I would like to thank Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an advanced copy of this book! This was one of the 2018 books I was most looking forward to! It sounded quite intriguing and I couldn’t wait to pick it up!
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
Pub Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Price: $24.99 CAD
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.
For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.
Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.
For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.
I enjoyed the book for the most part. I had my ups and downs with it, but it is a good book overall. It has all the things I check off from a good fantasy. Magic. Princesses. And a ruthless villain! Yet it lacked a bit of shine too.
What I Liked:
Theo: Growing up a prisoner in her own home, subject to an extreme amount of physical abuse, I found Theo to be quite resilient. She had absolutely every right to live in fear and tremor at the thought of rebellion. But she also lived in fear of doing nothing. She was human. She was real. She made mistakes, made up for some. She was not some perfect, scared little angel. She was scarred and tired, and willing to do something despite everything terrible about her situation.
People I loved to hate:
The Kaiser: Disgusting.
Cress (very diff girl from my precious TLC Cress): She could have been a waaayyy better person and while I tolerate her decisions and understand her reasoning, in the end I hated her. Am I disappointed with her ending in this book?…Yes…mostly because it is just going to worsen things for Theo.
Brutal and Bloody:
My goodness was this book bloody and ruthless. Sebastian takes time to demonstrate the horrors that Theo has faced in her life time. She does not hold back. The first few chapters of the book all had some kind of blood spilled or a bloody memory pop up. It really set a sombre mood.
The Physical Experience:
I love reading fantasy. There is no better genre to evoke physical reactions from me. From heart racing to that nervous butterfly feeling in my stomach. I have to give it to Sebastian’s writing style, she had a talent to make me feel nervous or precarious. That is how I know that the story is about to get better.
What I Disliked:
No. No. Make it stop. First off…I’m just going to complain about the triangle. NO. No. nO. Secondly…I didn’t really connect with either possible love interests. They each had their own qualities that I liked and others that kind of put me off. I stayed so emotionally unattached from this romance that even the smooch factor couldn’t reel me in. I wouldn’t say that the romance overpowers the story, or that it gets in the way…but it just adds to worry that I don’t need in my life.
It was predictable:
I have read this kind of story before, I will not lie. The whole princess saving her kingdom is one of my favourite types of stories, but each time I read a story like it I pick up on the connections, the line of the story and if there isn’t anything super uniquely astounding it comes off as plain. That being said, I could see some things coming, although there was still those elements of surprise. But still…was it entirely new!unique!mindblowing!??….not really.
Overall, the story is good. Yes, it is reminiscent of many other YA fantasy books, like the Winners trilogy and Red Queen, but it was still quite fun to read. It also suffers from its tropes, but it is still quite an impacting read. I hope we get to delve deeper into the magic of the story in the next book, and I think we might even be getting some pirates! 😀
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars
Recommend: Yes! It’s the classic princess saving her kingdom, I live for this. I want you to live for it too XD
Let me know what you think! Have you read this yet? Are you looking forward to reading it? What “Princess Saving Her Kingdom” book is your favourite?