Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)by Published 24 Apr 2018
|Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Delacorte Books for Young Readers|
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.
"Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)" Reviews
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Ash Princess Trilogy. This is one that is on the darker side with violence, abuse, slavery and a hint of rape so beware to those with issues with these triggers. There is also a hint of a love triangle involved with the main character, a boy from her past and the son (prince) of her captor.
The story begins as we meet Theodosia Eirene Houzzara who by all rights should be the Queen of Astrea. However ten years before Theodosia’s people were overthrown and her mother the queen was killed in front of her. Since that day she has done whatever she can to stay alive despite the torture she’s endured.
When Theodosia’s father who once was a guard in her kingdom is brought into the court for “trial” and sentenced to death at her own hand it sparks something in the fallen princess. She knows that many of her people have died but even if it costs her own life she must do what she can to regain her throne.
I suppose the first thing to say about this one would be that no, it isn’t a highly original tale but more of one done before. However, when they mention a series like Red Queen in comparison I was hesitant to even try this one because of finding that one so slow and dare I say boring. Ash Princess may have hints of the same type of young adult fantasy read as others before it but it was strangely enjoying to me regardless and I felt myself get caught up in the story as it went along.
The writing in here seemed to flow rather easily for such a dark tale and had a compelling feel to it I’ve missed in other books of this type. The stage has been set in this first book and with a somewhat cliffhanger type of ending it seems there are sure to be some big developments to come with the plot so yes, I will definitely continue the series on to see how it goes from here.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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This was a pretty dark and politically twisty fantasy, and I was pretty sold! I mean, I actually thought it'd be much darker (omg I'm so sorry) aaand I loved the beginning and less so the end (Y U EXIST LOVE TRIANGLE) but it had powerful magic and freaking awesome world building and I am so there for this.
✓ Seriously tho: world building!
It actually takes time to show us languages and cultures and there were a lot of "fantasy" words flying about, but I didn't get confused! (A MIRACLE. Sometimes I get confused about how to spell wednesday so this is like amazing for me.) I felt really sucked into the world after only a few chapters. Plus it had a lot of fantastic details so everything seemed super vivid!
✓ It has a lot of "prettiness" in it to balance the horror of the conquerors.
It's absolutely about a conquered nation, and Theo is basically a trophy, tortured daily for the crimes of her people but kept alive despite the horror she has to go through. So she's like lavished in pretty dresses and wears pretty makeup and goes to banquets and has books. Her BFF is one the daughter of a very powerful dude and she's all pretty and light and flippant. But then in the background you have the conquered people being murdered and enslaved in mines and Theo's being whipped if they rebel. And I just??? I loved that contrast.
Actually the magic gets a yes and no from me because I reeeally enjoyed it, but also lol lol elemental magic? STILL??? One of these days someone's going to **GASP** think up something new and we will all fall into our tea and sandwiches in shock.
which actually brings me to...
✗ Look, tbh, it was very predictable if you read a lot of fantasy.
It was hugely The Winner's Curse...like every few chapters I kept thinking "wow this is the Winner's Curse." But minus the (a) scheming, and (b) interesting dual narrators. So maaaybe this is because I read too much, but literally nothing surprised me and by the last 100pgs I was getting kind of um, erm, bored.
✗ LOVE TRIANGLE, WHY THO.
I'm not frikkin' kidding, I am so sick of these. I think my #1 problem is this tried not to be a triangle, but it still was. It was just irritating. Theo has feelings for her childhood friend, Blaise, and also the prince she's supposed to kill, Søren. Both were about as dynamic as an undercooked noodle. Like seriously, if you asked me to ship someone I couldna do it, my friend.
Søren's just sitting here being the "misunderstood chivalrous prince" and Blaise is just here being the "tortured angry rebel boy" and I wanted them to POSSIBLY HAVE PERSONALITIES TOO.
✗ Theo could've done with, um, a personality too.
lmao I'm so sorry. I just wanted more from her?! She was struggling with the horrifying PTSD of her situation but yet I felt I more got told that than actually SAW it. And otherwise she was just good and nice and determined !! to !! succeed !! (And I think this is why it kind of soured for me, becuase I was hoping for a scheming book but Theo was just good™ and pure™ so. (PS. Yes I'm a Slytherin and Gryffindor books tire me.)
✗ And oops I thought it'd be darker.
It basically references darkness that has happened, but it's not really happening on page. So IDK. We get introduced to this captive princess who could literally not BREATHE WRONG or she'd be whipped (slaves of her people were killed for looking at her too long!) and then by the end she's frolicking off for midnight sailing with the prinz?!? Inconsistent much?? The world WAS definitely dark and brutal though. Just not the, ya know, plot or anything.
✗ Honestly I kind of just wanted more??
It's long. It's basically 80% set in the same rooms in the castle. No one is conniving for freedom, and rebellion just sort of topples around. I wanted schemes and RISKS and I wanted people to go through with the "bad" stuff they'd have to do to do good. But instead it all seemed to skirt into "safe" zones and IDK. Maybe I should go sit in a box in the corner. I am a demanding fish.
ALL IN ALL: This one had such a stunning world and sooo much potential and some twists at the end that had me going OMG YES. It's a book that screams for the sequel that's for sure!! (Are we getting more pirates in bk 2?!? I will die of happiness!) It's about wicked conquerors and the glitter and jewels people will pile on top of festering poison and murders and I was definitely intrigued, iffff a little unenthused about the characters and laying on the floor throwing a tantrum at having to suffer that love triangle. BUT I still mostly enjoyed it!
So glad I read this book. Really enjoyed the politics, magic and character in this one. I also could not predict what was to happen in the story. Something that is rare for me these days. Regardless if it took me a week to finish I would happily read this one over and over.
Please tell me "Prinz" is a typo in the synopsis and that it's not how they spell prince bc I don't think I could cope with that tbh xD
pssssstt i know it's german for prince now. thanks(:
"We are not defined by the things we do in order to survive."
This book definitely helped pull me out of my book funk, so praise 🙌
*Review to come*