Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Books

Ash Princess ; Review

🌟🌟🌟 / 5

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian


Theo is a young heroine enslaved within her own palace by a ruthless Kaiser. At just six years of age she was stripped of her title, family and dignity. For ten years she has dutifully fulfilled her role as the Ash Princess in order to survive the abuse of the Kaiser.

One night Theo is ordered to complete an abhorrent task, it breaks her heart and leaves her drenched in the blood of her faithful people. As you can expect this is a turning point for the damsel in distress.

Theo uses her mind and her wits, as well as a few helpful allies who creep out of the woodwork, to begin her claim for her throne. Will she succeed or does the Kaiser have plans for his Ash Princess that not even she could escape from?

A young princess who’s battling to reclaim her throne has now become your typical feminist YA novel. And although each has it’s own unique aspects, the outcome is usually similar.

However, I did enjoy Ash Princess and read it fairly quickly. The characters were fascinating and interesting to follow. One of the more unique aspects of this novel is the elemental magic that some of Theo’s people can harness and develop, which definitely comes in handy when plotting a rebellion!

A huge theme of violence runs through the entire novel with some graphic descriptions which might scare away the more sensitive readers. But this is also what keeps the pages turning, the unexpected abuse or misery that might befall our young heroine at any point.

I loved the cultural aspects in this novel, words and their meanings, food habits and fashion. There is plenty of world building within this novel to satiate any fantasy lover.

Now to explain the reasons why this book didn’t receive a higher rating…

Love triangles.. are we honestly still writing about love triangles?! Can anybody actually tell me they’ve ever been in a serious love triangle situation in real life? To be honest, the only one that comes to mind is the guy that was cheating on his girlfriend while dating my friend. That’s more of a lousy, greedy guy than a love triangle.

I know this is fantasy but can we please have a more realistic romance rather than two guys suddenly falling at your feet after a life time of solitude?

Another reason is that once I fully finished reading this book and started to think about it more, I soon realised not a lot had actually happened in the whole novel. Books that feel like they’re just setting you up for the sequel really grate on my nerves.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and I am holding out hope for a great sequel. If you love YA fantasy books steeped in culture and magic with a fairly predictable plot and an unfortunate love triangle, then I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this beautiful UK paperback.

I received a free copy of this novel from Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.


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