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DNF Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Friday, March 20, 2015

Snow Like Ashes
Louise Erdrich

Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Hardback: 422 Pages
Publication: October 14, 2014
by Balzer + Bray

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.


From the first pages of the book, I knew this wasn't going to be for me. Meira's characterization is precisely what I've come to dislike in a heroine. Her recklessness and inability to think about the consequences of her actions is disguised as heroism. I understand that she wants to fight for her kingdom, and it's admirable, but her leader is right to be concerned about how she'll fare on the battlefield. It's entirely different from sparring practices with a friend who isn't actually trying to kill her—and she keeps losing against said friend. It's also not promising that the romance is introduced so early. While I do like some romance on the side in a book, I'm not really into romantic fantasies. I like more plot and action. For example, Tamora Pierce's Tortall books have a good balance between action/plot and romance.

On top of that, the narration doesn't do a good job of balancing the world building with everything else. There's too much of some things and too little of others, which made it difficult to get into the story, much less learn about the world. It would have been better to start off with focusing on giving us some pivotal details that we need to know about the world and saving other details for later so that the narration didn't get bogged down in overly descriptive passages with information that we didn't necessarily need to know at the moment. This way, the plot would have been able to move forward more easily.

As it is, however, I honestly couldn't really relate to Meira, and if I don't like the characters, it's really hard for me to get into a book. I believe that fans of Defy by Sara B. Larson, Defiance by C.J. Redwine, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, may enjoy this one.

DNF 8% into the novel

Content: some minor violence

A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review

** Content warnings are from the parts of the novel that I read and may not reflect the entirety of the novel **

10 comments on "DNF Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch"
  1. Yikes! I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy this one and didn't finish it! Meira is pretty reckless, and I didn't like her at first, but I thought she was an okay character as I kept reading.

    I hope you read something awesome next, Kris!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Thank you, Alyssa. It's good to learn Meira seems to get better over time :)

  2. Nope. Not for me! lol

    Most of my friends have been in the love it or hate camps.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. Same here. This one just didn't turn out to be for me!

  3. Sorry this one fell apart for you. I read it and actually enjoyed it. I think I am more accepting of her reactions because she is to me at least only a child.

    1. I totally understand that. I think that I'm less accepting of Meira's behavior because I read more YA and am also a bit closer to her in age.

  4. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one, it's one of the books I'm most wanting to read.

    1. I've seen mixed reviews for this one. If you read it, let me know what you think, Jillyn!

  5. I've been hearing mixed reviews about this one which does make me hesitant to check it out :/ Let's see, thank you for the honest review x <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

    1. Thanks, Benish. If you do get it a shot, let me know what you think!


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