Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)

Author: Sara Raasch
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 3 Stars

Snow Like Ashes is one of the most popular books on tumblr, so I've had my eye on it for a while.  I picked it up because it sounded like the recipe for a perfect book and the cover was gorgeous.  Well, as much as I liked it, I don't think it lived up to all the hype, which ended up hurting the book.

Snow Like Ashes follows Meira, one of the few remaining survivors of Winter that is still free.  The rest are either dead, or enslaved by Spring.  Among the other free Winterians is Mather, the king.  He, and the rest of their group, is searching for the pieces of the locket that gave their queen, Mather's mother, power.  The catch: even if he does get the remaining pieces of the locket, he won't be able to use it.

First off, this immediately reminded me of Finnikin of the Rock, which is a fantastic book, and the Throne of Glass series, which is also very fantastic.  If you like either of those books, you'll probably be drawn to this one.  The concept of the book was very cool, I loved the idea of eight kingdoms, four of them governed by the seasons, and the residents of the four season kingdoms looking like their season.  It was very cool and that aspect was well done, finding beauty and horror in all the seasons (at least, thematically).  I also liked the story that was being told.

My biggest two problems are world-building and character-wise.  The world just felt strange I guess. Nothing felt like it was a realistic distance from each other, and looking at the map in the front of the book confused things even more.  I didn't get why four of the kingdoms would touch, then three others would touch, and there would be one random one way off, all surrounding a giant mass of land.  The length with which they traveled this giant mass was way too fast, too, meaning that the kingdoms would be super tiny, according to the map, which was not the idea I got from the book, though I suppose it's never stated otherwise at any point.  Also, the magic system, while it made sense, wasn't as fleshed out as I would have liked it.  I do think my world-building problems could come from the fact that I've been reading a lot of epic fantasy lately, and am a little bit of a snob in that regard- I love worlds where every single piece seems realistic and you know everything from flora and fauna to family trees (you get the idea).

Character-wise, I didn't dislike any of the characters, per say, I just didn't connect with any of them.  There were moments where I totally got Meira and liked her a lot, and then moments where I was rather distant from her.  The side characters weren't as fleshed out as I would have liked, but the amount of screen time dedicated to them didn't really advocate for them to need such in-depth characters.  I wouldn't call it a weakness of the book, but, like with the world building, it was slightly annoying.

The most problematic part, by far, was the forced love triangle.  Normally I don't mind a love triangle, in fact, I tend to like them.  However, I can't stand any sort of relationship that just has no chemistry, and none of the romantic relationships in this book had any chemistry.  Meira and Mather made some sense, though they never seemed, outside Meira's inner thoughts, to have a connection.  Same with Meira and Theron, though there was one spot where I thought it was somewhat romantic.  The whole time it was killing me that this was part of the plot at all.

Outside of that, though, it was worth the read and I'm glad I read it.  Check it out if you're a fan of YA fantasy, since you'll probably enjoy it.


  1. Great review! I've been thinking of trying this one, too.

    1. It's a decent read. I wasn't a huge fan, but it's also one of those books where if you think it sounds appealing you should really give it a try.

  2. I read this book last year and really didn't like it for some of the reasons you've mentioned here. I didn't like Meira at all! Like you, I couldn't get on board with the love triangle either. The whole geography and even the names of the kingdoms were just strange to me! I'm glad to hear you still liked it somewhat though!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. I want to try and read the next book in the series if only because I'm curious to see if it will redeem itself. Thanks for stopping by!


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