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.
Publishes in US: October 14th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA fantasy
Source: harper teen via edelweiss
Series? Yes Snow Like Ashes #1 #2 untitled publishes 2015
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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.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you believe your destiny is your own?