Ash Princess (Ash Princess Triology #1) by Laura Sebastian
This was such a fun and fast read! I really enjoyed this book and now I can’t wait for the next one!!! This is why I used to wait until an entire series is published before reading the books, but I just can’t seem to help myself lately! It’s nice to read recently published books so you can have discussions with others who are also reading it for the first time. And avoiding spoilers is a lot easier this way as well. Anyway, back to the book! I thought that this was definitely an original plot that while it was similar to a lot of the fantasy YA books, it also didn’t feel overdone or repetetive. I started it and finished it within a couple of sittings which definitely does not happen if I’m not enjoying a book. It wasn’t too heavy so it felt like a quick and easy read but at the same time it was definitely well written and I was quickly invested in the characters and the plot.
Ash Princess is about a girl named Theodosia who used to be princess of her kingdom, her mother the Fire Queen. But at the very young age of six, her kingdom is invaded and her family murdered leaving her as one of the few survivors. The Kaiser who then took over her conquered kingdom keeps her alive and gives her a new name, Lady Thora, and crowns her the Ash Princess as a title of shame for her to bear as a prisoner among strangers. She grows up obedient and submissive to all the ridicule and abuse she has to endure as a captive in her own palace. She chooses not to fight back as a means of survival. She has tried to bury the girl she once was deep within herself, until one day a face from the past is captured and brought before her for execution. Fighting back just might kill her but what’s the point of living a lie? When is it all enough? Theo is faced with a tough decision and must decide how badly she wants to be free and to live.
I really enjoyed the twist where Theo used to call the prison she now lives in home. The thought of suffering in the place where you used to feel comfort and love is such a crude concept to grasp but it really does set the mood for poor Theo. How she has endured it for this long is beyond my ability to understand, for I would have either smarted off or tried to escape and gotten myself killed long before our MC. Not only that, but to be paraded around and shamed at every event wearing a crown of ashes just adds salt to the wounds. I felt that the ash crown was such a powerful symbol of all she was willing to endure. I could see the streaks of ash running down her face so vividly while she is forced to smile and act like nothing is wrong.
The story mostly takes place within the palace and the grounds of the palace so it was easy to picture the setting with little difficulty and simple descriptions. The writing wasn’t overbearing in visually trying to describe where the characters were. I found myself flying through this book because of the ease of the writing. It wasn’t hard to follow and I appreciate that in my reading. Sometimes its nice to instantly be able to picture where your characters are and focus more on the action happening. The plot was also what I like to think of as easy to follow. I could understand that magic system and how it was oppressed and the Kaiser’s need to keep it all to himself. Thus giving us the definition of our evil king and his tyranny over all his subjects who wish to possess magic of their own.
I know that sometimes a love triangle can be a turn off for some, but I will say that this one was so subtle that it really wasn’t frustrating at all. I felt very strongly towards one of the love interests, and I had a feeling that Theo was on the same page as myself, so I actually really enjoyed the romance in this book. It felt like it progressed naturally and wasn’t rushed or forced. I knew that there had to be some sort of twist because there always is, but even then, I was okay with how everything progressed. That first kiss though, how awkward!!!
The ending really left me wanting more more more so I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book! I think that any book that keeps me intrigued or thinking about it for weeks or months after its finished is a sign of a successful read. This one definitely did the job and has me hooked, I will probably need a reread though by the time the next book is published so I can be fresh on all the little details. But I can say that this one was a light and easy and quick read so a reread will be welcome.
If You Liked This Book
If you liked Ash Princess, i think that a good next read would be Everless by Sara Holland. These both tell the story of kingdoms where magic is kept from those who might need it most. And the will of a small few who want to fight to free this power for everyone. They both show the will of those oppressed and how you can’t keep people down for long before someone will aim to rise above and put and end to the tyranny of the selfish rulers. Not to mention a fun love triangle thrown in there for some added drama 🙂
Have any of you also read this book? What were your thoughts on it? What do you look for in a read to make it really stand out from among the others? I’m curious to know! Let me know in the comments below!