A Review of: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
About The Novel:
Ash Princess is a YA fantasy novel. It follows the story of Theodosia ‘Theo/Thora’ who was the heir of the country Astrea until it was conquered by Kalovaxians. For six years, Thora has lived under the tyrant Kaiser, but at the start of the novel she is reunited with her childhood friend, Blaise, and they begin to plot a rebellion to take back her country.
Laura Sebastian excelled here in terms of world building. She integrated throughout the novel little pieces of Astrean history and tradition, including holidays, lullabies, and snippets of their language. There was a clear distinction between the peaceful Astreans and the conquering Kalovaxians, and we even get glimpses of Kalovaxian history and their motivations.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Theo/Thora as a character. Having her be the narrator really helped me to better understand her and her loyalties. The novel watches her character develop from a broken ash princess to a confident queen. Really all of the characters within this novel are quite multidimensional, even the minor ones.
While I felt this novel had a lot of promise, and that Ms. Sebastian is a talented writer, unfortunately my major qualm with this novel is its pacing. The plot progressed excruciatingly slow. Pacing needs to have a delicate balance, and Ash Princess failed miserably at this. Halfway through the novel I felt as though nothing was happening, and I was ready to give up on it. I don’t know that I would have finished this novel if I hadn’t been reading it with the intention of reviewing it. That being said, about three quarters into the novel, I found things really picked up and I became engrossed in the plot.
Would I Recommend This Book?:
This was Ms. Sebastian’s first novel, and I genuinely believe she has so much promise as a writer. That being said, I would not recommend this read, even to a fantasy lover. However, if there is a sequel or if she publishes another unrelated novel, I will give it a read.
Final Rating: 7/10