Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch | Book Review

Snow Like AshesSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

4.5 Stars= Amazing

Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young-Adult
Series Status: Snow Like Ashes #1
Page Count: 416
Source & Format: Bought, Hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

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Ahem. Before we start can I please just stare at this book’s cover? Seriously, I love it so much. 😛

Hello everyone! Today I have for you a review on a book I recently re-read; Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. I first read this book way back at the beginning of 2015, and with the release of the second book, I decided to re-read this book—and I don’t regret it one bit.

Reading Snow Like Ashes the first time was a magical experience, one that I loved and fell in love with, and re-reading it didn’t diminish that at all, if anything, just reminded me how awesome this book is. Seriously, I haven’t talked about this book enough on my blog, and I’m here to remedy that right now by giving you a feel-filled review on it! Be warned that may be a lot of rambling and fangirling. Of course, you’re all used to that by now, right?

Let’s get on with it!

Plot

Oktuber was a maze of rickety barns and tents in maroon, azure, and sunshine orange, with the crystalline blue sky gleaming above, a sharp and beautiful contrast to the kingdom’s earth tones. But it was the Autumnians themselves who left me gaping—they were beautiful.

Ahhhh the plot! Where do I even start? Well, the basics of course; I really loved the plot. I’m deducting half a star because the story did have a couple iffy not-so-stellar parts, and had several bouts of info-dumping which kind of left me confused for a while, but overall it was so well-written, I hardly could stop reading—and I already knew what was going to happen!

I also have to mention the plot twists were spot-on, I remember the first time I read this book I was able to guess at a few, but there were some that completely blew me away. I was so invested in the story! Sara Raasch has a beautiful mix of romance, action and the whole theme of self-discovery thing going on, and it made for a wonderful adventure.

As a side note, may I just say that the world-building was on point? Snow Like Ashes is set in a world centered around the four seasons. Already I’m like, how cool is that? It’s not often I see something like this, and Sara Raasch handled it with style. Although sometimes I was a bit lost with the various bouts of info-dumping at the start as I mentioned above, I caught on pretty quickly as the story went on and I fell in love with this world! Magic, kingdoms, seasons; what more could you ask for?

Characters

This is where the fangirling really comes in, guys. Not only can the main character, Meira, completely kick-butt, there were so many other characters who interested me and brought out all the emotions.

“I wanted a life of my own, a life where I could feel myself being a part of Winter. And that, to me, came though fighting for it.”

You go, girl! Meira, as I said, can completely kick-butt. Not only that, she is simply so awesome. I empathized so much with her heartbreaking tale of wanting to be herself and have a place in Winter’s kingdom, to make an impact. I understood her struggle of fighting to get Sir’s approval, needing it yet not wanting to need it. I admired her perseverance in the face of challenges and the weight of others. She reminded me so much of Celaena from Throne of Glass… yet not. They’re both really similar but still both different. Of course, I love them both!

“No matter what happens, no matter who turns on me, no matter what pompous swine thinks he has power over me, I am still me. I will always be me.”

Although there is also romance in the novel, Meira’s goals came first. Her fight to stay true to herself is was what took dominance, and that was wonderfully portrayed. Fear not, of course, there is definitely romance, but I loved how it didn’t take up the whole thing.

Moving on to Mather, another one of our characters and one of Meira’s love interests. Yes, one of. There is a love triangle in this book, one that I will happily say I didn’t mind. Mather was a really interesting character, and I really liked Mather’s and Meira’s relationship. Kind of a forbidden love thing theme going on, except the love is not openly acknowledged. However, there is a certain someone I’m kind of leaning towards as well…

Theron is the name of our second love interest! It’s not insta-love, and it’s not even full-out love between him and Meira, but there are definitely sparks and I really love his character!! *Swoon* He understands Meira so well (not that Mather doesn’t, but you know what I mean) and his ambitions and dreams really made him into someone I love. Currently I’m loving both him and Mather so much; I just can’t wait to see more of them in the next book.

Last, but not least, a little insight on the other characters; Sara Raasch sure knows how to have your emotions in a twist! My thoughts on Sir must’ve changed a thousand times, from angry, to confused, to frustrated to understanding, and that’s without counting the other characters! There was a variety of people we meet throughout the course of this book, who make reading this book a thrilling experience.

Writing Style

“One flake falls, twisting down through the empty sky. One frozen speck of snow. Then another, and another, and before I know it the roads will be covered in dozens of distinct flakes. All these little pieces combining to create one giant, volatile snowstorm, something beautiful and dangerous and epic.”

The writing was simply fantabulous! It allowed the readers to create vivid and clear images in our heads of this world we’re in, and I simply fell in love. Reading it for the second time only re-introduced me to this beautiful writing! Even through the info-dumping I mentioned above, the writing made it so it wasn’t too confusing, even if a few things flew over my head. Also, there was no cliffhanger in this book, which in itself is pretty rare these days. (Not that I begrudge authors using cliffhangers—you have to admit, they’re pretty handy!) The ending was written perfectly, wrapped up enough to have me satisfied, but not too much so that I’m no longer interested in continuing the story. (And let’s be real here, given how much I loved this book, even if the ending was terrible, I would definitely not abandon this series!)

Overall…

Go read this. Now. Especially if you like fantasy! Or Sarah J. Maas‘s books! Or anything magical and amazing! I can almost 100% assure you that you will love this book. There are themes of being true to yourself and persevering in times of difficulty. There is a world full of magic and beautiful descriptions. There are characters you will fall in love with. All in all, a must-read! I can’t stress enough how much you should go pick this up. 🙂

A little wrap-up of everything I’ve said:

  • the story is addicting
  • the world-building is amazing
  • Meira is a wonderful character with spunk and personality
  • Mather and Theron are both great love interests and characters
  • the writing was engaging and full of beautiful descriptions

So, the final question. Do I recommend this? That’s a big YES from me!!


Discussion time! What do you think of this novel? Have you read it? Do you want to read it? What expectations do you have for it? Let me know in the comments below!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Why Do You Re-Read? | Book Snacks Babbles

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since my previous Book Snacks Babbles post, but here I am back again with a discussion post! In case you didn’t know, here’s a little blurb of what Book Snacks Babbles is all about.

Book Snacks Babbles is an original discussion feature here at Book Snacks where I talk about all things bookish! For more info, check out my intro post here

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Why Do You Re-Read

This topic kind of suddenly hit me the other day. There is a lot of things I can mention about re-reading, but I’m going to be focusing specifically on why do we reread books? We all know there are pros and cons to it, but we all have our reasons for rereading books (or for nor rereading books at all). Here are some of my different situations where re-reading might be needed!

  • I hardly remember what happened in the first book, and the sequel is being released soon.

    This is one of the most common reasons for me. I can occasionally have very bad memory when it comes to previous books I’ve read in a series (especially if it was a while ago), and often times when there’s a newer book being released in the series, I re-read the first books to refresh my memory. Sometimes I’m lucky to start a series after all the books have been released, but a lot of the times I’m placed in a situation where I have to wait for another book to be released, and I reread the series in the mean time.

    Some examples for me would be the Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. I remember reading those series several times as I waited almost a year for the books to be released. 🙂

  • I loved this book!

    This one’s pretty self-explanatory! Sometimes there’s just those books that you simply loved so much, that you want to reread it just for the fun of it.

    Examples include… almost every book I loved? I’m only half-kidding. Re-reading books I love was something I loved to do years back. I don’t do it as much these days since I have so many books to read, but yeah. I can’t think of any off the top of my head!

  • I read this book a long time ago, and I really want to read it again.

    I don’t think this particular kind of case has happened to me in a while, but there are definitely times where there was this one (or several) book I read a very long time ago, and I remember enjoying it, or I can’t fully remember what happened, so I read it again.

    One example for me here would be the Harry Potter series. I first read it when I was quite young, and of course, since HP is timeless, I have re-read the books several times over the years.

  • The movie is being released soon.

    Yes, this is a reason! Sometimes there’s a movie being released for a book I’ve read a long time ago, and I can’t help but reread it before the movie is released. Or maybe I’m watching a book-to-film adaptation of a movie that’s already released, and I’ll reread the book. I don’t always do this, but I did do this before and I’m sure I can’t be the only one… right? I’m not sure whether I can truly identify the logic behind this… I guess I just want to book fresh in my mind for comparison?

    An example for me would be The Maze Runner. I watched the movie after it left theaters, and a few days before I watched it, I finished reading the book. I think I liked the movie more, but I’m not even sure anymore haha.

  • I don’t feel like reading anything new, so I read some old favorites.

    Sometimes there are no new books that are suiting my mood, so I simply re-read an old favorite to get myself back into the reading game! This can work for reading slumps too. After all, if you’re in no mood to read, what better way to try and fix the slump than to pick up a book you know you loved before?

    An example for me would be when I reread The Infernal Devices. At the time I couldn’t find anything that really suited my moods, call it a sort of slump if you will, and so I picked up TID, and binge-read the series. Needless to say, I loved it and I got back on track after that! (Of course, this doesn’t work all the time, but it’s definitely one of the re-reading scenarios!)

  • I don’t have any new reading material.

    This hardly happens anymore, but this is a possibility! Sometimes you simply have nothing new to read, no recent library books, no new ebooks, nothing. Only a bunch of books you’ve already read before. So the natural thing to do, of course, you re-read the books you have! I mean, there are just times where you have no new books. Sad, but it happens. (Of course, the opposite is true more often… too many new books!) At least we have a solution. 😉

    An example for me would be Divergent. I usually always have new reading material, especially as of late, but in my younger years, I didn’t have as much of a book collection, and so I reread the few books I owned when I didn’t have new books. At the time, Divergent was the one I chose!

  • I didn’t like reading the book the first time, but I want to give it another try.

    There are always some books I simply don’t like. After I finish them, I find they’re just not for me. But rereading them may change the original opinion. Although I myself haven’t gotten around to this kind of re-reading recently, I definitely want to try re-reading Matched one day (not anytime soon though, for sure) and see if I like it better. Or maybe even Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

  • I want to see if my opinions have changed on the book from the first time.

    This is kind of like the reason I mentioned above, but it’s different because this is more of rereading to simply see if my opinion has changed towards a particular book, instead of re-reading with the hope of having a different opinion. I don’t do this often, in fact, I can’t really think of an example on the spot, but I do know that I have considered rereading the Twilight series in the past, to see if I still like it as much as I did back in middle school.


So these are the main reasons why I imagine I and other people would reread books! Tell me; what do you think? Are you a re-reader? Which one of these reasons apply most to you? Don’t feel shy to let me know below, I love to chat and hear people’s thoughts! Just get comfy, and let’s babble!

Until the Next Meal, Analee