Title: Ash Princess
Author: Laura Sebastian
Release Date: April 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 5 stars
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.
This story was giving me some real Red Queen vibes, but on a whole other playing field. Where the main character in Red Queen comes by her power by chance and is already strong willed. The main character Theo is a literal broken shell who she could be. Reasoning being her entire world was turned upside down, by a blood thirsty, power hungry Kaiser. I’ll get to him a second. Back to Theo, she has been beaten down and broken to the point that she willingly was accepting what her captors did to her. Just glad to be breathing, willing to be a puppet to continue that. But everything changes when she is forced to take the life of someone is in most of her fondest memories, of the life she before the siege.
With the loss of him and her hand tainted in blood, she begins to find her voice, the voice of a queen. But in doing so she begins to play a very dangerous game. With help from the few allies, they work to build a plan to bring down this tyrant. Part of that being she has to place the Kaisers son, in a roll she never before thought of him. Being that her “heart-sister” has staked her claim on him. What she never expected was the feeling that grew for him as well as one of her allies and pre-siege childhood friend. And intro YA fashion we have the love triangle, and this one I loved watching it play out, and I can’t wait for it to continue.
Now onto the two people I could just not stand and want them dead the Kaiser and Cress. I’ll start with Cress, Theo’s heart sister and best friend. from the moment The began to truly see where her loyalties lie, I knew Cress was going to turn on her quicker that you could snap your fingers. She was raised to crave power, you could clearly see that as your reading. And on to the Kaiser, blood thirsty nut job. The man is a sadist taking pleasure in torturing Theo both physically and mentally. He is willing to kill even his own people to get what he wants. And when we find out what he truly wants, the creep factor skyrocketed. And it is so beautifully written that every time he touches her or even looks at her for that matter, it made my skin crawl.
I am recommending this to anyone who enjoys a kick-ass hero, who has to find their wings and learn to save themselves. And Theo is that hero. I can not wait to read the rest of this series.
Look out for this release coming in April of 2018