Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian | Book Review #380

Trigger Warning: Whippings, Blood, Murder, Massacres, Torture, Emotional Abuse, Human Experimentation Mention, Genocide Mention

32505753Theodosia 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.

I didn’t know what to specifically think of Ash Princess going into reading it. That didn’t stop me from thinking that Ash Princess would be a stereotypical book though. I enjoyed reading Theo’s story because I liked the fact that Theo grew quite a bit in her character growth. We see right from the beginning that she’s terrified of her circumstances. Yet that doesn’t stop her from doing what needs to be done.

The beginning of Ash Princess was certainly interesting and what kept me reading. The beginning of Ash Princess actually held a lot of of promise for the rest of the book. I ended up reading Ash Princess in one day. Not in one sitting, but in one day. I hadn’t set out to do that initially (I’d wanted to read Ash Princess over the course of a few days, actually). Yet the story drew me in so much that the pages flew by and before I knew it I had finished reading the book.

Going in to reading Ash Princess, I kept my bar of expectations super low. Like, I wasn’t expecting anything, which is why I suppose I only had one thing that I didn’t like about Theo’s story.

There’s only one thing that I didn’t like within Ash Princess, and that was the stereotypical “forbidden love.” That, and that the story was the teensiest bit predictable.

What I liked about Ash Princess was that Theo set out to save herself when she had no hope left. She had a goal of saving her people. While she didn’t manage to do that, she quickly realized her qualifications and asked for help. Which she couldn’t do before because of her situation.

I liked seeing the change that went through Theo when she realized that enough was enough, and that she had to take a stand. I especially liked how quickly into the novel Theo seemed to accept her life, as it were, and slowly rebelled against it.

I enjoyed reading about the fantasy aspects of this novel, and I hope that there’s more of a focus on that in the next book.

Lastly, I enjoyed how the story moves fairly quickly.

Overall, Ash Princess didn’t disappoint me, but nor did it wow me either.

I give Ash Princess, 3 stars.

Happy Reading!
— Adele

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