Title: Ash Princess
Author: Laura Sebastian
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: eBook – NetGalley
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
~ Goodreads Synopsis ~
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.
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Overall, I really enjoyed reading Ash Princess. I debated between giving it a 3.5 or 4 star rating, but I decided, thinking of the journey that was reading this book, that I would give it 4 stars. I didn’t know what to expect from this book because I had never heard of it before I saw it on Netgalley, but whatever expectations I may have had were met and maybe even exceeded.
First of all, I really enjoyed the main character. Given her circumstances, she wasn’t whiny or constantly crying like some main characters. With that, she also remained incredibly relatable. Thora (Theo) is 17 years old – she has witnessed the killing of her mother, and then her father, first hand, and has been doomed to life with a ruthless leader known as the Kaiser. You can see her growth in every page, and it was really great to see because in most series, the development takes forever since there are so many books for characters to develop over. I also really liked her conflicted feelings over her two different sides of life – Kalovaxian and Astrean. Most characters side entirely with their home land, even when raised somewhere else. Thora understands the stakes of her situation, and her need to side with the Astreans, her country, but feels guilty when faced with the few Kalovaxians she has grown to love.
One thing I am really looking forward to in the sequels is the development of Thora’s love life! I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I will only say that she has a major choice to make in who she decides to love, as a wrong move could divide her from her country.
The plot of the story was super interesting, and is one of my favorite plot lines with the stolen-princess concept. It did seem a little drawn out in places – throughout the novel, there is so much tension built up that I was waiting for a big explosion that never came. I feel like a LOT is going to go down in the sequel with how this first book ended, and I know that the explosion I was looking for will be there. In the end, there was also a string of smaller plot twists, which kind of left the book as a cliff hanger because the stakes just rose that much higher.
I am super excited for the release of this book and to hear what everyone thinks of it! On Goodreads, it has a 4.1 overall rating, so I’m guessing I’m not the only one that loved it. Let me know dow below if you plan to read it, or if you’ve read any similar books so I can check them out. ❤
Thanks for reading!