Title: Ash Princess
Author: Laura Sebastian
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Page Count: 448
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
For fans of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, Ash Princess is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.
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.
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Ash Princess Trilogy. This is one that is on the darker side with violence, abuse, slavery and a hint of rape so beware to those with issues with these triggers. There is also a hint of a love triangle involved with the main character, a boy from her past and the son (prince) of her captor.
The story begins as we meet Theodosia Eirene Houzzara who by all rights should be the Queen of Astrea. However ten years before Theodosia’s people were overthrown and her mother the queen was killed in front of her. Since that day she has done whatever she can to stay alive despite the torture she’s endured.
When Theodosia’s father who once was a guard in her kingdom is brought into the court for “trial” and sentenced to death at her own hand it sparks something in the fallen princess. She knows that many of her people have died but even if it costs her own life she must do what she can to regain her throne.
I suppose the first thing to say about this one would be that no, it isn’t a highly original tale but more of one done before. However, when they mention a series like Red Queen in comparison I was hesitant to even try this one because of finding that one so slow and dare I say boring. Ash Princess may have hints of the same type of young adult fantasy read as others before it but it was strangely enjoying to me regardless and I felt myself get caught up in the story as it went along.
The writing in here seemed to flow rather easily for such a dark tale and had a compelling feel to it I’ve missed in other books of this type. The stage has been set in this first book and with a somewhat cliffhanger type of ending it seems there are sure to be some big developments to come with the plot so yes, I will definitely continue the series on to see how it goes from here.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Laura Sebastian grew up having many adventures on an avocado grove and later an island in South Florida. She studied Performing Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design and now lives, reads, and writes in New York City with her dog, Neville.