Review of Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was pleasantly surprised by Ash Princess! Laura Sebastian has built an interesting, yet dark, story about standing up to those that seek to oppress you.
Ten years after her country is overthrown, Princess Theodosia (or Lady Thora as she has been “rennamed”) has become almost complaisant in her life under the Kaiser’s thumb. Subjected to regular physical and mental torment under his behest, Theo has all but given up hope of rescue. That is, until she finds herself literally face to face with memories she had almost left forgotten. Forced to do the unspeakable, Theo comes to realize her only chance of rescue is to rescue herself.
Full of political intrigue and plot twists, Ash Princess took me on a fun ride through the Kaiser’s court. This story has possibly triggering themes such as physical, sexual and psychological abuse, slavery, racism and murder. This isn’t a story with rainbows and butterflies, however it is a clever story about oppression and fighting for those who cannot fight themselves.
The characters in this story have been given a solid start. There are a handful of main characters, with good depth and plenty of room for growth in the coming books. I’m hoping to learn more about a few minor characters, which I feel we will get as the series progresses. The characters showed real feelings for what they are experiencing and had realistic responses to the situations they’ve found themselves in. There are some typical YA tropes in this book, including a “kind of” love triangle, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. (Maybe some of us like those tropes, anyway!)
There were a ton of plot twists in this book, especially during the last third. Some I had suspected were coming, but many others came at me from left field. I was loving it!
Overall, I was pretty pleased with the ending and look forward to seeing what Theo will do now. The story isn’t wholly unique, but it’s a good, interesting story that I’ll certainly continue as the series progresses. Oh – and there’s boats and PIRATES!