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Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes

Scritto da Sara Raasch

Narrato da Kate Rudd


Snow Like Ashes

Scritto da Sara Raasch

Narrato da Kate Rudd

valutazioni:
4/5 (127 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
10 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 14, 2014
ISBN:
9780062345790
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Nota del redattore

Feisty heroine...

The first in a new fantasy series from debut author Raasch that is already making a splash. Fans of “Throne of Glass” will love this tale about a fiercely loyal and feisty heroine.

Descrizione

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 Winter rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she's scaling towers and 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.

Sara Raasch's debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one's destiny.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 14, 2014
ISBN:
9780062345790
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Sara Raasch 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. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series, These Rebel Waves, and These Divided Shores. You can visit her online at www.sararaaschbooks.com and @seesarawrite on Twitter.


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127 valutazioni / 34 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Overall, "Snow Like Ashes" was an enjoyable fantasy. The author did a great job creating her world, made up of four Rhythm and four Season kingdoms. My only criticism was that, at times, too much information was given which stopped the flow of the story, and I found myself skimming these sections. As for Meira, the novel's protagonist, I didn't like her at the start. She was too "woe is me" for my liking. However, by the end of the book she had my support all the way as she proved herself to be a true warrior. I also found the love triangle a bit annoying - this is used in too many YA novels for my liking. Theron was just too perfect to be believable, but Mather was a more complex character and it will be interesting to see what Raasch does with him in the future. As yet, I can't decide who Meira will eventually end up with even though I prefer Mather. Despite these few grievances, I did enjoy this book. It kept me turning pages, as I was swept up with Meira's journey, and was a good beginning to a new series.
  • (3/5)
    ***some spoilers***I fall in love with the covers long before I even read the synopsis, and yet, another judgement by the cover. The start was slow, was boring and I just couldn't make myself to read, yet it felt I am gonna read another very similar trilogy of betrayal, war and slaves. However, this one does surprise and it is debut with its seasonal idea. Yet, another one where I could somehow predict the characters, although the very ending with first victory cough me by surprise, but then, we readers need something that we are aching to read next part, cliff ending and promising fights in the future. The book is about growing and believing one story, then that one turning to be upside down and not entirely true. Its about fights and resistance to give up, its about believing "we can", about love and promises. About training and fights. At the same time its a story about occupation and enslaving those occupied. Its a tale retelling history in fantasy version, because we all know those who have occupied others and been beaten, those who have fight for their freedom, believing it will be there one day. Its about telling to the wide audience the basics in a great story - when you have already fallen for the cover. The books has a very strong female main character that is leading the reader into everything she cares.
  • (2/5)
    Diese und weitere Rezensionen findet ihr auf meinem Blog Anima Libri - Buchseele

    „Schnee wie Asche“, der Debütroman von Sara Raasch, klang so super, hat sich dann allerdings schon nach wenigen Seiten als ziemlich langweilig herausgestellt. Anders ausgedrückt: Ich hatte wirklich, wirklich große Hoffnung, dass dieses Buch eins der wenigen wirklich überzeugenden YA-Werke im Bereich der High Fantasy werden würde, wurde aber ziemlich schnell ziemlich enttäuscht, denn etwas besonderes ist dieser Roman in meinen Augen nicht.

    „Schnee wie Asche“ ist der erste von drei (?) Teilen, die die Geschichte der letzten Überlebenden des Königreichs Winter erzählen. Winter war eins von acht Königreichen (von denen drei, wuhu, Frühling, Sommer und Herbst heißen :o ), bevor es vernichtet wurde. Der interessante Punkt hier ist, dass Winter ein Matriarchat war und dass die Magie, die dem Königreich eigen war, den Frauen vorbehalten war. Was die Überlebenden vor ein klitzekleines Problem stellt, denn unter ihnen befindet sich auch Mather, der „König“ von Winter, ohne Königreich und, selbst wenn er das hätte, auch ohne Magie. Außerdem gibt es in der Gruppe noch Meira…

    Sara Raasch lässt ihre Protagonistin Meira diese Geschichte erzählen und damit fingen meine Probleme schon auf der ersten Seite an, auch wenn ich da noch große Hoffnung hatte, dass es besser werden würde. Denn mit der Idee, dass eine Romanze hier eine große Rolle spielen würde, hatte ich mich ja schon einigermaßen angefreundet, immerhin steht es in der Inhaltsangabe, aber gleichzeitig wurde auch eine starke Heldin angepriesen – und die konnte mich leider nicht überzeugen.

    Das fing, wie schon gesagt, mit Meiras Rolle als Ich-Erzähler an, denn Meira neigt zu Monologen – ausschweifigen, Infodump-artigen Monologen und dazu diese Infodumps dann auch noch zu erklären und das macht nicht wirklich Spaß. Außerdem wirkt sie von Anfang an irgendwie kindisch, definitiv nicht wie eine starke Heldin. Auch sonst macht sie direkt ab Seite eins einen verräterisch unscheinbaren Eindruck: Ein armes elternloses Ding, das niemals seine Liebe zum „König“ von Winter ausleben können wird, weil sie ja nur eine herkunftslose Waise ist, die nicht mal wirklich nützlich ist für die Überlebenden von Winter, da Kämpfen auch nicht so richtig ihr Ding ist und der dementsprechend auch nie vermittelt wurde, dass sie irgendeinen Wert hätte.

    Und weil sie kein Kämpferass ist, darf Meira auch nicht mit losziehen, wenn die anderen sich auf Streifzüge begeben, um die verlorenen Teile des Amuletts, das die Magie des Königreichs Winter enthält, wieder zu finden. Logischerweise darf aber Mather mit, denn den jungen „König“ der Gefahr solcher Streifzüge auszusetzen ist ja kein Risiko. Das alles erfährt man als Leser bereits auf den ersten Seiten. Man erfährt auch, dass Mather es nicht ausstehen kann als „König“ bezeichnet zu werden, dass der Anführer der Gruppe von Überlebenden der kleinen Meira verboten hat ihn Vater zu nennen und quasi ausgerastet ist, als sie es getan ist und wer sich dann immer noch nicht denken kann, was die riesengroße Überraschung dieser Geschichte ist, naja, der ist selbst Schuld.

    Ich hatte ja noch die Hoffnung, dass ich falsch lag und die Geschichte einen anderen Weg nimmt, aber dem war leider nicht so. Dazu kommt, dass die Handlung leider an einigen Stellen ziemlich dünn ist, vor allem direkt zu Beginn, als Meira mit einer gerade zu lächerlich durchsichtigen Lüge dazu kommt, sich doch endlich einmal selbst auf einen dieser Streifzüge zu begeben. Dass sie dabei auch noch erfolgreich ist und das dank nicht so ganz glaubwürdiger Zufälle… Naja, sagen wir einfach, dass „Asche wie Schnee“ dadurch ziemlich viel von seinem Potential verliert.

    Denn das Potential hat der Roman von Sara Raasch eigentlich wirklich. Der Aufbau der Welt mit ihren acht Königreichen ist zwar relativ typisch aber definitiv nicht schlecht, auch die Sache mit der Magie ist definitiv interessant und an sich sind auch ihre Charaktere ziemlich gut – selbst das komische Dreiecksbeziehungs-Dings war an sich kein Störfaktor, auch wenn ich zu Meira nie eine wirkliche Verbindung aufbauen konnte. Aber leider, leider war die Handlung für meinen Geschmack einfach viel zu dünn, vorhersehbar und konstruiert.

    Alles in allem war Sara Raaschs Debütroman „Asche wie Schnee“ für mich daher leider eine Enttäuschung, eine High Fantasy Geschichte, die zwar mit viel Potential daher kommt, bei der es an der Umsetzung für meinen Geschmack aber noch ziemlich stark hapert. Trotzdem habe ich Hoffnung, dass die nächsten Teil besser werden :D
  • (5/5)
    I super enjoyed this book! The world building was great, the characters interesting and not annoying and the story kept me intrigued the whole time! What more could i ask for? A GREAT ya fantasy read this year :D
  • (4/5)
    I thought this was great book. Just a hint of romance, which is great for me. I love YA Fantasy and magic / fantastical elements , but the romance seems to twain in these books and I'm not really into that. Except the Red Queen, that has been the best YA, in my opinion that involves romance with just the right amount of suspense and action. This book does the same, in my eyes, and therefore hits the top 10 for me.
    Eagerly await Amazon to send the next book.
  • (4/5)
    Good plot and strong characters.
  • (5/5)
    After hearing so many great things about this trilogy I decided to give it a go. I'm soooo happy that I did because this book was incredible!! I literally can't believe how much I enjoyed it. If the other books are anywhere near as good it will definitely be up there with all my favourite series that I've read.4.5/5 Stars
  • (4/5)
    I thought this was great book. Just a hint of romance, which is great for me. I love YA Fantasy and magic / fantastical elements , but the romance seems to twain in these books and I'm not really into that. Except the Red Queen, that has been the best YA, in my opinion that involves romance with just the right amount of suspense and action. This book does the same, in my eyes, and therefore hits the top 10 for me.
    Eagerly await Amazon to send the next book.
  • (5/5)
    Awesome from start to finish! Well written and narrator was brilliant!
  • (5/5)
    Sweet snow above, how are there no pages left?! There must be more. MUST BE. *cries*
  • (3/5)
    This book is recommended if you like An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I found Snow Like Ashes lacking in the exhilarating plot pace like the aforementioned books. The world-building is exceedingly confusing and I spent the majority of the time attempting to understand exactly how the kingdoms are arranged (even with the map!) and why places were called certain names, and so on. I would skip this one.
  • (3/5)
    Well written but not particularly innovative. Rather dull, quite predictable (I called the plot twist within the first 70 pages). Meira was confusingly inconsistent as a character but she had a spark of potential. I dunno. It was all right.
  • (4/5)
    Meira is an orphan of Winter, one of the season kingdoms whose queen was killed and magic taken by the king of Spring, Angra. She and a small group of refugees have been trying to get the pieces of Winter's locket back to be able to reinvigorate the magic, and avoiding capture by Angra into the mines where all other Winterians are being put to work. Meira's greatest wish is to do something to restore Winter's kingdom, but can she do it without losing herself?A friend of mine recommended this book, and it was enjoyable and a fast read but fairly average as far as young adult fantasy novels go. The heroine was very likable, and teens will certainly relate to her struggle with expectations and doing what's right for her. The big reveals will be unsurprising to regular readers of fantasy. The world of seasons and rhythms - where, in the seasons, it's always spring, summer, autumn, or winter, just like the name of the place - was an interesting idea. The writing style is that simile-laden conversational tone that I tend to dismiss, but the story kept me engaged enough that I'll read the sequel when it comes out in the fall.
  • (4/5)
    "Someday, we will be more than words in the dark."

    For a long, long time, I didn't touch YA Fantasy. Why? It got repetitive, boring, with the same special snowflakes, the same innocent, pure heroines. It got to the point where I'd be reading a book and thinking, "Take away the names and places, and this could be exactly the same as any other fantasy book out there."

    All the stories were formulaic. As if it wasn't physically possible to write anything different.

    Lately, I've come back to it, and I gotta admit: YA fantasy has started branching out. I'd forgotten how much I'd loved the magic and forbidden love stories, the strange creatures that lurked in the dark, the different kingdoms, the results of a beautiful imagination. Snow Like Ashes, even though it followed the "special snowflake" trop, was all of the above and more.

    Meira is a Winteranian soldier, one of the twenty-five survivors that escaped the night Angra, King of Spring, invaded. Now there are only eight survivors, and the race to piecing the locket holding all of Winter's power is tighter than ever. Angra has one half, and the second half is floating. When Meira is entrusted with the mission to recover the floating half, she can't believe her luck. Finally, she can show Sir just how good she is!

    Once the locket pieces are restored, Mather, the love interest and prince of Winter, can return to his rightful place on the throne and free the Winteranian's from the work camps. However, things are not quite as they seem and, as Meira and her friends embark on another journey, she's going to find out just how difficult it is to be really "free."

    There is a love triangle. I don't mind. Meira is a special snowflake. I don't mind. There's, sometimes, a bit of deus ex machina at work. I don't mind. Raasch weaves a story of mystery and love, betrayal and strength, so well that it sweeps you up and carries you on. I found myself sitting down with this book in the morning and finishing it in the evening. It is that good.

    I loved the idea that the seasons were kingdoms, and each kingdom's cities had month names like Abril, Jannuari, Oktuber. If it had been me, I'd never have thought of it in a million years. A clever twist. I also loved the humour in the story -- there wasn't too much to take away from the severity of the cause, but there wasn't little enough to make the story drag. Theron and Meira like to banter, and it's sweet and funny.

    There's a pissing contest, where Mather and Theron both try to prove their worth, and it's not only funny, but also interesting to see Meira "pull away" from the love that cannot be and "free" herself of it. It's nice to see a heroine grow into her role, and take on bigger responsibilities, shirking the ideas of "I just wanna be me".

    While there's a lot going on in the story, a lot that needs to be followed, the info-dumping doesn't happen frequently. I liked that it came in as dreams, so it was still interesting enough to hold my attention and didn't rattle off into a book of facts. I can't stand it when the narration switches to tell you the whats, whens and whys and completely takes away from the story, so I'm really happy about that.

    Yes, some of it is highly predictable but there are also some twists and turns that took me completely by surprise. The fighting scenes were really well-written so I wasn't bored out of my mind and skimming, and the love is just... *sighs* I do like me some Theron.

    I am going to highly recommend this to everyone I come across, and I cannot wait for the second one to come out!
  • (5/5)
    The world and story that Sara creates is exhilarating! It truly is like nothing you have read before. The characters just enhance everything even more. The elders with their wisdom and undying love for the home they know and want back. Mather and Meira with their need to please and prove themselves worthy. To fight for a place they recognize only from stories, but know deep down that it is their one true home. And of course, how they come to fit into this place and all the responsibility it requires of them.There's never a dull moment in the book. Action, anticipation, suspense, heartache, and revelations that will captivate you to the point where you cannot put the book down until it is over. Like I said, this book is just fascinating and I highly recommend it!
  • (5/5)
    Snow like Ashes is a wonderful thrill ride well worth reading. Great characters Like the orphan girl Meira and the young future king Mather all living in a wonderful fantasy world created by Sara Raasch. This was one of those stories I couldn't put down. I kept reading trying to figure out what would happen next. The story was filled with magic, just like Sara's writing skill. For that I give this book 5 of 5 stars. I have already started reading book two Ice like Fire.
  • (4/5)
    I wanted to read this one because I enjoyed Throne of Glass and have been looking at other YA fantasies that catch my interest. The forbidden love aspect as well as how hardcore and strong Meira sounds. The cover also caught my eye, and then I read more of the synopsis and liked the way the world building with the different kingdoms and their quest to restore a broken one and regain their magic sounded like an adventure that I could get into. I liked Meira right away and identified with her trying her best to impress as well as make a difference. Now, I am not a strong warrior or very brave, but I enjoy reading about characters who are. The political aspect got started pretty quickly and we saw the kingdom of Winter, where Meira is from broken, but fighting hard to restore their name. After a victory though they are left still wondering how they will complete the rest of their mission of restoring magic and gaining back their land. Enter Cordell, where alliances will be made, but Meira will be put into a position that she never thought... But still in a position to help her people the Winterians. She just has to figure out how to accept her new place and how she can achieve the goals of the people without losing herself. So... There is a setup for a love triangle of sorts, and while I won't talk much about it, I am less than halfway through when writing this paragraph so I will discuss a bit without being spoilerish. I obviously don't know how this will play out and if one of the legs of the triangle may end up being a non-issue in this one or future books. But right away we see how she is attracted to Mather, the next in command after his father and the one who has had a hand in raising Meira. Mather is a nice guy, and he is strong and kind. But I only ever got the attraction and the forbidden draw. I didn't have a good feeling of how deep the attraction between them went before Theron entered the scene. I ended up really liking what I saw of him because he is the one that shows Meira how while he feels like a puppet at times, he manages to do his duty, but still cultivating the parts of him that he would rather do instead of battle and history and leading... art and reading and writing. He does it, maintaining who he feels inside with what he must do. He always treated Meira with respect and kindness, and he let her into his beneath the surface. The royalty who talks to the servants and cares about their day to day. The man who trains and fights, but also writes poetry. I feel like I got more of his depth, and I feel like them being together is something that seems like it has to happen, but there is also attraction between them. So much happened after the setup that I didn't take another break to write anything down until I was finished. Meira grows a lot in this one and the visions that she has developed into something that I started to suspect. It didn't take away any enjoyment that I saw it coming, I still had to see how Sara would write it and how it would play out. Duty and loyalty and sacrifice are all huge themes in this one, and we get to see quite a few young selfless leaders in this one following an example of a surprise character in Meira's dream/visions. This is in sharp contrast with some of the leaders that are currently in place, they are all worthy of some beat down and eye opening on how they are really acting. I enjoyed where this one ended, but I am surely excited to keep reading this series, because I know of several threads that while wrapped up for this book, I can't wait to see how they are going to progress and play out. Bottom Line: Great beginning to a new YA fantasy series with a great main character and interesting set-up for the romance.
  • (5/5)
    SNOW LIKE ASHES sucked me in from the moment I started reading it. It was beautifully written with a great storyline and characters you grow to care about pretty quickly. Meira has a huge heart and a drive to help get the kingdom she was born into back at all costs. She was raised as a warrior, but treated like a child. She doesn't really understand why she is being held back from helping defeat those that are hunting her and all the other Winter refugees, but she can and does push to help at every turn. It was very easy to relate and fall in love with Meira. She's a strong person and it shows pretty early on in the book. Meira is in love with her best friend, Mather. Because he is the future king she has no choice but to love him from the sidelines and is told often by Sir that they can not be together. Enter the love triangle. When the Winterians find refuge in Cordell she is pawned off to the future king, Theron in exchange for their help. She is willing to help her kingdom in any way she can, but never thought she would be used as a bargaining chip and never thought that she would actually start to have feelings for Theron. I honestly like both of her options and not sure who would be more perfect for her.There is a lot of adventure, pain, sacrifice and secrets involved in SNOW LIKE ASHES. I had an idea where the story might have been going before the big reveal but I was still really excited to have my thoughts confirmed. There is just something about Meira that pulls everyone to her and makes them want to help her. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens as the characters get their kingdom back. I know they all have a lot of work ahead of them and I'm hoping the series keeps up the momentum of SNOW LIKE ASHES. * This book was provided free of charge from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    A great YA fantasy tale set around a group of exiles from a conquered kingdom. The narrator Meira was raised in exile, but she is determined to play an important role in regaining the conquered kingdom of Winter. As she and her companions pursue the kingdom's magical conduit, a broken locket, Meira also begins to have vivid dreams in which the last queen of Winter communicates with her, dreams which become ever more urgent when Meira is captured by the rival kingdom of Spring. Overall, a fast-paced read and I eagerly await more from this author!
  • (5/5)
    This book pulled me in and had me hooked from the first page. I haven't been reading a lot of fantasy books lately and I've been wanting to get back into them and I feel that this book was the perfect one to do that. The world that Sara Raasch built is easy to get sucked into and not confusing at all. The story is very fast-paced and the characters are very likable. The main character Meira is a strong female protagonist and she is such a badass, I loved it.
  • (4/5)
    Orphaned Meira, a fierce chakram-wielding warrior from the Kingdom of Winter, must struggle to free her people from the tyranny of an opposing kingdom while also protecting her own destiny.
  • (4/5)
    SNOW LIKE ASHES was an engaging epic fantasy about a young woman who was orphaned as an infant when her country was being invaded and who has lived as a refugee for the past sixteen years. She has been training as a soldier along with the sixteen-year-old king under the supervision of one of Winter's generals. She calls him Sir and would do anything to make him proud of her. Meira and the other seven survivors of the fall of Winter are trying to locate the locket that is the conduit for Winter's magic despite the fact that the only heir is male and the power can only be used by a female. When the attempt to regain half the locket is successful, Meira thinks the problem is near a solution. But the Spring soldiers have managed to track them back to their camp. The only solution is flight to one of the other kingdoms. But the King of Cordell wants more than the survivors of Winter can give.Meira finds herself engaged to Prince Theron of Cordell despite her lifelong love for the Winter King - a love she knows is hopeless because of their differing social statuses. And when the King betrays Winter to the evil Spring King, Meira finds herself captive and in Angra, the king of Spring's, control. There are all sorts of secrets, lots of political maneuvering and even romance in this fast-paced epic fantasy story that will appeal to a wide range of readers.
  • (5/5)
    This book was amazing. The characters were developed and you could feel their emotions. I am so excited for the next book, even though it is going to be released in October:(.
  • (3/5)
    Ok book but I found myself I'm wishing that the story would go a little faster. The story could have just been told in one book but I guess everyone wants to make series nowadays. Not sure if I will read the next book
  • (5/5)
    Loved this book. The characters are wonderful and have depth and the plot twists are surprising and keep you interested.
  • (5/5)
    brilliant new fantasy.
    can not wait for the next one.
  • (5/5)
    “Someday we will be more than words in the dark.”Why haven’t I read this unquestionably, undeniably perfect book much sooner?! It was /amazing/! I cannot stress enough my love for Snow Likes Ashes and for the lovely Sara Raasch (and her brilliant storytelling, seriously). I didn’t know what to expect coming into the book and it just blew me away (far, far away). While Snow Like Ashes was published in 2014, it is my favorite read of the year so far.The story was so much unlike anything I’ve been reading with regards to YA. It was layered with so many elements and there’s so much that can yet be explored in this world. The idea of four seasons as kingdoms won me over fairly quickly. And I loved, let me tell you, that Winter wasn’t portrayed as ‘the evil’. Usually, I’ve seen, people portray winter as the worst/evil baddie of the seasons, but not in Snow Like Ashes! It’s the Spring that are the villains.I loved both potential love interests. Yes, I said both. The slight love triangle was, as I just mentioned, very slight. It did not get in the way of the story and it did not affect Meira’s actions. It’s a miracle! Mather was a great character and receives an A+ from me, but it is the prince, Theron, that has my heart (and hopefully down the line he might have Meira’s because I ship this). Meira was the best possible MC ever. She was strong even when she was weak. She saved herself. She didn’t have to rely on a love interest for the most important moments.Have you read Snow Like Ashes? What did you think? And, ahem, who did you like more Mather or Theron?
  • (4/5)
    Summary: Meira's always been told she's a citizen of the kingdom of Winter, even though she hasn't been there since she was a baby. In fact, no one has been to Winter in over a decade, since the armies of Spring destroyed their capital, killed the queen, stole the conduit that links the Winterian ruler to the magic of the land, and enslaved most of the Winterians. Now only a small band of fugitives is left, including Meira and her childhood friend Mather, the heir to the throne - but male, so unable to use the conduit even if it is found and recovered. Meira wants nothing more than to feel like a part of something, to feel as though she belongs to her country - but that desire will be put to the test, as potential allies are hard to come by, and the powers of Spring threaten to snuff out Winter once and for all.Review: This book has a very strong resemblance to Finnikin of the Rock, what with the dispossessed people kicked out of their homeland when the young narrator was just a kid, and struggling to find allies and overcome the magic to get back home. This is either good or bad, depending on how much you liked Finnikin of the Rock; if you loved it, great; if not, well… not. For me, this resemblance was unfortunate but not a deal-breaker. I didn't really care for Finnikin, but it was for reasons unrelated to the plot, so while the echoes of that book did probably make me view this one a little less favorably, there were still a lot of things in this book that were unique, and really good, so on the whole I wound up really enjoying it.For one, Meira an interesting protagonist, and she's driven by motivations that are more complex than "Revenge!" or "Boys!". She wants her life to matter, but she also wants her life to matter on her terms, and watching how she adjusts as circumstances dictate changes she hadn't anticipated was really interesting. Her relationships with the "Boys!" are also interestingly complex -- although there is the seemingly ubiquitous love triangle developing between her, Mather, and Theron, the prince of a kingdom that the Winterians go to for help. I am oh so very tired of love triangles (especially when they're not triangles so much as arrows; The Infernal Devices series had an actual three-sided triangle, so that I will forgive), but in this case, I might have a bit of a crush on Theron. He's smart and confident without being cocky, treats Meira with respect as a person and an equal, and is strong and loyal and just generally all-around awesome. It's also nice to have a plot that's out of the ordinary for your general YA fantasy novel (well, except for Finnikin). It's not that often that you get a story that can bounce between palace and battlefield and work camp, and keep the whole thing flowing and smooth. I also enjoyed the world-building that was done; the magic system is unique and well-described, and I thought the way the countries and their differences were set up was interesting, if hugely economically and ecologically infeasible. (Seriously, what do the Winterians eat if they never have a growing season? Do they import ALL their food?) I did think that the big "reveal" at the end of the story was telegraphed really far ahead of time, which was unfortunate, but I also read a lot of this kind of book, so maybe I'm just used to spotting the twists? I also think the story - and Meira's character development - would have been more interesting and more unique without the twist, but I can see the reasons that Raasch plotted the story the way she did. I believe that this book is the first in the series, but it works well enough as a standalone - not all of the issues are resolved, but it still comes to a satisfactory ending place.I listened to the audiobook version of this, and in general, Kate Rudd does a very nice job with the narration, seeming age-appropriate for Meira, and having distinguishable voices for the other characters. One thing that did bother me a little bit was that there were these occasional inner-monologue-y sarcastic snarky bits that seemed out of place. They seemed like the way real modern people talk/think, but not the way this semi-medieval character who is used to monologuing about purpose and meaning and belonging would talk. It's unclear whether this is a product of the writing, or of the narration, but it did have the effect of temporarily pulling me out of the story. Thankfully, though, the story and its characters are engaging enough that they sucked me back in with no problem. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Worth reading. Fans of other YA fantasy novels like Graceling (or Finnikin of the Rock, of course) will probably really enjoy this one as well.
  • (3/5)
    it is a good story with a decent plot line. very YA so if you are okay with that then it is a good book for you 
  • (5/5)
    I got this book to review through NetGalley and wasn’t exactly sure if I would like it or not. However, I loved it! Can I give it like 8 out of 5 stars please? This was an imaginative and absolutely engrossing fantasy and I absolutely adored. It was one of the best books I have read this year.Meira was orphaned during the fall of Winter and now struggles to survive with a small band of fellow Winter warriors. The remaining Winter warriors are desperate to retrieve a magic locket that will restore their power. The only problem is that the locket is in Spring and is guarded by a fierce leader who uses Decay magic. Meira and her fellow Winter warriors go on a mission to retrieve the locket and free Winter from it’s slavery under Spring. However the fallout from the mission has larger implications than any of them could have ever imagined.First let’s talk about the amazing world-building. This is an amazing world. There are eight kingdoms; four Seasons and four Rhythms. Each of them has a magical conduit that allows their leader to enhance the ability of their kingdom with magic. Generally the leaders will use the magic from the conduit for things like making crops fruitful or strengthening trade; but in times of war they can also use the magic to make their people stronger. I wish more books had this excellent type of world-building it was just so unique!Meira is a feisty young woman who is excellent at fighting from afar but poor at melee combat. This means she gets left behind for a lot of missions and absolutely hates it. She also never even considered an arranged marriage might be the best way for her to help Winter out of it’s decline. So she feels betrayed and surprised when the man who raised her decides to use her in an arranged marriage deal to get one of the Rhythms support.I was impressed at the depth of Meira’s character. She starts off as fairly naive, but grows a ton as a character. She is constantly balancing what Winter needs as a kingdom against what she wants as an individual. I loved the two male leads as well. There is her childhood friend who is the heir to the kingdom, with their difference in rank they have the whole starcrossed love thing going on. Then there is the wonderful Theron, he is a Prince of a neighboring kingdom who is so kind and so wise beyond his years...but still fierce when he needs to be. They are both very complex and awesome characters.Oh and the bad-guy, the evil wizard who uses Decay magic and has lived for eons, he was soooo amazingly evil and yet strangely complex at the same time. Loved it loved it loved it. Even the side characters were well done, I was nearly in tears reading some of the scenes with the Winter slaves. The novel is excellently paced with just a perfect balance of world-building, adventure, action, politics, intrigue, magic, and romance. This is one heck of a fantastic novel. I loved the ending to pieces, it does an excellent job of tying things up while still allowing for more story later.There were so many great things here. I am sure I haven’t touched on all of them. This was just a perfect book, it went way beyond my expectations. It was impossible to put down, I pretty much read the whole 400+ pages thing in less than 24hrs. Yes, I was tired when I was done but I was also sooo excited to see what comes next. just writing this review makes me want to go sit down and read the whole thing again.Overall an absolutely fantastic and amazing fantasy debut. Everything about this book was perfect. This is one of those books where I laughed, cried, and was holding my breath at parts. The world-building was absolutely amazing, the characters intriguing and engaging, the plot was perfectly paced, and I loved the ending. I loved this book, I really did. It deserves more than 5 stars, it was just that good. Recommended to everyone, especially fantasy lovers out there. Fans of Game of Thrones, Sarah Maar’s Throne of Glass, and Kristin Cashore’s Graceling will love this novel. I loved this book.