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Ash Princess Hardcover – April 24, 2018
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“Tense and imaginative, this story of a diminished yet vengeful princess inciting a rebellion to recapture her rightful place of power strikes a timely chord. Ash Princess is a smart, feminist twist on a traditional tale of a fallen heroine, with plenty of court intrigue, love, and lies to sweeten the deal. Good luck putting this one down.” —Virginia Boecker, author of The Witch Hunter series
“The story leaps and twists like a swordswoman, and its blade carves the characters anew and divides them against themselves. This searing page-turner is a compelling examination of the complexities of both evil and resistance.”—Sarah Porter, author of Vassa in the Night
"Laura Sebastian has created a dark and spellbinding epic in Ash Princess. Brace yourself, because Theodosia Houzzara—wounded, driven, and deadly—is going to carve out a place for herself in your heart." —Sara Holland, New York Times bestselling author of Everless
About the Author
Laura Sebastian grew up in South Florida and attended Savannah College of Art and Design. She now lives and writes in New York City. Laura is the author of Ash Princess and Lady Smoke. To learn more about Laura and her books, follow @sebastian_lk on Twitter.
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Towards the end of the book the pace of the story picks up, but most of the plot elements driving the action forward were a little unrealistic. I know this is YA, but a secret tunnel leading to a wardrobe? A prince willing to give up everything for a girl he just met? Guards being replaced and no one in power noticing? Hummm...
So an okay read, but a little cliche with some overused themes. The very beginning and end were good, but the middle drags.
The thing is, even though I kind of want to hate on it because of this, there's quite a bit of good in the book.
First of all, it's got an edge. While this may be a YA Trope-a-rama, it's dark and violent. Our Ash Princess has to do some pretty dark stuff in this book and the author didn't flinch away from it. I can only imagine that book 2 will be even darker if she keeps to the same theme.
Next, it's got some truly cinematic scenes. This is high drama and so wonderfully described that you can just see some of it happening in front of you. I can still visualize Thora/Theo as she walks, ash flaking down from her crown.
And I like the fact that Thora/Theo is never really a wimp. Even as she sometimes acts cowed, there's a lot of strength in her - strength enough to do some pretty harsh things.
I hated the fact that we had - not one - but two (!) love triangles. And all the other Tropey things meant that, as a reader, I knew exactly what was going to happen to certain characters. Not a whole lot of surprises there.
I would read book 2. I'm hoping as the author moves away from the Standard Every Day YA Schtick and moves more into the very interesting edge she has, that the book will be far more unique while still retaining its style.
Hey, but at least there wasn't SOMETHING BAD ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT WALL! (One trope missed.)