I want to start off by apologising for my absence last week. I was in the Lake District and Wifi there is basically nonexistent!
Anyways this week I want to talk to you all about a book I mentioned in my last post and book haul.
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is a YA High Fantasy novel that imagines a world where countries are divided by the Seasons and the Rhythms. The eight kingdoms of Primoria each posses a magical conduit, items which were forged in a great chasm of magic by the first leaders of the continent before the well was lost forever. Each kingdom uses their piece of power to make their country strong and their people prosperous. So when Winter’s conduit was broken in two, their Queen assassinated and their people enslaved by Spring, Winter’s few remaining survivors face a task so completely impossible that most would give up. Meira is different. Whisked from Winter as a baby in the wake of Spring’s attack, Meira has never felt the cold of her country but still mourns for her people and all that they have lost. In this action packed story following a feisty heroine and her plot to save her world nothing is ever quite what it seems.
I would like to start by saying that the premise of this book is very refreshing despite it’s obvious parallels to ACOTAR (territories divided up by the seasons? Sounds pretty familiar). I would also like to note that Raasch was the first to create a world based on these rules (As far as I know) so we can basically ignore any comparisons to SJ Mass’ book because they are entirely different plots written about entirely different people at entirely different times.
As a whole Raasch’s world building powers in this book were impressive. She, from the start, created a strong back story and history to her land and within that wove cultures and traditions that made the image of it all feel authentic and believable. The plot itself was interesting enough. The key word here being ‘enough’ – Snow Like Ashes was not dazzling or mind bending, it was simply ok. I won’t spoil it for you but at times when reading this book I felt like I was partaking in this weird nine to five job where I basically had to endure a run of the mill YA Rebellion plot that was only slightly different from every other story I have ever read. The thing is with SLA is that yeah, on the surface it is unique and exciting but in reality, in it’s fruition, it truly isn’t a snowflake and there is nothing special about it.
The quality of the writing was comfortable – not fantastical, and the characters were quite cardboard. The saving grace has to be in it’s ending or rather the beginning that comes from it’s ending. If you are interested enough in reading this book that in my opinion was only missing a more slowed down plot progression and a more challenging narrative then I think the majority of your joy will come from SLA’s ending. Definitely let me know if you do read it though or if you already have – I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!
I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Keep on reading!
And thanks again Beth.