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A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Orphaned by the conquest and defeat of the Kingdom of Winter, Meira has never had a permanent home. The one she should have grown up in was over taken, leaving the few remaining citizens without magic or land. Raised by the general as a refugee, Meira grew up training to be a warrior, not knowing that one day she would be the key to bringing magic back into the land, and restoring the Winterians to their rightful home.
This book was pretty good. I don’t know if I’ll be running out to read the second one, Ice like Fire, but it was a decent book that I did enjoy. The setting was intriguing, as Raasch takes the idea of the four seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn – and turns them in to Kingdoms, each with their own separate strengths and weaknesses, and eternal weather. As well as the Seasons, there are the Rhythm kingdoms, who have the normal four seasons a year. All Kingdoms have a conduit for magic, but Spring took Winter’s back in the siege and take over 16 years ago. While I did feel at times it was a little odd, the world was built in detail, and the magic was clever.
As main characters go, Meira wasn’t too bad. She was strong, she knew what she wanted, she wasn’t afraid to go out into the danger. But she was also very much a girl – in love with her best friend and future King, Mather, and ending up in a bit of triangle (of course) with the Prince of Cordell, one of the Rhythm countries. I didn’t really connect with her, however, which was a shame. It wouldn’t have mattered if she stormed the castle and never came back. She didn't have much spark to her, but she was determined to do the right thing, and to do what was best for her country.
Mather as a best friend and love interest was great. I liked him as a character, but it was his father, the general, or simply ‘Sir’, and his relationship with Meira that was really nice. He was like a father to Meira, too, and though he was harsh, he was fair, and saw the best in her in the end.
If you’re after a YA fantasy book, then do pick up Snow like Ashes. It’s not really a fantastic life-changing plot, nor is it free of awkward love-triangles, but it is a good read, and the setting made it quite fascinating.