Pages: 422 pages (hardback)
Genre: YA fantasy – First book in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy.
Goodreads Summary: 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.
What we loved: The concept of having different parts of this world as different seasons is pretty neat. Reading about each kingdom accentuates the good part about each season, and the people fit perfectly inside them. This is especially done well for Winter, which may seem the hardest season to make consistent and appealing. Also, isn’t the cover just lovely?!
What we didn’t: Meira, the main character, spent a little too much time feeling sorry for herself in the beginning-to-early middle section of the book we think.
Characters you’ll be glad you met: Mather and Theron. We loved those two almost as much as we love Peeta and Gale. Almost.
Why we think Hunger Games fans should give it a try: It has a similar scenario where the a girl who is usually underestimated because of where she comes from ends up having a huge impact on the society. We love a good “girl on the rise” story and think you will, too.
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Catch up with the author of Snow Like Ashes, Sara Raasch, at her website.
Check out more Outside Panem reviews here.