Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Ah, finally. A new YA high fantasy series worth reading that doesn't focus entirely on romance. Meira is an orphan, one of only a handful of surviving Winterians (yes, I know it's a ridiculous name, but you just have to go with it in this series since four of the eight kingdoms are - you guessed it - named after seasons) that escaped enslavement. She lives as a refugee on the outskirts of the Spring kingdom, the culprits who ravaged their kingdom and destroyed their people. And she, along with her remaining survivors, are struggling to do everything in their power to piece together the missing Winterian conduit to bring magic back to the rightful heir of Winter, her friend and love interest Mather. Once the conduit is restored in full, Mather will have his magic abilities restored, in hopes that they will be able to restore their kingdom to its former glory and rescue what's left of their people from oppression.
Meira only remembers Winter from the stories the others tell. She's been a refugee for all but a few months of her life, and she's never felt that she's fit in. While this story is about the old ball group's adventure, it's really about Meira's journey as well as she tries to find her purpose and where she fits in. Sir, the leader of the group, wants to keep her safe and on the sidelines of the rebellion, but Meira wants nothing more than to prove herself to Sir that she is just as valuable to the cause as all the others.
This story is jam packed with action, and has enough twists and surprises to hold your attention to the end. Though some of the expeditions seem a little like they fell into Meira's lap with good fortune, I really only saw this at the beginning with the first piece of the conduit. And while it's didn't completely blow me away, it's definitely a stellar debut novel for Raasch. I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment in what sounds like (can you guess?) a trilogy.