C.G. Drews's Reviews > Ash Princess

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, epic-fantasy, read-2018, young-adult

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.

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!
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Reading Progress

November 9, 2017 – Shelved
November 9, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 9, 2018 – Started Reading
May 9, 2018 –
page 28
6.48% "this is already super bloody and actually has world building (!!) my little fantasy-loving heart bEATS FASTER"
May 13, 2018 –
page 251
58.1% "Me: I should think about what's going to be in my review--
Me: no I mean like actual thoughts about the plot and--
May 13, 2018 –
page 316
73.15% "Ohhh a ... love ... triangle ...
May 13, 2018 – Shelved as: 4-star
May 13, 2018 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
May 13, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
May 13, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 13, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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Minni Mouse The Winner's Curse is everything, yaaaas. Grateful review! 😀

Kathy Tuck Great review, reading this in about a week :-D

empirestatebookshelf If I didn't like The Winner's Curse... do you still think I could like this one? Because I've wanted to read it for so long but... I also don't want to hate it 😂

C.G. Drews @Minni: I really love that series!!

@Kathy: I hope you like it!!

@empirestatebookshelf: I have no idea 😂try and see?

Angel I haven't given "The Winner's Curse" a try. Is it darker? More plot twisty? And most importantly... does it have a love triangle?!

C.G. Drews @Angelee: I think TWC is cleverer...it's more into schemes and plot twists and betrayals. Not necessarily darker? NO TRIANGLE (thank goodness 😂😂)

message 7: by Stella (new) - added it

Stella (Paper Wings) Awww I was hoping for some quality scheming too😔

Donna (the book hoarder) Søren's just sitting here being the "misunderstood chivalrous prince" and Blaise is just here being the "tortured angry rebel boy"》》 I'm reading it right now and THIS. You summed up my problem with these two with this sentence. I'm just not feeling them or the love triangle to be honest 😪

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