Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she’s not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.
When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can’t keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser’s warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn’t expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who’s been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart’s sister, Cress.
Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she’s willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she’s willing to sacrifice to become queen.
Author: Laura Sebastion
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 24th 2018
Ash Princess #1
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TW- Explicit physical and mental abuse, racism and slavery
Disclaimer: despite all of my gripping in this review, I won’t say it’s a bad story… it’s just really unoriginal and I wasn’t having fun.
Don’t be disappointed, I made it 220 pages in a just over 300 page E-ARC… So I put in way more effort than I thought I would.
The beginning’s really info-dumpy (that’s a word) and I got tired pretty quickly. However, after those initial chapters of forcing exposition down my throat
it wasn’t many my interest kind of peaked? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate this book. However, I pushed myself not to DNF and failed this one and my eyes hurt from rolling them.
Keeping it short
you’ve probably read it before anyway: A rightful queen held captive since she was six by a kingdom that overtook her home assist the underground rebellion to reclaim her throne. There’s also a love triangle, so… there’s that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I have a lot of questions first of all: we have this magic kingdom full of magic people and this non magical kingdom overtakes them and enslaves their people How? How is that… possible? We’re told there are men who lift boulders three times their weight without batting an eye and you managed to be overtaken? It’s also mentioned how the ruler is more concerned with looks rather than battle… so something isn’t looking right. I’m not saying this couldn’t happen, but there’s no explaining going on ¯\_(⌣̯̀⌣́)_/¯.
I had an issue with the romance: I liked the manipulation aspect of it— she didn’t need to fall for him, okay? And on top of that, there’s a love triangle. WHYYYYYYY DO WE NEED THIS? This girl has been tortured for ten years and as soon as she decides she wants to make a stand, there’s not one, but two people she’s feeling something for. This whole story became the trope of promising to kill someone an falling for them instead with a dash of childhood friend liking you, too. And if you’re going to add the love triangle, why would you also add instalove as well?
Despite all of that, Theo isn’t a terrible heroine. I wasn’t feeling her friendship with Cress no matter how much it was trying to be sold to me. I tried keeping this in the three star bracket, but I just couldn’t.