I have mixed feelings for Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian. This is another Bookstagram fantasy book that is hyped and still very much hyped on the social media platform. I read this book with a buddy read and I am not totally disappointed and not totally impressed as well.
I felt like Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian really started strong. It is the first book in the Ash Princess Series that is strongly recommended to read on Bookstagram. You see our main character Thora (Theordosia) witness the murder of her mother in a siege for their kingdom at the age of 6. Instead of killing her as well, they kept her alive as an example of the fallen kingdom.
There is some dark stuff that happens to our main character that I recommend proceeding with caution.
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As she was kept prisoner of her own palace for 10 years, anytime the people of the old kingdom acted up, Thora would take a punishment such as lashing in the public square. The Kaiser would make her a public example of any rebellion or anything that went wrong.
Thora, suffering through all the abuse, played the part of a docile subject to the Kaiser. She found that if she didn’t fight, she wouldn’t get beaten a lot. Even though she suffered through the abuse, she was treated above servants. Given a title, food, clothes and a maid who tended to her. So she did what she could to be good and never speak up. She was given a title of Ash Princess to always remind her and other people as a fallen princess.
Then one day, the Kaiser made her do something horrible that lit a fire in her soul to want to fight again for her kingdom. In comes a lot of side characters that help her fight back against the Kaiser.
The one thing I slightly struggled with this story is the love triangle and the characters themselves. I personally felt that there was no chemistry between any of the love interests. The love interest happened and feels slightly forced. One of them I wanted to say to Thora, you either like him or you don’t. Stop lamely trying to convince yourself that you don’t and that person means nothing to you. In your thought process, you clearly do like him and to other people you project an image that you are sooo willing to kill him for the sake of gaining your kingdom back. The conflict was annoying and didn’t line up with what she needed to accomplish. Also the characters seemed a little flat to me, not much depth to them so I am hoping there will be more character development in the next books.
You see Thora really struggling to want to kill people for the freedom of her kingdom. Whether she sees the innocence of some people (like the stockholm syndrome) or she couldn’t bring herself to do it. It was slightly confusing to understand her motives in her decision making process. Oh and the one thing that I cannot stand with characters is that I am going to hide important secrets from the people who would die to protect her. It’s her way of “protecting” them. I am not a fan of when characters do this because to me it shows a level of pride that causes problems down the road.
There are a lot of times when things happen in this book, it is slightly left field. You didn’t see it coming but I didn’t mean that in a good way. So the story had some whiplashes that I felt were added for dramatic effect but not necessary to the story line.
Even though I have some slight complaints about the book and the characters. The plot of the story had you turning the pages fast enough that you wanted to know more. So, I am looking forward to reading what happens next to our main and side characters. The magic system is interesting that I am excited to learn more about and find out what part it plays in this world.
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