So today I bring you my thoughts and feelings on the Snow like Ashes series, focusing mainly on the first instalment ‘Snow like Ashes’ but also briefly mentioning the second ‘Ice like Fire’. I read both of these across the last two read-a-thons I completed and I am glad that I did because they were both pretty fast paced, the first more so, but both were page turners and definitely recommend for read-a-thons!
Let’s start at the beginning, the reason I bought the first book the moment it came out- a total cover buy! Guys, the covers are brilliant and beautiful and enticing. I love how the cover resembles the story for each book so well and definitely one of the better YA fantasy covers I have seen. I will be pre-booking the third book ‘Frost like Night’ and guys look at the cover…
Ooomf guys I need this book today, I can feel what is coming and everyone needs to grab this book and hide themselves away from the world. I want to say thank you Sara Raasch before we go any further.
So, the world is split into two key factions, the Rhythms and the Seasons, four rhythms and obviously four seasons. The season of our main character Meira is Winter and it is the land of snow and ice and cold, this is just a wonderful world that I just want to live there. However, not everything is perfect in this world, in the mountains below the seasons a chasm of magic was powering the world until it was lost, leaving magic locked in conduits of each ‘state’ however when war broke out and Spring shattered Winters magical conduit, Winter fell and its people enslaved. And this is where the story begins.
I love the characters, especially in the first, you have the orphan Meira, the Lost Prince Mather, and another… which would reveal a big spoiler and that’s just not how I roll. I think they are wonderfully developed characters, that are not just one quirk but a whole host. As you can probably imagine, there is a love interest. It’s not a spoiler as its classed as a YA fantasy romance so you know there’s a little romance in these wonderful pages.
Now when I compare the two instalments, I definitely feel that the second lacked a little of the something-something that made Snow like Ashes un-put-down-able, it was a slower read compared to the first but with the travelling and the plot it did fit. Guys I don’t know whether this will be a trilogy or longer, I want it to be longer, I need more Meira and ######## in my life and so will you when you pick up this book.
Now, Snow like Ashes should have a mild trigger warning, there is an eluded potential for sexual violence towards the main character and although it is not fully detailed and stopped, there is an emotional impact for readers who are affected by these events. It is only one scene and there is build up to it so if you do want to read, I don’t personally feel that you would lose anything from the story if you missed that chapter (if you want to know which chapter specifically ask me down in the comments and I can give you more information). That being said, relationships do strengthen in the scene, as you would undoubtedly expect.
There are a few guessable plot twists, I think maybe the foreshadowing was done a little heavily on a few plot points but other than that I definitely feel that this book has you on the edge of the seat the whole time. I stayed up ridiculously late to complete both books, even with the penance of lectures the next day.
I would highly recommend Snow like Ashes for new to YA fantasy readers who want to explore fantasy without being heavily weighed down by the abundance of information normally presented in the first book of a fantasy series (world-building and the like), it is definitely a plot driven novel that builds the world around it in a natural and progressive manner.
Sara Raasch, this is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read. I cannot wait for the next and I plan on picking up every book you write from this moment forward.
Guys, go get these books,