My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sixteen years ago, the people of Winter – respectively named the Winterians – were enslaved after their kingdom was conquered. Eight remaining Winter survivors aim to restore their power and magic and ultimately restore their kingdom and bring their people freedom. Meira, one of the survivors, gets caught in a battle for freedom in the midst of a political play, love and the ultimate battle for survival and justice. Every blizzard starts with a single snowflake, after all.
I received this book as a birthday present this year and I was absolutely excited to get into this. I saw the book on Goodreads a few months ago and was completely drawn in by the cover – quite frankly, I was thinking of giving the book a star by default for this gorgeous cover. I really, really hope the sequels – yes, there will be sequels – keep the same covers, because there’s nothing worse than changing covers. Nothing.
The main character, Meira, was a character I immediately liked. She was strong and funny and naturally I can really appreciate that in characters. She stuck true to her beliefs throughout the entire story and didn’t take anything from those around her. If I remember correctly, she even has a moment where she says something like, “I am still going to be me.” That’s one of the things that I loved about her the most. She repeated this to herself several times throughout the book and I really had no issues with that whatsoever. Repeating these sort of encouraging things is something that makes me love characters more, because it’s a human thing to do. You’d want to encourage yourself in dire situations. It’s logical.
The side characters were all lovely, though they differed in importance for me (ranging from “oh, you’re interesting” to “no, don’t leave, don’t leave, come back” and so forth). The story provides you with the people around Meira for the majority of the story, which gives you insight to what her life is like and has been like before the story starts. Sir was, by far, my favourite from that category of side characters. Mather was my least favourite, because I didn’t really feel any big connection to him, but his presence didn’t bother me or anything like it. Queen Hannah was a lovely addition to the story, no matter the way she appeared.
The other side characters come in the form of people who Meira meets as she goes on her travels. My favourite out of them was, surprise – Theron. I absolutely love Theron, he was probably my favourite character in the entire book (besides Meira). I thought he was genuinely likeable and funny and it made the story in parts a lot nicer to read. The other characters like Noam, Nessa and her two brothers were interesting too, and they worked well for the story, but I loved every single moment Theron was in a scene (and I was upset every time he wasn’t).
The bad guy, Angra, was very believable and made my blood boil – as bad guys are supposed to. His reasoning made sense and he did not have sudden out of character moments where he was suddenly nicer than he was previously. Angra was horrible the entire book through and I live for consistency, so yay.
I’m not a big fan of fight scenes (whether I have to write them or read them) because I end up easily skimming text instead of reading it. The same happened while I read this book, which made me miss out on a couple of plot points several times. It wasn’t like the action scenes were written poorly, but I couldn’t bring myself to give it the same amount of attention I gave to different, quieter scenes. There was a lot of fighting in this book so it happened a lot.
I was honestly worried that the book would thrive off a love triangle, as there are two romantic interests around Meira, but it didn’t happen (thankfully). I am honestly crossing my fingers in hopes that the future books in the series will not start playing into it. Quite honestly, I think it’s pretty clear who Meira is genuinely interested in and I would find it very strange if she would do a complete turnaround just because another guy would get involved. We’ll have to see what happens in the future, I suppose.
In the end I ended up giving 4.5 stars to Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. It’s a story about fighting for the restoration of a kingdom, about fighting for justice and freedom and staying true to who you really are and what you want to achieve. Immerse yourself into a world of endless snow.