lunes, 18 de mayo de 2015

Snow like Ashes (English)

Author: Sara Raasch
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, High Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Year: 2014
Ranking: 4.8/ 5


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.

The Author

Sara Raash is an American writer who debuted with her first novel, Snow like Ashes, in 2014. Sara has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures

Personal Experience with This Book

I read the synopsis of "Snow like Ashes" as one of the many recommendations of Goodreads and I thought that the story sounded interesting. The truth is I have not read much high fantasy so I cannot consider myself an expert on the subject because these type of books are often very long and tedious to read. You have to like it a lot to not consider reading something from this genre. And with all this I must say that although this book falls into this genre I can consider it a book, as a reader who has yet not read a lot of high fantasy,  that enchants the reader and leaves you wanting more.

Before I tell you my opinion about the book, I will explain a little about this world. Basically because the author does not explains very much the world, she just mentions it as the reader should know it. When we reach the end of the book there are many things that are not explained very well yet but as readers we can make an image of them. The world is divided into 8 kingdoms; 4 of them are the known as the Season Kingdoms, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. We also have four other kingdoms which are known as the Rhythm Kingdoms and in this book we only got to know one of them, Cordell. Spring is ruled by an evil king who attacked Winter many years ago and enslaved its inhabitants.

The plot of the story begins with Meira. Meira is an orphan who was raised by a general of her kingdom, "Winter”. Meira feels lonely and useless for her kingdom because, according to her, Sir (the general) only gives her housework to do. However, and this is where the story starts and due to the "help" of her best friend and future king Mather, Meira end up going to a very dangerous mission that will test everything she has been taught throughout the years she has lived as a refugee.

  • Meira is a great character.  She is a very decided girl who is thirsty to prove herself. She is not an expert in fighting but inside she has a lot of courage which is admirable. I loved this girl. Besides that and, as she is the one who tells you the story, you get to know her innermost thoughts and feelings and you get attach to her. Or at least it happened to me.
  • Sir is like Meira's father and also her tutor. He has been taking care of her since they escaped from Spring but does not allow her to call him father. Meira feels ignored by Sir and that is a something that bothers her. For her, Sir does not see her more than a burden that does not have any other use than take care of the refugees. This makes Meira crazy because what she wants most in the world is that Sir looks at her as a warrior, as someone capable of fighting for her kingdom but she cannot get that recognition from him.
  • Mather is Meira’s best friend and future King of Winter. She has been in love with him since she can remember. But Sir always reminds her that Mather is the crown prince and there is no way the two of them can be together. You see, in this world magic is tied to objects or conduits. The one for Winter has been stolen and they do not have it right now but his magic is linked to female blood and needs to be used by someone with royal blood. Therefore, Mather should marry a princess who can give him a female heir to use the magic conduit that he himself cannot use.
  • Theron is the prince of Cordell. He is a warrior and has very good potential to be a very good leader. I'll just say that I LOVED him!

The book has a very fast pace and a story so interesting that the reader will not want to stop reading. I also loved the fact that we start with a plot and then the plot goes around and around and so many unexpected things happens that leave you with an open mouth like “WHAT?”. I was surprised so many times when reading it and I liked that a lot because there are not many books that will surprise you more than once. Meira, besides that, being as spectacular as she is, makes you delve into the world and love it as much as she loves it.

I recommend this book to people who have not read as much high fantasy. Because the people that have read a lot of high fantasy can find it not as good as other things they have read before. So maybe people who have not read much, like me, can enter the genre without being overwhelmed.

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