Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 24, 2014: 'Snow Like Ashes'

Welcome to Book City
Date: October 24, 2014

Spoilers Ahead 

Snow Like Ashes
Sara Raasch 

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.

City Calendar: 
This is what happened during the week.
Meira goes on her first mission after 'proving' she can do close combat. She goes to find one half of the conduit for her kingdom Winter. She gets the half after fighting in the sewers with Spring's best general Herod. She gets tracked by Spring. Her fellow Winterians take down all but one of the scouts for Spring. The last scout flees back to Spring. The group of eight flee their camp. Meira and a Winterians general nicknamed Sir go to Cordell a Rhythm kingdom. They are welcomed with open arms. They find out the others are there and are safe.
Cordell and Winter come together in an alliance. Meira finds out it's an alliance of marriage between her and Theron Cordell's prince. Meira refuses to accept this, fighting back by not going to ladyship lessons. She sees her friend Mather the prince of Winter and Theron both shirtless and sweaty. They, Mather and Meira, have an argument. Theron intercepts and duels Mather. Mather almost wins, but the fight ends with Sir stopping it. Meira befriends Theron. She discovers a book on magic and starts reading it, trying to find a way to defeat Spring's king Angra without the whole conduit. 
Meira and Theron's wedding is planned. Meira fights back, fleeing to Noam the king of Cordell's study. She discovers a letter to Angra detailing Cordell's betrayal. Spring advances on Cordell even though Noam thought that Spring wouldn't. Meira and her friends fight. Sir is killed in battle, and Meira is taken by Spring. She arrives at Abril the capital of Spring. She works at a Winterians work camp with Nessa and her two older brothers. As time passes, her hope comes and goes until she realizes, with the help of the Jannuari's city master, that she needs to fight back. (Jannuari being Winter's capital.) Meira tears down the wooden stairs at the place where she toils day in and day out. Meira is taken to Angra to be interrogated. She ends up discovering Hannah's sacrifice and that she is Hannah's daughter. And the conduit of Winter. Theron appears, turning himself in to Angra. Theron and Meira are put in Herod's room to be tortured as Autumn and Cordell advance on Spring. Meira kills Herod. She and Theron flee to help their people fight back. Meira takes a detour, freeing Nessa and the prisoners in Abril's work camp. The Winterians fight back. Sir turns out to be alive. Sir helps Meira fight Angra. Mather takes Angra's conduit a staff and breaks it. The king of Spring disappears. But Meira doesn't assume he's dead. Meira frees the rest of her people. Cordell helps Winter with supplies as the Winterians head back to Jannuari to rebuild. 
And that's what happened this week.

Personal Ads:
Single girl stuck in a love triangle with her best friend and a prince. Can't choose who to care for more. Looking for magic to help her kingdom. Brings bravery and strength to the table. Changes from orphan girl to queen with magic. Tough and sassy at times. Can be a child. Longs for family and love and warmth.

The good thing that happened this week is that we got a good dose of world building. And action. I like how the world is built. It's not bland. It has history and depth. Secrets and alliances. It's more than it seems. I like how it sticks to the theme of the season. But the Rhythm kingdoms? Where is that from? 
I also like idea of helping your people and how you can be you still. Meira goes through emotional problems. She becomes the queen she needs to be. That's a fantastic change. I like it.
Sadly, there is romance but too little to make anything satisfying. I want to root for one couple or the other, but I can't. We don't get any chemistry. We only get a few pages of the intimate interactions between Meira and Theron. There is almost nothing but a one-sided relationship on Meira and Mather's part. Where is the chemistry? What do they bond over? 
I also think that the main character has only a few good things. She's bratty at first. A romantic. She's reckless in a way I don't like. I like her change. But she isn't a good character. She's obnoxious at times.
The plot is also all romance in the beginning. It's good that it sheds that skin and becomes more focused on the people not the lovers. That's a good thing, but the beginning was dull. It could have been different. 

Sunny with a 20% chance of rain 

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