Sweet Snow, This Is Brilliant!

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Wilbur modeling Snow Like Ashes

Currently, I am more than halfway through with Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. So I’ll probably be back to talk about the ending when I get there. For now, I’m going into spoilers–fair warning for those who haven’t had the chance to read it yet and like surprises.

Let me start you off with this:

Steam rises off wild turnips and onions, twisting into an aroma of savory sweetness. But it’s the berry bowl that makes my stomach do a little dance of excitement…and seeing the bowl of frosted black and red orbs makes more than hunger twirl through me. Alysson makes them…when enough ice can be found to freeze the berries solid. They’re a Winterian delicacy, something all the other refugees eat in revered solemnity.”

I mean come on, that writing is just superb, wow! Can we just acknowledge the fact that Sara Raasch is talking about berries? I want to eat them; it sounds so amazing.

All right, now to really dig in. Main-character Meira is the one cherishing these berries. She is too cool for me. She’d rather be fighting with the men in her boots with a chakram than cook and wear dresses. Even food-scouting isn’t enough for her. Meira is a fighter. Then, she’s got herself a bit of a love triangle going on. Winter’s King Mather or Cordell’s Prince Theron? I’m rooting for Theron. (Mather & Meira shippers, don’t kill me.) He has so much depth–he’s a fighter and writes poetry!–and it’s so obvious he cares for Meira and ALL of his people, even the servants. And he has to deal with his stupid father. Ugh, dumb Noam.

Please direct your attention to this incredible dialogue:

“I can be helpful,” Theron offers, his voice light. “I am, in fact, trained to help an entire kingdom, so I think I can channel some of that training into helping one beautiful woman.”
I look up at him, my eyes narrow despite the smile that crawls across my face. “That’s not fair, throwing out compliments like that. Do you know how dangerous those things can be?”
Theron shrugs, grinning, his cheeks tinged just the slightest pink. He’s embarrassed?
He drops his grin into a pout, puckering his lips and pulling his eyebrows tight over his nose.
I glare.
He pouts harder.
“You’re impossible,” I growl, and rip open the book.
Theron laughs and scoots a little closer to me. “Impossible, endearing. Synonyms, really.”
I mock-laugh…”I’m trying to learn more about magic,” I start.
Theron gasps. “While reading a book called Magic in Primoria? No!”
“Impossible, endearing, hilarious. Also synonyms.”
“So you agree I’m endearing?”
I glare at him and open my mouth, only to find I have absolutely nothing to say. He smiles, waiting, and my gape becomes an incredulous snort.

Did anyone else giggle while reading that?

And Sara creates all these places, which are accompanied by a map in the beginning. (That was greatly appreciated. I don’t know how many times I flipped back to the map.) Seasons, Rhythms. There are even places within places. I’m talking about the tunnels under the Winterian camp in Spring, you know, the one with the wall with the famous quote. A secret little getaway for the prisoners–how great is that? It might be a little overwhelming in the beginning to get used to all of it, but you’ll pick up on everything in no time.

Speaking of picking things up, I would very much like an excuse to say sweet snow above, golden leaves, and mother of all that is cold.

I’m going to get back to reading, and I’ll be back as soon as I can to discuss the ending of Snow Like Ashes once I’ve finished!

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