Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes

Book - 2014
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Orphaned Meira, a fierce chakram-wielding warrior from the Kingdom of Winter, must struggle to free her people from the tyranny of an opposing kingdom while also protecting her own destiny.
Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062286925
Branch Call Number: FICTION Raa
Description: 422 pages : map ; 22 cm


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Jul 23, 2018

This book is very capturing and great for young teenagers. The story is nice and the writing is very descriptive. There is a lot of action and adventure. The characters have very diverse personalities as well. Not one of my favourite books but I would recommend to some younger teens.

daniellevk_0 Feb 22, 2018

This is a good story about a fallen kingdom getting back their kingdom and power and fighting against the other kingdom who brought them down in the first place. I really cheered for the main character because she is strong and cares for her kingdom. She wants to fight and really wants to make a difference.

Feb 01, 2018

This is one of the best books I have read in a while; the storyline in intriguing, the characters immediately steal your heart, and the writing style is simple enough that it does not provide a challenge, but poetic enough to enthrall you with every word. I could hardly put this book down. Amazing, I would definitely recommend checking this one out!
Note for parents: Although this book is a very great story, there is one scene near the end of the story where Meira, the main character, is taken captive by the king, and later one of the king's men throws her on his bed, crawls on top of her and hints at trying to rape her. Now, it is not in detail and I would not judge the entire story by this one part, but I am just putting a warning out to parents to just be aware of this if this is being read by a younger reader. But once again, this story is incredible, and I loved it!

kirstd31 Jan 22, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. A great fantasy adventure.

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 08, 2017

Interesting read. Fun, if superficial.

I found Snow Like Ashes to be an action-packed story with Meira and Theron being the most filled out, but it felt like character building and world building were second to action. Even as I've finished this within minutes, I've already forgotten the names of Meira's fellow exiles and their relationship to her. I'm unclear on why these particular people escaped or even their relationships to each other. I don't understand why the Rhythm kingdoms feel the Season kingdoms are barbarians or why magic is tied to a specific sex. In fact, there was a lot left out on the magic front, like the author hadn't quite worked it out herself. That said, there's plenty of action, the good guys are clearly delineated from the bad guys, and generally it's a fun read.

MelifluousView Nov 03, 2017

Meira's struggle to fight for and be connected to a home that she has never known was an interesting part of her story. There were twists I anticipated, but twists I did not in Meira's story. I flew through the book and enjoyed it thoroughly! I'm still thinking about the kingdoms that stay one season year round.

Dec 02, 2016

Sara Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes was an unexpected gem for me. I was confident I’d enjoy it, but there were definitely some elements that bumped it up to a five star rating. To be honest, my first impression of kingdoms named after seasons felt cheesy, but after reading there’s absolutely nothing cheesy about it. Raasch has this skill to take wholly original ideas, add in incredible writing and create a novel I was hooked onto from the first page. I went into this knowing it was a series and Snow Like Ashes has fixed me onto it; there are a select few books that can do this! Make no mistake, if I enjoy book one, I’ll definitely continue with the series, but I’m not usually fully-engrossed until book two or three.

I loved the writing! Snow Like Ashes was a very fine example of 1st POV; the quality reminded me of Blood Red Road or The Hunger Games. I actually felt like I was in Meira’s head or even that Meira had a camera because everything she saw or experienced was described. I read an article by Rachel Starr Thompson called “How Writers Can Be Storyshowers instead of Storytellers”. To paraphrase, humans used to be storytellers so stories were told, with the majority summarized and action happening from a long-distance view. We really need to be storyshowers; writing in scenes and having our novel rely heavily on scene rather than summary (Thompson). Through talent and hard work, Raasch proves to be a storyshower.

World-building and plot. I felt having ‘winter’ as the protagonist and ‘summer’ the antagonist was an interesting twist. I generally find winter is associated with bleakness, cold and long nights, and in some fantasy worlds winter is not something you want; the protagonist may even be fighting against winter/a winter-themed villain. Raasch provided a refreshing twist on this archetype. Additionally, whenever I had a question about the fantasy world (ex. which kingdoms have female blood-heirs and which have male), it was immediately answered on the next page or chapter. Using the example above, I wasn’t sure whether the Season Kingdoms had all female blood-heirs (as I knew Winter did) and the Rhythm Kingdoms had all male blood-heirs (I knew Cordell did), but this was quickly answered.

Onto our main character, Meira. There’s always something about the protagonist that makes them extraordinary, but a lot of the times it can feel like they were born with this “something”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I sometimes feel like the main character is a hero/heroine before the novel begins. Lineage-wise Meira is ordinary – her parents were peasants, which is about the only thing we know about them (at least in Meira’s POV) – and it’s amazing to observe her go from ordinary to extraordinary. The back of the copy I read described this book as, “a hero in the making” and as I read I could actually believe this. As Meira builds her own destiny, her actions make her extraordinary. Moving on, Meira is a very conflicted character. Her country was destroyed when she was an infant, so she doesn’t feel any emotional attachment to it. This in turn created guilt, and character development like such was just as important as freeing the Kingdom of Winter.

I really truly loved this debut! Tons of action, a conflicted but strong heroine, and great writing had me falling in love with Raasch’s fantasy world. There were some plot twists I did not expect – I’m usually pretty good at figuring out any/all foreshadowing – and there was one type of scene that had me pondering the dynamics/how it could be happening. I couldn’t decide if it was a dream, memory, or some kind of magic involved, but it stood out a lot to me! I’m extremely excited for the sequel, Ice Like Fire and what sort of challenges lie ahead for these characters!

​Like many fantasy novels this one has a lot of world building and it takes a while for you to get used to the world Raasch has created. Meira is a fighter. She is strong, determined, and more than a little rash. She longs to prove herself, and free her people. In some ways this novel was predictable--as I saw the ending coming. Still it is a well written and entertaining fantasy for those who love books like Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

Apr 12, 2016

IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! A must read.

FindingJane Feb 21, 2016

This novel scintillates with its creation of a dazzlingly innovative world, one divided into Seasons (one for summer, fall, winter and spring) and Rhythms (places where all four seasons play out on in the usual annual rotation). It’s a notion of breathtaking design, a truly original kind of worldscape, written by a gifted author of astounding talent.

The novel immerses us in a war-torn landscape, a world out of balance, with slavery, warfare, espionage and extreme wealth sharply contrasted with knuckle-grinding poverty. There isn’t a dull moment to be had here; every sentence and paragraph crackles with energy and tension. In the middle of it all is a powerful heroine, a girl whose power lies in her stubbornness and strength, who eschews soft clothes and idle gossip.

Meira is a splendid character; it almost doesn’t matter that she’s female. That’s not because people look askance at her for her handling of weapons or ability to fight. They don’t, at least not the ones who matter. Her world has been thrown topsy turvy and all the people she knows have been reduced to a hard-scrabble, frontier existence. In such situations, no one sits on their fanny or acts like a pampered royal. Everybody works, doing whatever they can and to the best of their ability. For the most part of the book, Meira’s abilities to fight are no more remarkable than her ability to gather food, lift weights or leap off balconies.

It’s also stimulating to read about her use of the chakram, her weapon of choice. I haven’t seen or read about a woman wielding one since “Xena Warrior Princess” went off the air and to read Meira’s adeptness with this deadly tool is beyond electrifying.

Readers who love strong heroines, ladies who kick ass and take no names, ones who refuse to sit still or be forced to stay behind while the menfolk take care of the hard work are going to adore this series. I, for one, want to know what Meira is going to do once her kingdom is secured. There are difficult times ahead; this novel hasn’t finished taking us on its exciting journey.

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