Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)
by Laura Sebastian
What is it about:
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.
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.
What did I think of it:
The plot of this book sounded cool enough to give it a try, although I will confess I expected it to be just another fluffy YA Fantasy that only hints at horrors and is actually all about the romance.
And I was pleasantly surprised.
Theodosia has been humiliated, whipped, and almost broken. She learned to keep her head down to survive. Then she is forced to execute a rebel and she has had enough. She starts to plot how to escape, and how to get revenge of what is done to her and her country.
I loved how Sebastian doesn't pull any punches: people die, Theo has to make truly difficult choices, and has to decide where she draws the line. How far will she go for herself and her people? And when she starts to get feelings for the Prinz that adds to her growing burden.
The story is suspenseful and I could really understand Theo and why she makes certain decisions. She is well aware what might happen to her when the Kaiser discovers she is plotting a rebellion, so when she at times wants to take the easy route instead of sticking to the plan she and her allies made I couldn't fault her for it. She has a great sense of self-preservation, and when she goes against that instinct it makes her all the more brave in my opinion. As the story develops she grows into her new found courage and I rooted for her to succeed in her plans.
It almost wouldn't be a YA without a love triangle, so of course there's another boy Theo falls for as well. I will admit that although I could understand this love interest in his feelings towards the empire, I didn't like him and Theo together. Where I could understand the attraction between Theo and the Prinz, the attraction between the other love interest and Theo felt... unequal. It felt like Thea had to conform to what he thought she was, instead of him liking her for who she really is. She might not be herself when with the Prinz either, but because of the game she is playing she is in control, where with her other beau she has to submit. Maybe it's just me, and I'm rooting for the wrong guy once again.
The end of the book brought some revelations that promise lots of action, more difficult decisions, and more heartache in the next book, so you bet i'll be getting my trotters on it as soon as it releases.
Why should you read it:
It's a YA Fantasy full of intrigue.
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