Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy, #1)” as Want to Read:
Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ash Princess

(Ash Princess Trilogy #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  39,695 ratings  ·  4,851 reviews
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
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ash Princess, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Laura Hi! I've actually been getting this question a lot and I did a Twitter thread about it. I'm compiling it here so it can be easily found.

"Hey y’all. I’…more
Hi! I've actually been getting this question a lot and I did a Twitter thread about it. I'm compiling it here so it can be easily found.

"Hey y’all. I’m seeing some discussion of the violence in Ash Princess so I want to talk a bit about that so that readers can go in with open eyes. AKA here are some trigger warnings. I’m going to try to be vague enough to avoid spoilers, but there may be some very light ones.

Ash Princess is about a conquered country where the original inhabitants are all slaves. About half of the main cast of characters are or were slaves and they talk very frankly about their experiences, including being beaten, starved, and raped.

To be clear: there is no on-page rape or attempted rape in the book. The discussions of it happening off-page aren’t graphic or explicit.

One of my biggest pet peeves in storytelling is when rape is used as a plot device. I didn’t want to do that here. But at the same time, it would have been been disingenuous to write about colonization without including it.

Though there isn’t on-page rape, there are some scenes where the unspoken threat of it hangs over Theo’s head. There are scenes with uninvited and inappropriate touching.

There is also physical and psychological abuse including one graphic whipping scene. Again, this kind of violence was not something I set out to write and, in all honesty, they were the hardest scenes for me. But again, I felt they were necessary.

Theo’s world is an ugly one and I found its roots in real history. Not including the violent aspects and the ripples created by them would have been, I felt, to gloss over the atrocities of war and colonization that persist to this day in our very real world.

However, the last thing I want to do is to blindside people who already understand that all too well. If anyone has any questions about this, please feel free to reach out to me through DMs."(less)
The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackWar Storm by Victoria AveyardQueen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra ClareA Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa TahirObsidio by Amie Kaufman
YA Novels of 2018
1,015 books — 5,576 voters
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. MaasQueen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra ClareWar Storm by Victoria AveyardThe Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Can't Wait Books of 2018
1,195 books — 4,733 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  39,695 ratings  ·  4,851 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy, #1)
Emily May
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Is it better to have your life ended by someone who hates you or someone who loves you?

Ash Princess has a heroine desperately trying to reclaim her stolen throne, a mindlessly evil tyrant who stole said throne, and a love triangle... What's that, you say? You've heard this one before? Yeah, me too.

That being said, to give credit where it's due, it stands out for being compulsively readable and entertaining.

Plot and character-wise, it resembles many other YA fantasies. But I was just complai
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because my friends loved it and I wanted to follow their hype! Unfortunately it wasn’t for me. So much of the plot followed the standard YA fantasy checklist without adding anything new. What bumped this down to 2 stars for me is that I couldn’t stand the main character. For someone who has an entire country depending on her to reclaim their land, she does nothing other than act wishy-washy and indecisive. It drove me crazy that she kept on talking about having to kill peop ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

ARC provided by Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.

“My name is Theodosia Eirene Houzzara, Queen of Astrea, and I will endure this.”

Friends, I couldn’t put this down. This was such an addicting and captivating read. This was the first book of 2018 that I read in one day, which is saying something because this book is almost 450 pages. I was just so invested with the romance, the rebellion, and the betrayals, that I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

Ash Princess is La
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Red Queen, Falling Kingdoms and Ruined, but this is BETTER
Edit: I accidentally read this as Ass Princess and that’s what I’ll always see when I look at this title.

This book is everything I wanted Red Queen to be. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 What a fantastic debut. I loved this so much, I deadass want to reread it and experience all the feels all over again. It was just so addicting and I was unable to put this down!! I devoured this 400+ page book in two days.

Ash Princess is a trope-filled book with a very common story line. Theodosia, or Theo, was six years old when she
C.G. Drews
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty dark and politically twisty fantasy, and I was pretty sold! It had powerful magic and intriguing 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. 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
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars

There's no denying:

--This could have been more intricately plotted.
--The characters could have been more developed.
--Some of the violence, because there are repeated beatings, could have been written with more emotional and physical impact
--There is a half-hearted triangle. (sorta? Maybe more of a red herring.)
--After 400+ pages, I'm still not entirely sure how all the magic works.

And yet...I enjoyed it! It doesn't hurt that the book starts off with a doozy of an act, one that clearly
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018

Theo is so strong, and actually a normal character who relates to things normally which i loved, felt i could relate to her a little better. Magic, kings, war and spying. i could barely put it down! I'm so excited for the sequel already and i can't believe i have to wait another year!

And I know it had a love triangle, but it was so believable for me.

And the struggle, omg. And the humiliation. Jesus Christ.

Theo reminds me a little of Tris from
Apr 08, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone looking for a typical YA book
Recommended to Bhavya by: Nashita, Katie
“Because that’s how water works. The river flows, pushing against a stone, even as it knows it won’t move it. It doesn’t have to. Enough currents go by, over enough time, and even the strongest stone gives in. It might take a lifetime or more, but water doesn’t give up.”

Rating- 3 stars

Content/ Trigger warnings- Beating, Blood, Captivity, Emotional abuse, Gore, Human experimentation, Inappropriate and unwanted touching, Mass killing, Murder (brutal), Physical abuse, PTSD, Racism, Ra
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
So earlier this year I took a trip to the south of France, notably the Périgord, which is filled with lovely relaxed people with sun-kissed skin and floaty skirts, a nice contrast to my jumpy pasty ass (I was in the middle of an existential crisis and musing over whether or not to quit my job and become a starving artist, and The Results May Surprise You!).

While I was there I went to this antiques shop filled with retro fridges and dusty comics and amazing vinyl albums from the 80's, from befor
Helena Paris
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it

Everyone who compared this to the Winner’s Curse was pretty on the money, except that it was reversed. It’s as if we’re following Arin’s story, rather than Kestrel’s.

Me likey. I can’t wait to start Lady Smoke!
shady boots
--2.5 stars--

This book was... fine. It wasn't horrible, it wasn't particularly great, it was just okay. It reads like literally any YA fantasy book you've ever read. If you're looking for something groundbreaking or innovative, then there's nothing to see here. It felt like the author had a YA Fantasy 101 handbook to refer to during the writing process. Like, there isn't a single thing I can think of about this book that gives it its own identity. Feels like it was made by a machine that figured
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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 bef
Aug 24, 2017 marked it as to-read
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(:
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

In YA, everyone piles onto the bandwagon of the latest trends. A few years ago it was dystopian fiction but now we've a glut of fantasy on our hands. As someone who loves fantasy, this should be a good thing, but the YA machine keeps churning out subpar, derivative works that are less good world-building and action-heavy plots than wallpaper fantasy settings for tepid romance.

In this regard, ASH PRINCESS is no exception.

I'm really annoye
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yay! First book of 2019! Pretty solid fantasy read. A little bit tropey at times, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the story. I was rooting for this character and I wanted her to make it so badly. The plot kept me invested from start to finish, and I look forward to reading the sequel. ...more
Ben Alderson
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Cindy ✩☽♔
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
"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*
She gets to her feet and I know that I should rise as well and curtsy, but I’m frozen in place. “Some advice, little lamb? Next time you close a window, make sure it doesn’t open a trapdoor beneath your feet.”
She’s halfway to the door when I find my voice. “I don’t know what I’m doing,” I admit, barely louder than a whisper.
The Kaiserin hears me, though. She turns and regards me with that disconcerting, unfocused stare of hers. “You’re a lamb in the lion’s den, child. You’re surviving. Isn’t
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars

"Now it's time for a queen to rise."

I'm gonna be honest: This was better than Red Queen


I know, I know, that's such a bold claim to make. But I stand by it. Ash Princess was a surprisingly good read. I knew it had the same tropes as most YA fantasy does: Rebellion, princesses, love triangle, etc. But I was invested in the story as well as Theodosia's character development.

This took me a while to read not because it was boring, but because of finals. I read in-between studying but once fina
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark
My 500th! Yay!!
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, fantasy
This dark YA fantasy is the debut novel of Laura Sebastian, it is the first of a planned trilogy. 16 year old Theodosia Houzzara has suffered the nightmare of 10 long years as a prisoner of the Kalovaxians and the tyrant King Kaiser. Her mother, the Queen, was murdered in front of her eyes when she was 6, the country was conquered, land taken and resources pillaged. Theo is shamefully known as the Ash Princess, and her people have been enslaved, any murmurs or acts that challenge the dismal mise ...more
✰ Aileen ✰
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book

“I was a princess made of ashes; there is nothing left of me to burn.
Now it's time for a queen to rise.”


A great surprise!

I didn’t expect much from Ash Princess when I bought it for 99 cents a couple of weeks ago. So I am all the more pleased to be able to say that I really liked it.

The story itself is not very imaginative, but I think the character development during the course of the book is very well done. At first glance, princess Theodosia Eirene Houzzara is like
Aliyah ♡ ♡
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Am I posting this review months after reading this book? Yes
Please don’t question it, I suck at consistency.
This review contains no spoilers 💫

I’m so glad I put off reading this book for years.
Let me explain why.
Ash princess follows Theo, a girl whose country was colonised by the Kalovaxians. Theo is essentially Queen but since the murder of her mother and a shift in power, she’s been demoted to ‘ash princess’, kept in the same castle where she once was royalty in.

Subjective grade- 85%
Plot -
Abbie (boneseasonofglass)
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, fantasy
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher (macmillan)*

*This does not affect my views or opinions*  

To start off with, the writing was wonderful. It was so well written, it flowed so well, was descriptive, but not overly so.  The pacing was spot on, and the world building was wonderful. The characters were all well developed too, and I liked them and had interest in whether or not they survived from pretty early on in the book.

However, the thing is, it a
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of ToG, Falling Kingdoms & Kiss of Deception.
Shelves: arc, 2018-releases

Hey Ya’ll!

I received this ARC of Ash Princess, coming out April 24 of 2018, from a Goodreads giveaway and I picked it up immediately when it arrived at my house. This book, as you’ll read in other reviews, started out trying to be the Falling Kingdoms series. I’m not even going to lie, the first maybe 15% wasn’t that unique. But by the end of the book it had come into it’s own and earned itself a 5 star rating from me, which as you guys probably know not many books get. A book really has to blow
BookDuck | Maddie (Inking & Thinking)
⭐️ 2.5 Stars ⭐️

Theodosia, also known as Theo, is the princess of Astrea. But when the Kalovaxians attack Theo loses everything. Her mother, the queen, is now dead, and all the citizens of Astrea are now slaves to the Kalovaxians. Theo was named the Ash Princess and is now a captive in her palace. She has endured relentless abuse from the Kaiser and was portrayed as a weak, broken little girl. But after the Kaiser makes her an unthinkable act, she realizes that she must fight back for her kingdom
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5/3 stars

This wasn't horrible but the similarities to Ruined by Amy Tintera are so much that I am side-eyeing a bit. The plots and characters were almost identical.
The romance played a big part in this book and it was so bland I ended up skimming those scenes.

I probably won't continue this series since it added nothing new to so many YA fantasies I've read before.
Dannii Elle
First Read: May 2018, Rating 4.5 stars
Second Read: October 2020, Rating: 4 stars

Theodosia is the last remaining heir of a vanquished country but now she is owned by her conquerors. Paraded around as the Ash Princess, for all she now truly rules has been burnt to its roots, and whipped for every misdemeanour of her enslaved people, her thoughts seek no further than in surviving every day. But her people do not forget. And neither will she, when they come to return her to her rightful spot as rule
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
This is just not happening right now, but I do think I might enjoy this some other time, so I'm setting it aside for now. I think I just need to get over this ridiculous burnout I have RE: "lost royals" stories in YA fantasy. ...more
“I was a princess made of ashes; there is nothing left of me to burn.Now it's time for a queen to rise.”

⭐⭐⭐ stars

Ash princess is filled with cliche YA tropes, boring writing and a predictable plot twists.
INDEED, YA books are sometimes filled with disappointments

Ok so, Theodosia aka Thora is a fallen princess living in her kingdom Astrea with the Kalavaxians who are now controlling the area. The Kalavaxians have taken everything from her, her mom, family and her crown. Now she lives as the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Shadows Between Us
  • The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)
  • The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)
  • The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
  • To Kill a Kingdom
  • From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1)
  • A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4)
  • Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)
  • Everless (Everless, #1)
  • A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash, #2)
  • An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
  • Sorcery of Thorns
  • An Enchantment of Ravens
  • Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep, #1)
  • House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
I write YA books and I'm also entrusted with taking care of other people's children. I write books about girls who are strong in all different ways, usually with a healthy dollop of magic and a few dragons.

I live in NYC with my extraordinarily fluffy dog, Neville.

Other books in the series

Ash Princess Trilogy (3 books)
  • Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy, #2)
  • Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Bow down, readers. We've rounded up the most popular royal books in the young adult fandom. How are we qualifying their noble...
256 likes · 39 comments
“We are not defined by the things we do in order to survive. We do not apologize for them,” she says quietly, eyes never leaving mine. “Maybe they have broken you, but you are a sharper weapon because of it. And it is time to strike.” 87 likes
“I was a princess made of ashes; there is nothing left of me to burn.
Now it's time for a queen to rise.”
More quotes…