Snow Like Ashes, by Sara Raasch
It’s true. Sara Raasch started writing Snow Like Ashes when she was twelve. Want proof? We hunted down a video of the author holding up the first hand-written draft and took a screenshot. She reads a page from it in the video. We’re convinced. (Isn’t she adorable, btw?)
The decade she took to build this world shows in its magic. And in its politics. We found one reviewer who wrote down all eight territories, along with their rulers and their “conduits” (i.e. special magic items), just to keep them straight. To make things even more complicated, four of the conduits can only be wielded by men, and the other four by women.
(Wait. Is that determined by biological sex or by gender identification? Dunno. We haven’t read it yet. We just now bought it on sale. That’s how we find these deals. We’re actually shopping for ourselves and then telling you about it. Probably because we don’t have enough friends.)
The book has over 47,000 ratings and 6,000 text reviews on Goodreads. To save you some time, we read them all–okay, okay, we skimmed like a page of them–and here are the highlights. (The following numbers have been roughly estimated, using no valid statistical analysis whatsoever. Erin went to math camp when she was twelve. Apparently, she should have been writing books.)
- About 2,060 5-star fans. Neatly summed up by gifs of people waving their hands in the air and screaming.
- About 2,334 4-star fans. Roughly half of these harp on the love triangle, but if it’s good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for us. The other half compare Sara’s flowing prose to Laini Taylor’s, as though that were a bad thing. We freaking love Laini Taylor. We want to have Laini Taylor’s prose’s babies.
- About 1,255 3-star critics who really, really hate love triangles. Okay, we hear you. To each their own.
- A handful of people who despise love triangles with the burning passion of a thousand suns. All love triangles. Ever. (We get it. We just don’t feel the same way. If it’s done well, we’re cool with it.)
Bottom line: If you love epic worlds and Laini Taylor’s prose, this one’s a steal at $1.99.
(Unless you hate love triangles with the burning passion of a thousand suns. In which case, maybe try this one.)
From the Publisher:
A striking fantasy tale of dark magic, dangerous politics, and discovering your true self—perfect for fans of Game of Thrones, An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses.
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. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter 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—only to find 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.