Snow Like Ashes was a great introduction to what looks to be an engaging series. The plot was entertaining and quickly paced with some extraordinary world building, but with lackluster twists. The characters were decent but will hopefully improve in later books, as I hope will the writing. I would definitely recommend this book to those who are new to fantasy since it’s a simple, yet engaging plot. It was enjoyable enough for me to want to continue with the series!
Snow Like Ashes follows our protagonist Meira, an orphaned Winter refugee. Meira and a few other survivors including the King of Winter, Mather. Sixteen years ago Winter was conquered by Spring, a Season who’s ruler wants nothing more than power and uses his magic for evil. It is up to Meira and the rest of the refugees to find the broken conduit pieces, restore their magic, take revenge upon the King of Spring, and save their people.
I read quite a few positive reviews for this book and the synopsis sounded incredible. I knew I had to read this book, especially since the final book was just released!
“Fear is a seed that, once planted, never stops growing.”
The story was super easy to get into and I never wanted to put it down; I was captivated from the very first chapter. The plot was intriguing, yet simple, and I just wanted to find out what happened to the people of Winter and if they were going to get their country back.
The plot was fast-pasted; never a dull moment. Not to mention all the information dumped on us in just this one book. There is so much going on. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the info-dumping wasn’t annoying, didn’t slow down the story, or make it uninteresting. I just kept wanting to know more. All that information was a bit confusing at first but it all makes sense by the end.
The descriptions of everything including the locations and battles were spot-on. They were never over the top or under done. I thought they were amazing!
“I wanted a life of my own, a life where I could feel myself being a part of Winter. And that, to me, came though fighting for it.”
One thing that upset me about the book was the big “twist”. I knew what it was going to be from the very first chapter. Spoiler I knew Meira was actually the Queen, not once did I ever think it was actually Mather. Spoiler Maybe it wasn’t really a twist and we were supposed to know that from the beginning. Anyway, it seriously bothered me because I love having the WTF moments while reading and I just missed it in this one. The other twist I thought was awesome but wasn’t anything huge. Spoiler Meira is actually the conduit, she doesn’t need the necklace. Spoiler I thought this was interesting and would like to know where this goes.
The love-triangle was also annoying and wasn’t done very well, which distracted from the story. I wish it would have at least been better. We just get two teenage boys who are jealous of each other and fight over Meira. It was irritating. However, I have seen worse.
Other than the twists and love-triangle, I really enjoyed the plot and thought it was a well thought out, engaging story. It even had a good ending that was actually wrapped up nicely. I don’t have that need to pick up the next book right away (though I will anyway).
The biggest thing this book has going for it is the incredible world! It. Is. Amazing. There are eight kingdoms within Primora. The four Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, as well as the four Rhythms: Cordell, Ventralli, Yakim, Paisly. Now the Seasons enjoy eternal weather associated with that season; if you live in Winter than winter it will always be, whereas the Rhythm kingdoms cycle through the seasons like normal. Some of our months are even capitals within these kingdoms including Januarri and Abril, which I thought was neat. I just love the theme of behind this book.
“That’s why literature is so fascinating. It’s always up for interpretation, and could be a hundred different things to a hundred different people. It’s never the same thing twice.”
The people from each kingdom are very different in appearance, which allows others to tell where you come from. For example, Winterians have very pale skin and white hair. I thought this was intriguing and a great addition to this world. I love it when there is some diversity, instead of everyone looking similar.
The history of the world was well-done and interesting as well. I can’t wait to learn more about the Primora and its history.
I have mixed feelings about Meira. I hate that she had a crush on another character from the very first page of the novel. Her infatuation with him was incredibly annoying and I almost wanted to put the book down. She is also overconfident. Even though others fail, she believes she will succeed, and though she can only fight from a distance she still believes she will be of some help. I just didn’t like this aspect of her character. She was just too set on wanting to help, which foreshadowed the twist towards the end. It just gave it away. However, I did like that she was a total bad-ass and never the damsel in distress. She was strong, confident, and talented, but she also had her flaws. Towards the end of the book, I started liking her a bit more. I am hoping to develop much more of a connection to her in the following books.
Mather was a character that was just kind of there to be the love interest of Meira. He just didn’t have a purpose, other than being the soldier. I hope there will be more to him later on.
Sir has to be my favorite character because of how he acts. He plays his role very well and I hate that he rarely shows any love to Meira (for good reason), but when he does it sure is a good moment. I wish his personality was a bit more, though. He was at least the only person I really felt for in the novel, especially once something terrible happened.
“Sometimes placing our belief in something bigger than ourselves helps us get to a point where we can be enough on our own, magic or no magic.”
There was also Theron, who we are introduced to later on and I really liked him because we learn more about him than a lot of the other characters in such a short time. However, I thought he was just too similar to Mather, despite his differing interests.
Angra, the villain, wasn’t nearly as interesting as he could have been. He definitely needs some more development as well as a multidimensional personality to make him more interesting.
Hopefully, in the next couple of books, the characters develop more of a personality and I can really connect with them. They were okay in this one, but I really want more.
I thought the writing was okay. Being written in first-person never bothers me, but there was just something off about it. I guess at times it just felt kind of short and choppy. Hopefully, it will flow better in the next book.
Love the cover. It’s almost perfect! It just doesn’t tell the series name or number anywhere on the book, but it’s just gorgeous. On a side note, I also don’t like that the series is named after the first book.