snow like ashes

Title: Snow Like Ashes 
Author: Sara Raasch
Release Date: 10/01/2014
Reviewed by Haley

“Someday we will be more than words in the dark.”

In the world of Primoria, the four seasons never change. There’s Summer, a shining kingdom that basks in eternal sun. Autumn, a kingdom forever stuck between summer and winter—trees pausing in transition, leaves dull shades of red, orange, and brown. The kingdom of Winter sparkles infinitely in snowflakes and is blanketed in an eternal snow – think Disney’s Frozen. And then there’s Spring. In Spring, life is teeming and the kingdom is forever in bloom.

Meira is a Winterian, yet she has never set foot in Winter itself. Why, you might ask? Well, it’s complicated. Long story short, years earlier, Spring invaded Winter and sent all of its inhabitants to work camps. Except for twenty-five Winterians who escaped. Lucky for Meira, she’s one of the surviving twenty-five.

The twenty-five refugees from Winter have dwindled down to a mere eight. Okay, hold up. I know what you’re thinking. There’s no chance that eight frail survivors could overthrow an entire kingdom to save their people and reclaim their nation. I get it. But there’s one thing you don’t know. When Spring invaded Winter, it stole the ice kingdom’s conduit (a magic source), and broke it in two. Every royal family in Primoria resides over its kingdom’s conduit and controls it. Conduits have magical powers. Kings and queens can use their conduits to improve agriculture, raise morale, or even provide strength to their people during battle.

 “There will always be a they in your new life, Meira. They make decisions; they mold your future. The trick is to find a way to still be you through it all.”

If the survivors want to reclaim their kingdom, they must retrieve their conduit, which is no small feat. The two halves of Winter’s conduit are hidden in Spring. Meira trains as a soldier and awaits the day that her people will reunite and Winter will be salvaged. But mostly, Meira awaits the day she will be allowed to join the search groups for the conduit pieces.

Will the Winterians retrieve their conduit and save Winter? Well, the real question is, will the conduit even work if it is retrieved? I mean, it was broken in half. That’s got to affect its magic powers somehow!?

Best. Book. I’ve. Read. All. Year.  Seriously. I marathon-read Snow Like Ashes in two days, which I’m pretty proud of if I do say so myself. Sara Raach, the author of Snow Like Ashes, made it way too easy!! I was constantly thinking about this book, even when I wasn’t reading it — which made math class even more impossible to concentrate on than usual . . . sorry, math average. The characters are flawless, and (sigh) the love triangle is perfectly infuriating. I met Sara Raach at Epic Read’s panel at BookPeople, and it was SO fun! I mean, read the book, meet the author — what’s a better combination than that?! Snow Like Ashes is a perfect mix of action and war while maintaining its fair share of princes and fancy balls. It’s an absolutely amazing book and, honestly, I think anyone would enjoy it!