Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
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Orphaned Meira, a fierce chakram-wielding warrior from the Kingdom of Winter, must struggle to free her people from the tyranny of an opposing kingdom while also protecting her own destiny.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, 2014
ISBN: 9780062286949
Characteristics: text file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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akzfineart
Dec 02, 2016

Sara Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes was an unexpected gem for me. I was confident I’d enjoy it, but there were definitely some elements that bumped it up to a five star rating. To be honest, my first impression of kingdoms named after seasons felt cheesy, but after reading there’s absolutely nothing cheesy about it. Raasch has this skill to take wholly original ideas, add in incredible writing and create a novel I was hooked onto from the first page. I went into this knowing it was a series and Snow Like Ashes has fixed me onto it; there are a select few books that can do this! Make no mistake, if I enjoy book one, I’ll definitely continue with the series, but I’m not usually fully-engrossed until book two or three.

I loved the writing! Snow Like Ashes was a very fine example of 1st POV; the quality reminded me of Blood Red Road or The Hunger Games. I actually felt like I was in Meira’s head or even that Meira had a camera because everything she saw or experienced was described. I read an article by Rachel Starr Thompson called “How Writers Can Be Storyshowers instead of Storytellers”. To paraphrase, humans used to be storytellers so stories were told, with the majority summarized and action happening from a long-distance view. We really need to be storyshowers; writing in scenes and having our novel rely heavily on scene rather than summary (Thompson). Through talent and hard work, Raasch proves to be a storyshower.

World-building and plot. I felt having ‘winter’ as the protagonist and ‘summer’ the antagonist was an interesting twist. I generally find winter is associated with bleakness, cold and long nights, and in some fantasy worlds winter is not something you want; the protagonist may even be fighting against winter/a winter-themed villain. Raasch provided a refreshing twist on this archetype. Additionally, whenever I had a question about the fantasy world (ex. which kingdoms have female blood-heirs and which have male), it was immediately answered on the next page or chapter. Using the example above, I wasn’t sure whether the Season Kingdoms had all female blood-heirs (as I knew Winter did) and the Rhythm Kingdoms had all male blood-heirs (I knew Cordell did), but this was quickly answered.

Onto our main character, Meira. There’s always something about the protagonist that makes them extraordinary, but a lot of the times it can feel like they were born with this “something”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I sometimes feel like the main character is a hero/heroine before the novel begins. Lineage-wise Meira is ordinary – her parents were peasants, which is about the only thing we know about them (at least in Meira’s POV) – and it’s amazing to observe her go from ordinary to extraordinary. The back of the copy I read described this book as, “a hero in the making” and as I read I could actually believe this. As Meira builds her own destiny, her actions make her extraordinary. Moving on, Meira is a very conflicted character. Her country was destroyed when she was an infant, so she doesn’t feel any emotional attachment to it. This in turn created guilt, and character development like such was just as important as freeing the Kingdom of Winter.

I really truly loved this debut! Tons of action, a conflicted but strong heroine, and great writing had me falling in love with Raasch’s fantasy world. There were some plot twists I did not expect – I’m usually pretty good at figuring out any/all foreshadowing – and there was one type of scene that had me pondering the dynamics/how it could be happening. I couldn’t decide if it was a dream, memory, or some kind of magic involved, but it stood out a lot to me! I’m extremely excited for the sequel, Ice Like Fire and what sort of challenges lie ahead for these characters!

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MelissaYAReader
Aug 16, 2016

​Like many fantasy novels this one has a lot of world building and it takes a while for you to get used to the world Raasch has created. Meira is a fighter. She is strong, determined, and more than a little rash. She longs to prove herself, and free her people. In some ways this novel was predictable--as I saw the ending coming. Still it is a well written and entertaining fantasy for those who love books like Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

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MysticalNightmare
Apr 12, 2016

IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! A must read.

FindingJane Feb 21, 2016

This novel scintillates with its creation of a dazzlingly innovative world, one divided into Seasons (one for summer, fall, winter and spring) and Rhythms (places where all four seasons play out on in the usual annual rotation). It’s a notion of breathtaking design, a truly original kind of worldscape, written by a gifted author of astounding talent.

The novel immerses us in a war-torn landscape, a world out of balance, with slavery, warfare, espionage and extreme wealth sharply contrasted with knuckle-grinding poverty. There isn’t a dull moment to be had here; every sentence and paragraph crackles with energy and tension. In the middle of it all is a powerful heroine, a girl whose power lies in her stubbornness and strength, who eschews soft clothes and idle gossip.

Meira is a splendid character; it almost doesn’t matter that she’s female. That’s not because people look askance at her for her handling of weapons or ability to fight. They don’t, at least not the ones who matter. Her world has been thrown topsy turvy and all the people she knows have been reduced to a hard-scrabble, frontier existence. In such situations, no one sits on their fanny or acts like a pampered royal. Everybody works, doing whatever they can and to the best of their ability. For the most part of the book, Meira’s abilities to fight are no more remarkable than her ability to gather food, lift weights or leap off balconies.

It’s also stimulating to read about her use of the chakram, her weapon of choice. I haven’t seen or read about a woman wielding one since “Xena Warrior Princess” went off the air and to read Meira’s adeptness with this deadly tool is beyond electrifying.

Readers who love strong heroines, ladies who kick ass and take no names, ones who refuse to sit still or be forced to stay behind while the menfolk take care of the hard work are going to adore this series. I, for one, want to know what Meira is going to do once her kingdom is secured. There are difficult times ahead; this novel hasn’t finished taking us on its exciting journey.

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nidofito
Feb 05, 2016

The best part about this book? The love triangle. No, I'm not kidding. It is incredibly adorable and I don't know about you guys but I'm totally TEAM NEW GUY and for me, he is my hero.

As far as the story goes, it's not exceptional but it is pretty sweet. There is some simplicity in the writing but there are a bunch of girl-power moments (both in terms of action, words, and thoughts if that makes sense) that makes you real proud and happy.

Kereesa Oct 21, 2015

I've read better fantasy.

a
ADWithrow
Aug 10, 2015

Started 4/10/2015
Finished 4/11/2015

If how quickly I finished this is any indication.....this was a great book. I was completely sucked in from the get-go.

Meira is a wonderful character. She is smart, strong, willful. I loved her through and through. I wasn't even annoyed with the love triangle aspect of the novel because it made sense. Mather was a great character as well. It will be interesting to see how he develops as the story progresses in later books.

Theron....what to say about Theron. I absolutely fell in love with him. He is wonderful....and I think a much stronger match for Meira than Mather. I liked his vulnerability....and what seemed to be real understanding of the situation Meira was in.

Sir was an odd character for me. I liked him but I never really got a clear picture of him in my head. He was always just this strong (occasionally overbearing) character in the periphery.

I loved....loved....loved the world this is set in. The idea is fabulous and well written. The magic, its usage and power, the segregation of the kingdoms is well thought out and rolls well throughout the story.

I am absolutely looking forward to continuing this series. Sara Raasch has impressed me quite a bit. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone (even if you aren't big into fantasy) as the book is wonderful.

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angellemarcs
Aug 05, 2015

I almost stopped half way through this book. It is very wordy and you sometimes feel bogged down by the history of the world the author has created. Thankfully I made myself continue and for that I found a satisfying story and a well developed society built on magic and power. Its characters are memorable and likeable. Overall, a substantial read filled with loyalty, love, and mystery...

mhoque Jun 04, 2015

A must read for fans of fantasy!!! This is what all YA fantasy books should be like and not the sap garbage of insta-love and contrived love triangles that take over the plot and have little to do fantasy that seem to be all the rage these days...And yes, that's a chakram on the cover. Fans of Xena will not be disappointed.

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blue_dog_8329
Apr 19, 2017

blue_dog_8329 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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navy_wolf_375
Mar 03, 2017

navy_wolf_375 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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akzfineart
Dec 02, 2016

akzfineart thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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ADWithrow
Aug 10, 2015

ADWithrow thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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