Before I get into this review I want to mention that I think I am burning out on fantasy novels. I've read so much recently that I think I need a break because I'm not impressed with things I think I normally would like a great deal. I think Snow Like Ashes is one of the books that suffers from this fantasy burnout.
Snow Like Ashes is a debut by Sara Raasch that is a high fantasy young adult fiction series. In this series we deal with 8 different kingdoms (4 rhythm, 4 seasons) whom all possess magic but the ruler of Spring is hellbent on destroying Winter and possibly all the other kingdoms once he gets the chance. The story is told in the perspective of a young Winterian refugee whom feels like she doesn't belong and doesn't have any worth. The novel encapsulates her journey as she starts piecing together the true history of her people.
I loved the world building in this novel! Finally I could live in a world where it could be fall all the time, who wouldn't want that? I did want to know a bit more about Summer and the other Rhythm Kingdoms that were only briefly mentioned. I know this is a series so maybe this will come to the surface in the next book. I also loved that the people that lived in different seasons had a certain look to them. Raasch's writing style and the intriguing plot was what kept me hanging on to find out what was going to happen.
So why didn't I rate this novel higher? Well, because I just wasn't connecting with the heroine Meira. I felt at times she was really childish and I just couldn't find myself liking her at all. I do think she has some great character development towards the end when you find out the truth about her lineage; however, I saw it coming seven chapters earlier. I think maybe I just had too high expectations. Maybe it was the chakram on the cover, but she didn't come off as Xena Warrior Princess as I wanted her to be.
Quotes I loved:
"The world is full of lovely people, Meira. I belt somewhere there is an Autumnian girl wanting to have skin the color of snow just as you want skin the color of the earth."
"I never wanted to be king." Theron's voice is low and quick, cutting through me with urgency. "I wanted to sit in my library and write until the sun fell from the sky."This book was a challenge for me and I'm still pretty conflicted on whether or not I actually liked it. I mean I did, but I didn't at the same time. I don't know what I would prefer: a well-written, thought out novel but I just can't connect with the character, or a subpar plotted book with a character that drives the story. I'm not sure which I would prefer, that's a tough one.
But just because I'm torn with this novel doesn't mean others won't like it. I think a lot of readers will enjoy this book. I think for me this was on a personal level and I'm sure if I related to Meira better I would be saying otherwise. I would still recommend this book, the world building and the writing will keep your interest.
Happy Reads Everyone!