Book Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Man, oh, man. Ash Princess is a magnificent fantasy debut by Laura Sebastian and i completely devoured it. Before I started reading it I checked the reviews and most either commented on how violent it is or described it as a dull mix of many other books. So I was surprised by how much I adored this book. However, it definitely contains a lot of violence, racism and features slavery so please be aware. But if that’s something you think you can handle then definitely pick this book up. I was granted a feel copy through NetGalley in return for an honest review but the book is due for release on the 14th June in the UK.

As many people have said, there isn’t much in this book that isn’t similar to many other books. Including my own actually merp. But to me, that didn’t matter. The storytelling is still strong and enjoyable. There are interesting characters and it all ties together so nicely. There are so few possible storylines out there and since this book isn’t an obvious rip-off of any single novel, why should any of the similarities matter?

Speaking of the characters, man, they were good. I had such varying feelings about all the characters other than the obvious villains. You’d be feeling sorry for a character one minute only to be hating them next and then suddenly you understand why they did. Most of the characters in this book weren’t completely innocent and it highlighted how war can make things so complicated and how it can change people. I think my favourite characters were Soren and Erik by far. Erik was very minor, sure, but I liked him and I feel like Soren was definitely book-boyfriend material. I seem to have a thing for princes, huh.

I mean…

I close the slight distance between us and brush my lips against, softly at first, but when his hand reaches up and knots in my loose hair, anchoring me against him, there is nothing soft about it. We kiss like we’re trying to prove a point, though I can’t remember quite what it s anymore – Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (CH.17)

I won’t lie, this scene was exactly the sort of thing I want right now in my fantasy novels. There’s some desperation there and without giving any spoilers, that entire relationship is so complex and complicated. I just love it so much. But I also kinda like the other ship in the triangle too so that’s just so good.

As well as all this I think it’s worth adding that I really liked the mythos. One of the best things about fantasy novels is reading their myths and folklore. I love hearing these different tales and this book even had a discussion of how the myths can change depending on who told them. Plus the fact it was still there, even after their country and people have been pretty much destroyed is just wonderful.

I only really had two problems with this book and it was mostly that I found it a little slow at first. Once I was into the story I adored it but at first, it just seemed like there was a lot of repetition of lines and I wasn’t as keen. But that changed around 40% in so it’s not too bad.

This was a truly great dark fantasy novel and I want book 2 like…now.

5/5 stars

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