By: Larissa | September 22, 2014 | (23) Comments

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Pages: 432
Source: Received in exchange for review
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A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

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.

Snow Like Ashes immediately caught my attention with its gorgeous cover. I found the insides of Snow Like Ashes  just as beautiful as the outside. The descriptions of the kingdoms in Snow Like Ashes  easily created pictures of mind. By the end of the story I had a pretty clear picture of the worlds described in the story, along with the complex magic interwoven with the kingdoms. I can’t wait to see more of the worlds Sara has created in future installments.

However as much as I adored the world building, there were moments where it really brought down the story. Especially in the beginning, I felt bombarded with information, mostly in the form of lengthy info dumps. Though I enjoyed learning about the kingdoms I felt like there could have been more balance with the descriptions. Having so many info dumps in the beginning made the pacing quite slow to begin with. I can see why some would have difficulty with getting into the story with all over the overwhelming information. As the story went on the lengthy descriptions were lessened though, and I hope this trend continues in other books. I think it’s good to have solid world building, but not the point when the only thing in a story is info dump.

No matter what happens, no matter who turns on me, no matter what pompous swine thinks he has power over me, I AM STILL ME.

I will always be ME.

Meira’s narration was quite enjoyable and felt very natural. I feel like she goes through a lot of growth throughout the story and really matures. In the beginning I would definitely call her reckless  and a bit of a brat, but by the end of the story I felt like she truly grew as a character. I was cheering for her as Meira kicked some serious ass with her chakram, this is one girl that definitely doesn’t need some man to save her from dangerous situations. I also enjoyed how loyal and passionate that Meira was regarding the Kingdom of Winter. Her undying need to save the people of Winter never wavers, even when hope seems slim to none. I find that really admirable in a character.

There is a love triangle in this one. The two love interests involved didn’t bother me on their own, however I feel like they could be developed further. This is something I’d especially like to see in future installments. I feel like there was a lot of unexplored potential in them. For the love triangle itself, by the end of the story it seems fairly obvious which love interest Meira will choose. I’m okay with her decision, it does make the most sense. Also the love interest she chooses seems like he’s a lot more complex of a character.  I honestly feel like the love triangle could have been cut out of Snow Like Ashes  and instead one of the love interests could just be a platonic friendship. It would have made some of the more angst-y moments a lot more tolerable. There was one scene in particular where I felt myself rolling my eyes and wondering why this was all so necessary. I really do hope the love triangle will not be brought up in the sequels because by the end of Snow Like Ashes  it seems fairly conclusive.

There was a twist in the ending that looking back on it, should have been pretty obvious. However, I didn’t manage to guess it prior to learning about it. I felt as though it was well done and there were some hints dropped throughout the book so it didn’t just come out of the blue. The ending itself felt conclusive enough where this book could stand on its own, but there was still room for continuation. There wasn’t an evil cliffhanger in the middle of all of the action which was nice.  The twist really does set up the plot for the other books in the series and I can’t wait to see where Sara goes with the plotline. I feel like Snow Like Ashes  is just the beginning and there’s just so much exploration to be done for this world. There are some who would compare this book to Throne of Glass, though I personally wouldn’t put the two books on the same level at this point in time. I think Snow Like Ashes has the potential to however grow into a sprawling fantasy that would rival Throne of Glass with future installments.

Overall I would say that Snow Like Ashes is a pretty good fantasy debut and I’ll eagerly be waiting the following sequels.

~Thank you HarperCollins Canada for the review copy~

3.5 Stars
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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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23 Responses to Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

  1. Zoe N. says:

    YEAH! Larissa’s approval! Ha! 😀 This is a really anticipated read for me, so I am so glad to hear you liked it so much! 🙂

    The world-building sounds quite intriguing; and I’m really excited to experience it for myself. It’s a shame you felt a bit bombarded with information at first, but it sounds like it smooths out as you go along. 🙂

    And Meira sounds like a wonderful protagonist. I always like it when a narration sounds natural and personable because it makes it feel like you’re talking to the character and feeling their emotions, you know? But she sounds like a strong heroine and I can’t wait to see her kick some serious butt here! 😉

    The love triangle sounds a bit daunting, but I suppose I’ll let it go (*tries so hard not to start singing…) since it seems to be one of the more well-developed ones in the genre.

    Thanks for sharing Larissa, and, as always, FANTASTIC review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…Salt & StormMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Haha! c: It was quite anticipated for me too. I MEAN LOOK AT THE COVER.

      Yeah the world building was interesting to say the least. I felt so divided, it did paint a clear picture but sometimes it was just too much and came across as info dumping.

      Meira would definitely annoy some, but I was able to look past her faults and really appreciate her growth as the story went on. I think it’s key when reading to really get a perspective on characters and even though one may not be the best at first, most stories are about that journey said character goes on in order to be better.

      LOL! Gotta love Frozen [; Yeah the love triangle was quite worrisome but by the end I liked where it was heading.

      Thank ya Zoe <333 Miss you to the moon and back

  2. Hmmm… I don’t like love triangles at all but Meira sounds like my kind of heroine. So I might give this one a try.

  3. I felt very similar about this one. I think the next books will continue to improve. I actually preferred the love interest that seems less likely 🙁 great review!
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Stacking the ShelvesMy Profile

  4. I’m a bit disappointed by the love triangle, even if it isn’t a drawn out, torturous one. I just expected more from this in the romance department. I’m starting it this weekend. Hopefully I’ll like it at least as much as you did.
    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted…Review: ResistanceMy Profile

  5. Giselle says:

    I feel the same way towards fantasy a lot of the time – overwhelmed with all the info that’s meant to build the world but only bogs me down. I have heard great things about this one overall but I’m still not convinced it would be for me. I do like that it feels like a stand alone at the end. Too many books now either have no progression or end way too openly and we need to wait until book 2 to get more. And by that time I’ve usually forgotten all those details anyways! Great review, Larissa! 🙂
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin TalleyMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah it’s a really tough situation, I do think balance is a key component for me to enjoy a good fantasy though. I think you would have to be in the right mood for you to enjoy this one Giselle. I feel like this one could be a standalone, but I don’t want it to be that way. I want to explore more of the world Sara has created. I totally agree with you on books that seem just to be set-ups for sequels though.

      Thank you <33

  6. I actually thought this was a dystopian….bad me! Judging purely off the covers. >_< I DO like me some epic fantasy, except info dumps? I'm not a fan. I like the information given slowly but enough to make sense so you don't spend most of the floundering in a world they haven't explained *sigh*. I'd be tempted to try this one still, though! Meira sounds awesome. Except, well, love triangle. Bleh. I'm sooo tired of them. 🙁
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini || burn all the things!My Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Lol that’s what it’s says according to goodreads but ehhhh. It felt more fantasy than dystopian to me. Yeah there’s a particular balance that needs to be struck with worldbuilding and sadly I think that balance wasn’t found until nearer the end. Meira was a pretty cool girl c: And yeah the love triangle didn’t bother me as much as excepted which was pretty nice

  7. I LOVED this book. All this stars to Snow Like Ashes, lol! The twist should have been obvious, but I’m blind as a bat, apparently.
    Samantha @ Bookish Serendipity recently posted…{Questioning AUTHORity} Author N. H. SenzaiMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yay! I’m so glad you loved it, I can really see myself growing to love this series. LOL I totally agree with the twist, looking back on it the twist was sooooo obvious.

  8. Fantastic review, Larissa! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one – I’ve been waiting for it nearly all year. I’m so glad to hear that the world builiding is spot on and that the inside is just as beautiful as the outside. It sounds as though this is a very good book for a debut and is one that sets the story for the sequels perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing! 😀
    Ebony @ Daring Damsels recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #20 – Books On My Spring TBRMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you! c: This one was really an anticipated read of mine too. I hope it ends up impressing you too. It’s a pretty promising start to the series and I’m pretty excited for the sequels. Thank you for the lovely comment <33

  9. Lyn Kaye says:

    *flailing* I AM SO READY FOR THIS ONE.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: The Fine Art of PretendingMy Profile

  10. Melanie says:

    OOH I a twist at the end? OKay now I need to go back and finish this book. I dunno why but I took so long to plough through this one–I only ended up half way through after a week .-.

    Lovely review as always, girl <33

  11. Kelly says:

    Kristy from Book Nerd Reviews mentioned this one to me the other day, she planned on reading it on the weekend just gone as well. I’m not generally a big fan of fantasy, but I can’t go past a kick ass heroine who knows how to get the job done and Meira sounds awesome. There’s only one thing worse that triangles, info dumps. I don’t understand why authors feel the need to give readers ALL the information all at once. It shits me up the wall. Why! WHHHHY! *shakes fist in threatening manner*

    Awesome review poppet, I might give this one a go actually just to see how kick ass Meira is <3
    Kelly recently posted…The Infinite Sea by Rick YanceyMy Profile

  12. Larissa says:

    I wasn’t always a big fantasy fan but lately I’ve been totally adoring the genre. Meira really does show her talent in Snow Like Ashes: emotionally, physical and mentally. Yeah really, too much information can just overload my brain and make me want to stop reading. Think that’s what happened to Mel when she tried reading thus one.

    Thank you Kelly <33

  13. Amber Elise says:

    Love triangles seem to ALWAYS come back. This one sounds really good, the only thing I’m worried about the love triangle.

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

  14. Valerie says:

    I’M GLAD YOU LIKED IT LARISSA~

    To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the cover, which is why I haven’t picked it up yet. But I think you’ve convinced me that this is a better read than I thought it would be. GAH I wish I liked the cover hahahah!
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #26My Profile

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