“No matter what happens, no matter who turns on me, no matter what pompous swine thinks he has power over me, I am still me. I will always be me.”
Rating: 4/5 stars
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, 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.
Well, well, well, look who showed up to the party four and half years late. Yep, it’s me, but at least now I can say I officially read the first book I ever put on my Goodreads TBR. I honestly was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as a I did because I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on this series. However, what I was definitely not expecting was to fall in love with a love triangle. I don’t even know who I am anymore. But UGH! this has one of the most well-written love triangles I’ve ever read and I’m just here for it, so here for it.
Meira, our MC, is raised as a Winterian refugee but always held back from being the warrior she is meant to be. Time and time again, Meira voices that she wants to be out there fighting with what’s left of her people and her determination to do so makes her incredibly fierce, loyal, and lovable. She never backs down, but she’s also not fearless at the same time which makes her even more relatable. I absolutely adored this because sometimes I find high fantasy characters to be extremely hard to relate too. Meira is also hopelessly in love with her best friend, who will one day be the King, so HELLO tension. Hi, how are ya? And then we have a certain other prince (who loves books, just sayin’) that gets sort of thrown into Meira’s life, if you will, and while initially there’s a whole lot of disdain towards his presence, you won’t know who to love by the end. I am seriously TORN UP over this.
My favorite character in this book was Sir, who is Meira’s guardian that has cared for her since she was an infant. He’s a gem of a father figure and his relationship with Meira was EVERYTHING. She obviously doesn’t agree with everything he says but the amount of respect she has for him so admirable. I was living for any mention of Sir the story which further proves my point that I don’t know who I am anymore when I’m excited for the “dad” to be a part of the story. There are a whole slew of other characters who are just as lovable, but honestly I’m drawing a blank on names because I kind of read this book awhile ago, just keepin’ it real.
If you are also into battle scenes then this book has your name all over it. It’s so fast paced, with more than one epic battle scene that will leave your heart pounding, pages, flying, or speeding up your audiobook to the max setting – whatever your preference – to find out who lives and who dies. Because yes, not everyone makes it out alive.
One of the things that held me back from giving this five stars is that it was extremely overwhelming at times. This is a big world, I get it, but there was so much thrown at you so fast that it was hard to keep up at times. At one point I was just googling names of people and places in the series to make sure I was following this correctly. Also, this could just be a product of me mainly reading high fantasy books for the last three years but the end “plot twist” was seen from a mile away. Honestly, most of the plot twists were very easy to predict, but because it was such a well written story it didn’t kill the whole vibe of this book.
“Don’t let fear take hold of you—fear is a seed that, once planted, never stops growing.”
“Holding on to some part of your past even if it means also holding on to the pain of never again having it. That pain is less horrible than the pain of forgetting.”
“Even the strongest blizzards start with a single snowflake.”
“That’s why literature is so fascinating. It’s always up for interpretation, and could be a hundred different things to a hundred different people. It’s never the same thing twice.”
All in all, I am so glad that even though I am hella late to the Snow Like Ashes party I still made it one way or another. If you have not read this book I would also HIGHLY recommend the audiobook for this, the narrator was amazing, and I currently have the second audiobook on hold at my library since I loved it so much!
Until next time,