Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on April 24, 2018
Series: Ash Princess #1
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy & Magic
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.
When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.
Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.
Ash Princess is the first book a young adult fantasy series by the same name by author Laura Sebastian. Ash Princess is Laura Sebastian’s debut novel, which impressed me even more. I really liked this novel. I know it might seem like a storyline that you have heard before, and while I am not going to say it so shockingly different, it was different enough to stand out against other young adult fantasies. I especially loved the foreword, where she describes her heroine as someone who does not battle with a sword, but rather, with her own wits and cunning. It is really refrshing to see such a heroine portrayed, because it made her so much more relate able to me.
Theo is the princess of her country that was invaded and taken over when she was a little girl. Her parents, and most of her people, were killed and Theo, or Thora, was kept as a palace prisoner. The invading ruler, called the Kaiser, believes that he completely broke Theo’s spirit. He allows her free reign of the castle, but she is made to wear a crown made of ashes to festivals to symbolize that she is only a princess of ashes. as awful as it was to see Theo walk around with her head held high and ashes literally streaking down her face, the detail of the Ash crown was an interesting feature of the story. Theo has been biding her time, until she finds an opening to help regain her land for the few remaining people she has. I liked her most of the time but towards the end of the book, she did make some decisions that personally made me mad. I don’t think she had to go about things in quite the manner that she did, but we will see how that all plays out in the next novel. The world in which Ash Princess takes place is an interesting one, full of politics and warring countries- and magic! I loved the magical aspects of the story with the spiritgems and the history of the Astrean people and I know we are only going to see more and more of that in the next book.
I enjoyed the romance that was budding between Theo and the Kaiser’s son, Soren, and I think I will like it even more in the second book. In fact. I think I will enjoy the second book more as a whole. Ash Princess was a great story, but it was a lot of world building and setting the stage for the big action that is to come. There was so much that went on at the end of the story, that I am itching for the second book to come out. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen with Cress and I am so freakin’ excited to see how that is going to develop. A surprise favorite character of mine was the Kaserin. She was a delight, and I wish we got to see more of her.
Overall, Ash Princess is a great start to a trilogy. There were a few plot holes that I am anxious to see developed in the next novel, but overall I thought this book laid the ground work for what is shaping up to be an excellent young adult fantasy series. I loved Ash Princess and I think I am going to like the second book even more!#Review & #Giveaway of Ash Princess by @sebastian_lk @DelacortePress Enter at @BookBriefs Click To Tweet
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