Monday, June 9, 2014

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)

Winter is coming! What a phenomenally epic read of momentous proportions!  This book is definitely NOT to be missed!  I cannot sing enough praises for Sara Raasch's Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1).   This one has it all: epic journey, hottie princes and kings, kingdoms to conquer, slaves to free, kick a$$ leading lady with a fiery nature, and a mysterious ancient magic!  Who could ask for anything more?

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads
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.

This story all begins long long ago in a faraway land where Kings and Queens rule the land and have powerful magic that they pass down to their gendered kin.  Everything changes the night Kingdom Winter is conquered and the Winterians are enslaved.  Only 25 are able to escape and one of those 25 is our main character, orphan Meira.  She is feisty, fiery, headstrong, quick-witted, sharp-tongued and always acts like she has something to prove...but I love all that about her!  We also have the strong and silent Winterian General, Sir.  A man of few words who's main goal is to protect the future King, Mather.  Mather is a dashing, strong fighter, with a sense of duty and some serious guilt for being born of the wrong gender to inherit the kingdom magic to free his people.  Through this journey this pack meets up with impossible odds, ruthless leaders, a lofty goal in mind and the courage and strength of an army 10 times the size.   This little group with huge heart goes a long way.  Who doesn't love to root for the underdog that's fighting evil? 

Beyond the main story, Raasch does an exceptional job world building. I mean like WOW!  Descriptions throughout the novel are impeccably well-done and I recall thinking, "I could see this playing out in a movie."  Let me be clear when I say I do NOT think every well done book should be made into a movie, but i could honestly feel the ground tremble during battles and taste the gritty air at the slave encampments and feel the crisp air of Winter. Spectacularly done! 

With twist and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end, Snow Like Ashes is aimed to please!  Think of this as a Game of Thrones, meets Throne of Glass with a hint of Shadow and Bone!  I can't wait to get my hands on book 2!

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