Why I chose this book:
A friend highly recommended this book to me. I originally got it as an eARC and then received it as a Secret Santa gift, while I read it as an eARC, I DNF’d it about 20% through, but after a friend, whom I trust greatly where books are concerned, recommended I keep at it, I continued, and in the end I’m glad I did.
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: October 14th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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. (Goodreads)
I really liked the premise of the story. The kingdom of Winter trying to reclaim their people and homeland, while trying to get their magic conduit back makes for an overall exciting read. The concept of it all was awesome, and I really thought it was rich and complex.
My Bookish Mehs:
However, that complex concept was poorly conveyed to the reader. The first 28% of the book was full of long and monotonous info dumps. I seriously thought I would DNF it about three times, but only continued because my friend promised I would regret it later if I stopped. Also, Raasch’s info-dumps were needlessly complex. Yes, Raasch has a pretty complex world makeup, but I don’t think it was so complex as to need absolutely every one of those info-dumps. She could have spaced them out more fluidly, but she didn’t, and that made it hard to keep with it.
Apparently Raasch created the idea for this book when she was very young. I’m talking elementary school, young. Knowing that while reading, I could actually see that. This is a story that has been percolating for a while, almost to the point where she had so much world building and was so excited about it all that she couldn’t help but dump it all on the reader in one fail swoop. She easily could have separated bits of vital information throughout the novel where it was needed and throughout her next installments, but in trying to create a complex elaborate world, she confused me in the beginning with the names (which I generally am fine with) and places and kings and queens that almost didn’t even matter at that point in the book.
My Bookish Loves:
Theron. I LOVED that guy. Mather just was not doing it for me. He was nice and all, but I really like Theron as the love interest. I’m very leery about how the next book will be in terms of the romance, because I really don’t want it to turn out to be a terribly executed love triangle.
I also really really liked her time with a certain group of people come the end of the book. I don’t want to say exactly who these people are because I don’t want to spoil anything, but those few chapters really brought on another dimension to the story. And it was done very well. In my opinion, it was probably the best part of the book.
I was glad I finished this book. It’s most definitely a debut novel, but it had its merits enough to warrant pushing through the info-dumping exposition.
I gave this book 3.5-4 stars (I can’t make up my mind)on my Goodreads.