Published: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Copy: Publisher via Edelweiss
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
I absolutely loved Snow like Ashes. It was a pure delight to read, from start to finish. One of the things that drew me in immediately was the uniqueness of the world building, and the fact that the 'bad' guys come from a country named Spring. I mean, just the word Spring invokes lightness and brightness and smiles, doesn't it. But this Spring is rotten at its core. Taken with the fact that Winter, where one could reasonable expect things to be 'bad', is in fact the country that has been wronged. The entire world building was so well thought out and executed that it was very easy to fall into the story.
Add to this a wonderful cast of characters and you have the makings of a stellar new fantasy. I loved that the characters had been struggling for so long just to stay alive. Meira is trying so hard to prove her worth as a fighter and I admired her fortitude. There is a wonderful twist in the story, and while I had suspected for several chapters what was really going on, the actual revealing of deception was very well done, and I believed that it had been done with the best of intentions.
A well thought out fantasy with great characters and tense, exciting adventure that should appeal to most fantasy lovers.