Genre: Young-Adult, High Fantasy
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1 (Trilogy)
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Sixteen years ago, the kingdom of Winter was invaded by Spring. Only a few people escaped while most were killed and the rest were enslaved. Now, only eight of the refugees remain. One of them is Meira.
Meira was only an infant when Winter was invaded. She doesn’t remember her home but she desperately wishes to feel like she belongs. The way to do that, for her, is by contributed as much as she can to fighting against Spring and freeing the enslaved Winterians. She’s willing to anything to save her people, even if she is a mere peasant’s daughter. She’s strong and she’s willing to fight.
And yes, Meira is not the first female protagonist who wants to fight for her kingdom. But she’s different in the sense that she’s well-trained, but not perfect at everything. She’s determined but she’s still just a teenage girl who will make mistakes. I found her character to be refreshing in that. Because usually we either get incompetent yet arrogant, or perfect and arrogant. Meira is not arrogant. She’s simply aware of her strengths and unwilling to back down. I liked her.
Another thing I liked were the kingdoms. Sure, we’ve read the season kingdom thing before. But this book had normal kingdoms as well as the seasonal ones. And there’s a reason given for why the season kingdoms are the way that they are.
Also, a love triangle was introduced (which is always a huge fucking NO! for me) but it was quickly resolved with very little drama. Of course, there was that dick measuring contest scene that I serious did not appreciate, and the author seemed to be trying to make Meira look special by two princes being in love with her even though, contrary to popular belief, a woman’s worth is not defined by the amount of guys who want to bone her. She can be important and special all on her own, thank you very much.
That was one of my biggest complaints with the novel. Along with it being quite predictable. Seriously, if you’re a YA fantasy reader, you will not be surprised by many of the revelations. The biggest one, about Meira, was actually so expected that I actually laughed.
Other than that, it reminded me of Falling Kingdoms when it came to how conveniently unexplained some of the things were. Imagine someone breaking into the royal palace and the author just forgetting to explain the details of how that was done. There were some details, but not nearly enough. It’s something I think will get better like the writing did. It’s a classic new-YA-fantasy-author characteristic.
Overall, the book had its ups and downs. It helped me, finally and fully, understand why Dumbledore had to die. I liked the world and the characters, but wasn’t fond of other things that will surely get better as the author writes more. It’s a promising start for the series. Worth checking out.