Thursday, May 17, 2018

Book Shelf: Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) by Laura Sebastian

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

More info on Goodreads....


Lauren Sebastian’s debut novel Ash Princess is Ruined by Amy Tintera meets The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkovski and is an intriguing story of romance, deception and desperate rebellion.

Theodosia was six years old when her country was invaded and her mother, the ruling Queen, murdered before her eyes. That day saw Theo loose more than just her mother; she lost her kingdom, her name and her freedom. Ten years have passed with Theo a captive of the Kaiser within the palace that was once her beloved home. Powerless, Theo has had no choice but to bury the girl she was and endure the endless abuse and ridicule at the hands of the Kalovaxian leader. Crowned the Ash Princess, Theo has survived a lot but when the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable, the blood left on her hands threatens to break her. As Theo struggles to reconcile her choices, from the ashes begins a spark that will see her take up a rebellion against those that have enslaved her people and made them suffer. Theodosia will learn that war isn’t always won on a battlefield. She’s going to reclaim her throne and save her people; even if it means taking drastic choices and breaking her own heart in the process….

Ash Princess is a dark and passionate story that weaves political intrigue, acts of rebellion and moments of violence together beautifully with lyrical writing and a lot of promise. In the vein of many successful YA fantasy novels, Ash Princess invites readers into a conquered land and into the heart of a princess determined to save her people. The writing drew me into the story and the setting was dangerous and violent enough to keep me on my toes.

The overall concept may be one we have seen before but Lauren Sebastian does fight to give her story an edge with different elements brought to the surface to make it unique. At this point in time, I feel that we may see a lot more in future novels that will make Ash Princess stand out above the rest. It’s just an inkling I have based on some of the hints Sebastian has expressed and am hoping this is the case.

Personally I’m of a mixed mind where our protagonist Theodosia is concerned. There were times when I really liked her and times when I struggled to connect. I feel like she has promise (much of the story does) but I want to see more before I’m comfortable passing judgement. I was disappointed to see my least favourite trope appear—the dreaded love triangle—and I wasn’t completely smitten with either love interest to be honest. So…..I’m hoping to see more of Theo that will win me over.

Darkly riveting, if somewhat slow in the beginning, Ash Princess begins Lauren Sebastian’s debut series well. There’s a lot to be enjoyed within its pages and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel in the future to see how Sebastian expands on her world. The ending was heading in the direction of a cliffhanger and I for one am looking forward to seeing what will happen next.

Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $16.99
Release Date: April 24th 2018
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Ash Princess was beautifully written and I think the series shows a lot of promise; I'll definitely read the sequel when it comes out.

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