Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on April 24, 2018
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.
I received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program, all thoughts are my own.
Oh goodness. Where to even start with this review. Should I beat around the bush? Be kind? Get straight to the point?
I just want to say I went into this expecting… not a lot really, but I thought it was going to be different than what I got. I thought this would be a Cinderella retelling, but um… it’s definitely not. I guess there are vague connections but for me, it’s not enough to mark it as a retelling.
When I finished this the other day, I was left with the feeling that wow… that was actually really good, I really enjoyed it— and I did enjoy it. But over the day I had some time to think about it and let it marinate in my mind and I don’t get why I liked it. Perhaps it was some of the quotes? The few pages of interest? I don’t know, but the verdict is, this book was not for me and let’s get into the reasons with the least spoilers way that I can.
- Characters: The characters were really two dimensional to me. There was no depth to the important players, no interest, they were just bland. I found myself skimming pages when it came to certain characters cause I just could not care. And then there is Theodosia/Thora. I don’t know how to feel about her. I like her, and I don’t. To me she was the most frustrating character, I just… literally could not understand her sometimes? Half of the decisions she made was just.. ugh why!
- The villain: It’s no secret that the Kaiser is the villain. He is… literally your typical YA villain. Power hungry, evil, whatever, no depth at all. He might be my least favorite villain ever because shoot, even Maven Calore (and I despise him) has more depth and interest than Kaiser does.
- Writing: It was meh. I’ve read better writing and honestly, it was hard to follow along at times and I skimmed a few parts and I don’t think I’ll be reading anything else by this author because it just didn’t mesh with me.
- Plotline: Again your typical YA fantasy plot line. TO THE T. You have your lost/banished princess, an evil has taken over the country, joins a rebellion to claim her throne. LOVE TRIANGLE. She is empowered and ready to take what’s hers. I literally see this in 75% of the books I read. I’m tired of it.
- Love interest: I think there are like two or three love interests for the main character? I don’t know or care. You have the Prinz Soren who is so in love with our dear MC after like what, days? *que me gagging* Sure they’ve known each other for a while, but he probably cared not for her up until the middle (if you’ve read this you know what I am talking about)
And then we have Blaise. I just imagine him as a ten year old boy. He’s uninteresting.
I just literally could not care for either of these two.
Anyway, I’m sad this did not work out for me because I really wanted to like it. But I just can’t care about the world or the characters or the plot line. I can pretty much figure out what will happen and I won’t be picking up the second.
Also, how dare they compare this to Ember.