the world, and the writing was very fluid. I HIGHLY recommend this when you’re in your Queen of Shadows reading slump! I CANNOT wait for Ice Like Fire!