Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adults
Snow Like Ashes, Book # 2
Balzer + Bray
October 13th 2015
January 19, 2021 January 25, 2021
Beat the Backlist, Finishing The Series, Mount TBR, The Backlist Reader
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
About the book
Please read this only if you’ve read the first book in the series. And since it is the second book I’m not introducing the main characters.
Second book in the series called Snow like Ashes of which I reviewed the first book last year. 3 months have passed since the liberation of the Winter people from the work camps in Spring and since the death of the Spring’s King Angra, but the situation isn’t good and simple. Queen Meira has debts with Cordell and Autumn which helped her getting her people back, so she can’t say that Winterians are completely free. Moreover King Noam (Cordell’s King) wants access to the magic chasm which is know to be inside Winter’s mines.
Meira and Theron, Noam’s son, travel the world of Primoria to find the keys to open the chasm, but Meira doesn’t want to open it because she thinks that with its opening, the world could end in caos. She leaves anyway because she wants alleys that aren’t Cordell.
What I think
I loved the first book, so much that it became my favourite of last year. I loved this book but a little less. It is a little too slow, the characters are quite different even if, maybe, it is right that they change a bit, but I don’t see this changing as a growing, I will explain better later. But don’t get me wrong I think this is one of the best series read so far.
I liked that they explore other reigns, in fact in the first book they were in Cordell and Spring only, here they travel to Summer, Yakim and Ventralli. I still love the world built by the author, especially the fact that each reign has its own characteristics and climate. I loved Yakim the most, with its universities, electrical power and heaters that only that reign has. I didn’t like Summer, obviously, and also Ventralli with their masks that mask everything. Oh but I love how they are described (I just wouldn’t like to live there ).
Unfortunately I don’t like Theron anymore. Now, I don’t remember every detail of the first book (alas, this is why I prefer reading a series books all together – not that happens quite often) but he wasn’t a cry-baby there.
Unlike the first book, we have two points of view, the first is Meira’s which is the main and most common and the second is Mather’s, to which a few chapters are dedicated. Meira’s chapters are in first person, while Mather’s are narrated in third person. The chapters are smooth and not too long, the differences between the various kingdoms are explained very well, but they are explanations that are not boring, I liked them as in the first book. The narrative is smooth and without too many difficult words and the descriptions always beautiful.
I liked Meira less than before. She has too many doubts in herself which is perhaps fair given the role she has to fill now, but I see her too indecisive and too dominated by Cordell. She especially seems another person to me, very different from the first book so much so that sometimes I thought I was reading another story and not the continuation of the first. But I repeat, perhaps it is right that this is how it is, it’s only my expectation “talking” after reading the masterpiece of the first book.
I liked Mather even more than the first book. Perhaps he is the only one who sees what is happening and I have wondered several times why Sir (William) is so dazed. And honestly I only saw him as a friend to Meira in the first book, but if this is going to change and become something else, I wouldn’t care (and it’s the first time I want a relationship between two people who I didn’t ship at the beginning and I don’t mind the change – see ACOTAR where I was shipping Rhysand with Feyre at the end, but seeing the first book exists the two of them bothered me at the end). I want to clarify that nothing happens between the two here. It’s just my guess to say that if Meira and Mather happen to get married and have 3 babies at the end of the series, it wouldn’t bother me.
As mentioned, I can’t stand Theron anymore, if Meira were to leave him, it would not bother me. First of all, he speaks for Meira when she is the queen of Winter and he is just Cordell’s prince. According to him, officially they are not even engaged so he has no right to do what he does. And not even in the end he was redeemed and I don’t think he will be in the third book. So he was a disappointment. The only positive aspect is that the author was good in the first book to make us fond of him but not to fall madly in love with him (like in ACOTAR where Maas makes us love Tamlin and then… spoilers…. sorry for the comparison, but it is from the beginning that I do it). And again the disappointment is in him, not in how he is described. Because I understand why and how.
Among the various characters who have appeared in this book, I liked Ceridwen, Summer King’s sister. What she does against her brother is noteworthy and I like that she helps Meira even if she doesn’t know her.
This is a note for the Italian edition: The map, Oscar Vault! Why is there no map? In the previous review I said that it was easy to understand the kingdom, but this time, given the descriptions of the places, I no longer understood where the places were and in fact, looking online I found the map and coincidentally what I thought (Winter at far north) it was not like that… the Seasons are in the south, one in line with the other so you need a map. I looked at the excerpt of the English version and it has it, so I think it’s just a problem with the Italian version? I don’t know but the map is needed! (Thanks internet that you provide for the shortcomings of others).
Anyway, that was referred to my edition, as regards to the series I will continue to read it, obviously unlike the previous reviewed book (Godsgrave) I will continue immediately. I will most likely also read the short stories (which I usually don’t). And I recommend it or at least up to this point I’m happy to have read it, especially the first book which I think is a little gem. I will then tell you if it is worthwhile to read it all in a week However if you have read the first and you are unsure whether to read the second, I would recommend to do it, but don’t expect a book like the first. They are both beautiful, the first more than the second, but very different from each other despite being part of the same series. Obviously the facts are not distorted in the second and everything is consistent with the first book. Maybe it’s just me, which could probably is because reading is subjective…