The Weekend Binge: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Posted January 20, 2024 by Lillian in Features, Reviews / 3 Comments

Happy Saturday y’all! This week we had snow and ice so I stayed home a majority of the week. AND because the local electric grid was requesting us to use less power, I didn’t do much aside from read. I decided to knock out five challenges with one stone this month 😀 The Fantasy/Sci-Fi Challenge’s prompt for January is “A Wintery Fantasy/Sci-fi,” and I had the perfect one on my TBR list: Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch.

Since I read the first two books in the series just prior to their release in 2014 and 2015 respectively, I decided a reread was in order, and y’all know I love a series binge 😉 This week I spent my time reading/listening to the Snow Like Ashes series. Since I’ve read and reviewed the first two books previously (original reviews linked below), I decided to do an updated mini-review of each since I read a different format. I will have a full review of Frost Like Night later next week. These books go towards my challenge goals for the Audiobook Challenge, Library Love, Backlist Reader Challenge, Fantasy/Sci-Fi Challenge, and Finishing the Series Reading Challenge.

The Weekend Binge: Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Published by Harper Audio on 2014-10-14
Length: 10 hours and 56 minutes
Reviewing Audiobook from TN R.E.A.D.S.
Reading Challenges: 2024 Audiobook Challenge, 2024 Library Love Challenge

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, 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.

To see my original review of Snow Like Ashes, click here.

I’m not sure how much more I can add to my original review of this one. Even nearly ten years later, I still loved it! Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is the first in a trilogy about a young girl who rises from orphan refuge to soldier to….well more. Meira is what a seventeen year old girl should be. She’s slightly rebellious, a little immature, and learning who she is and how she fits into the world. And this world is looking to kill her. As one of 8 refugees from the kingdom of Winter, Meira has spent her life learning the customs and traditions of a kingdom that fell when she was just a baby. Her days are filled with education and training as soldier so that one day, maybe, they can save the Winterians that have been enslaved by Spring and rebuild their kingdom.

Exciting, fast-paced, and wonderful world-building! I easily got lost in Meira’s story. Her love for Mather and her reluctance to marry Theron all fit with the character Raasch has created. Her tenacity and stubbornness serve her well. The other characters Sir, Mather, Theron, and even King Noam are wonderful additions to the story, adding depth and intrigue.

Kate Rudd narrates, and I loved her for it. I never had to question who was speaking. Her inflections and tone add to the story rather than detract from it. I listened in just two sittings at 2x speed, which is slightly faster than my normal 1.5x since I’d read this one before. If you enjoy audiobooks, I highly recommend it.

The Weekend Binge: Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschIce Like Fire by Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #2
Published by Harper Audio on 2015-10-13
Length: 12 hours and 48 minutes
Reviewing Audiobook from TN R.E.A.D.S.
Reading Challenges: 2024 Audiobook Challenge, 2024 Library Love Challenge

It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

To see my original review of Ice Like Fire, click here.

I feel like I owe this book a HUGE apology 😂 When I read it back in 2015, I just didn’t care for it at all. I gave it 3-stars begrudgingly because I liked the cliffhanger ending. Because of those feelings, I put off reading Frost Like Night for way too long. Ice Like Fire switches gears a bit. While the first book in the series focuses on Angra, saving Winter’s people, and is full of action and suspense, this book focuses more on political intrigue, Winter’s rebirth, and is still full of suspense…just a different kind. Note: If you haven’t read Snow Like Ashes, there may be spoilers to that book below.

The end of book one dealt some heavy blows to Meira. Between finding out who she really is and leading Winter’s people home, Meira hasn’t had time to grieve her old life and reconcile it with her new one. The magic that is brewing inside of her frightens her at the same time that it empowers her. All the rebellion and stubbornness she had in book one is tampered down by the knowledge that she is queen. I was a little hard on Meira in my first read through of this book. I felt more empathetic this time. Her struggles are justified and play out well throughout the book.

My *slight* obsession with Theron when I read book one carried over and influenced my reading of this book the first time I read it. I will say I was biased and didn’t give the book a fair shot when it turned Prince Theron into the antagonist. Theron has just as much going on in his head as Meira, however we are not privy to his thoughts, so his actions don’t line up with what we know about him making his slow spiral a mystery.

Overall, I enjoyed Ice Like Fire. I did listen this time, and the narration was just as good as the first book. I loved the addition of Mather’s POV as it gives the readers a glimpse of what is happening in Winter while Meira is traveling to other kingdoms. If you enjoy fantasy, I highly recommend it.

About Sara Raasch

Author Sara Raasch

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures.

She is the New York Times bestselling author of the teen fantasy trilogy SNOW LIKE ASHES, the fantasy duology STREAM RAIDERS, the fantasy duology SET FIRE TO THE GODS cowritten with Kristen Simmons, and the historical romantasy duology WITCH AND HUNTER cowritten with Beth Revis.

Up next: A SWORD IN SLUMBER out 9/3/24 from Disney, and THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE KISSMAS, her adult romcom debut, out Fall '24 with Bramble/Tor.

None of her books feature her hand-drawn pictures.

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