21 March 2015

Review: Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Title: Snow like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Published: October 14th 2014
Source: Hardcover
Pages: 416

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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 info dumping was insane, if i wanted to read that many facts in one page, I would read my assigned readings for classes. It was so stressful and unnecessary, I had to commit so many things to memory but it turns out that Raasch does not even bring up a lot of the stuff she mentioned in this first book. So what was the rush? Even if it were essential information, it could have been spaced out throughout the book. I did not need to know about all the minute details of the other kingdoms that were basically uninvolved in this entire book. This really bogged the pacing down.

And to make matters worse, the info dumping wasn't even done in a clear and organised fashion. Okay so the Season kingdoms only experiences one season each, what about the Rhythm kingdoms?! What does rhythm even mean? Do they march around the kingdom to different rhythms? lols. 

Reference to people and places are confusing as heck. Sometimes they refer to the kingdom by the name of the Kingdom but sometimes they refer to a kingdom by its king or its city. And no they do not put 'King' in front or even mention which Kingdom he is actually a king of. I was pretty much lost for a good 1/3 of the book whenever names were being thrown around. Eg. Paisley, Angra, Raina, Cordell, can you tell which are places and which are actual people? Also, all these information were not actually of any use, at least for book 1. It was just so unnecessary and frustrating.

EVERY SINGLE TIME Mather touches or even looks at Meira she has the exact same thoughts (just slightly paraphrased) and this can happen within 2 pages of each touch/eye contact so I was CONSTANTLY reading about how they are forbidden lovers, how depressed she is about it and how she will never be good enough etc. OMG GIVE ME A BREAK. The angst was terrible in this one. Why does your life revolve around a guy and you being upset about not being good enough???

This repetition thing also happens whenever Mather thinks about how he can never use the female-blooded magic. He gets depressed and moody, wallows in self-pity every time he THINKS about the goddamn conduit. I think I got it the first 10 times this was brought up, also I think I know the difference between male and female. I don't need a constant reminder.

Needless to say, I did not connect with any of the characters.

Things really improve around the halfway mark and I finally stopped falling asleep while reading this. The pacing was a lot better now that we got that whole info dumping situation out of the way. However, the writing was just too dry for my tastes and I had to really push myself to continue reading.

I didn't get the part about giving Mather away to Angra to pacify him?!?! It was so unconvincing. They themselves mentioned that Angra would not stop until he got EVERYONE. So why would he be satisfied with a useless 'king' that could not even use his kingdom's magic?? Idk man there were one too many plot holes in this one, this is just one example.

The last 10% was pretty good but it was really unnecessary to constantly remind us/hint that Angra is not dead. I think we got it when you mentioned mid-book about the dark powers and then again before he was killed. There's no need to repeat it another 2 times after he dies.


You will probably enjoy this if you have not read many high fantasy. Snow like Ashes did not really stand out amongst all the fantasy that I've read and the world building was just so poorly done with all that info dumping. That really killed the book for me. Also, I really hate it when books keep repeating something over and over again or try to place very unsubtle hints along the way. Why?? In case you were not imaginative enough or had a 30 second memory? I may have a poor memory but I think I can remember what you just told me 1 chapter ago. This book could have benefited with better editing perhaps? I would say that a good 50-100 pages were redundant. The plot twist was very unimpressive because I saw it coming within the first few chapters thanks to the 1001 hints dropped along the way.

I just did not enjoy the storytelling and writing style of this book. This is what made the entire book so predictable and it seems like this is going to go on for the rest of the series. This was frustrating in the first half, got slightly better in the second so in conclusion, this was a meh read.

I am not going to be continuing with this series.

Plot: 2/5 
Pacing: 2.5/5
Originality: 2.5/5 
Writing style: 2.5/5
Characters: 2.5/5 
Feels: 2.5/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall rating: 

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! The info dumping and the love fest got to me too. I still have a long way to go, but I'm putting the book off for now.

    New follower via GFC! Love your blog name :)

    Cee @ The Mistress Case