Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Title: Ash Princess (Ash Princess #1)
Author: Laura Sebastian 
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 24th 2018
Hardcover, 432 pages

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.

"The hope inside me is not smothered yet. It is dying, yes, with only a few embers left. But I’ve seen fires rekindled with less."

I don’t think it is a big secret that I am a sucker for a beautiful and eye catching cover. When I first saw the cover to Ash Princess I was instantly intrigued and then reading the synopsis was even more intrigued by the whole premise of it. Ash Princess was an interesting fantasy read that I really enjoyed. 

"Each time Astrean pirates sank one of the Kaiser’s ships, each time one of the mines tried to revolt, each time a slave spit at their master, it was carved into my skin. The scars are ugly and monstrous and a constant reminder of what I am."

I’m gonna start by talking about Thora because I did like her character a lot but there were a few things that bothered me. Thora, formerly known as Theodosia and heir to the throne is now was is considered the Ash Princess. She is the ashes of the Empire that the Kaiser to took over and a political figurine. I understood a lot of Thora’s turmoil in the beginning of the book. The Kaiser is abusive and a manipulative man, the fact that he made her put a knife in her father’s back only proved how ruthless he is and how weak he want’s to keep Thora. Thora’s thoughts of rebellion are very sudden though, but spark at the blood on her hands. They start when she is cornered by a friend from before her empire fell who offers her an escape, something she had been hoping for for the past ten years but lost the moment her father died. But Thora believes that escaping now is a bad idea and rather wants to stay in the palace so she can gather information and tear down the Kaiser from the inside. Though I appreciate her fierceness and for fighting for what she believes in that thoughts of rebellion seem to be thrown in there quite quickly. 

“You’re a lamb in the lion’s den, child. You’re surviving. Isn’t that enough?”

I actually liked the romance a lot. I’m a sucker for relationships that start with the hero trying to get close with the villain and then actually falling for them. The romance does not take up a huge portion of this book but it was nice to have. We see Thora’s inner turmoil as she develops feelings for the Prince and if she can go through with her and the rebel’s plans to kill him. I am really excited to see where Thora and the Prince’s relationship is going to go considering how Ash Princess ended and the possibility of a love triangle? 

"I am angry. I am hungry. And I promise myself that one day I will watch them all burn."

All in all Ash Princess is full of beautiful world building and a story that is captivating from the moment you read the first chapter. I can’t wait to see what book two is going to have in store! 

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