Saturday, April 21, 2018

REVIEW: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, sexual harassment, mentions of rape, espionage, treason, and unexpected twists)
Pages: 432
*I received this book courtesy of NetGalley and Delacorte Books! Thanks! All opinions are my own.


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.

So going into this book I thought it would be your common damsel in distress book with a love triangle and the romance would overwhelm me to a point of turning off my Kindle. But holy cow was I wrong, well not about the love triangle but that’s for later in this review. This book was an unexpected favorite of mine. The characters were so well developed that even those who appeared “on-screen” for a short period of time had an impact on me. Theo’s struggles and triumphs felt amazingly real to me that I became one with her. I cried when she cried. I fist pumped when she succeeded. I became heavily invested in all of these characters and I think any book that can make me feel this way is very special. I also have to praise the book on its world building. The world building was fantastically done and already we were heavily introduced to a handful of different continents in the first book. I could accurately picture the story and follow along with the actions as the story went on. Lastly, I want to praise the book on its plot and pacing. While this book is not very action-packed, it’s very intriguing and I love the slow build up and political side to this treasonous story.

While I loved the book, I do have to warn that this book is very violent and horrifying. The main character is tortured again and again and at times it makes the book very hard to read. But I think that’s what makes this book special. It’s not afraid  to “go there” and write down what would be the majority of people’s fears: seeing your mother’s throat slit, being made to stab someone you love in the back, gaining a friend to have them stab you in the back, being forced to go through torture again and again through the hands of people who killed everything you love… It’s horrific at times, but it’s completely real about the pain the main goes through.

Verdict: A book that keeps you on your toes and isn’t afraid to yank the rug out from underneath your feet. A must read for 2018.


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