Book Review – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

ash princess ukThe queen you were meant to be
The land you were meant to save
The throne you were meant to claim

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, 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.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can’t ignore her feelings and memories 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.

Forced to make 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.

From author Laura Sebastian comes Ash Princess, a nail-biting YA fantasy debut full of daring and vengeance.

***

gold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svg  4/5 Stars

I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I found Ash Princess to be very more-ish, and a well written and easy read. The story isn’t necessarily something you haven’t seen elsewhere, and maybe that’s what has stopped me from giving it five stars. But aside from that, I found the characters had depth, and I was willing them on, or hating them, depending! The story was definitely keeping me turning pages to find out what happened next!

Before I start I want to advise that this book has explicit torture, brief discussion of rape (non graphic) as well as implicit threats of rape, and ptsd. I think they were very well written, but read carefully if these are triggers for you.

I really liked Theo. I loved her whole story. Her plight, the abuse she has gone through (and especially the way that the after effects are not shied away from), the way she deals with the constant threat she is under and her relationships with others. I really liked her relationship with Cress – both initially and as it plays out in the book. It’s both a very easy friendship but also rife with complications and inherent things unsaid. I like that it’s not a simple friendship. I also like Theo’s complicated feelings on all the people in her life, but especially Blaise and Søren.

Talking of the boys, I again liked how they were portrayed. They had layers – especially Søren. I liked Theo’s approach to him too – as much as it’s sort of portrayed as a love triangle, it’s not enough of one to annoy me and I found it refreshing for her to be approaching him as she did.

As I said, it’s maybe nothing too different overall, but it certainly felt different enough in execution – maybe in some of the way it dealt with the trauma. And it really is incredibly easy to read. I was trying not to read too fast at the end, as my hands were trying to turn pages before I was done (and I didn’t want to miss any of it!) in an effort to get to the end faster! 😂

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