Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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I'm delighted to be hosting the penultimate stop on the UK/Ireland blog tour for Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian.

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess - a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the  unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield. 

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here. 

I received a copy of this to review via NetGalley. Sometimes when I'm approved for books they could sit there for weeks (okay, okay, months) before I read them, but I started this immediately based on that blurb. I'm a sucker for a fantasy, especially ones involving strong female leads, and this was exactly the kind of book I love to read. Theo is a fantastic character, and the world building got off to a great start. This is going to be a trilogy (according to Goodreads) and I can't wait to see what happens next. Yes, it's gory in parts, and there are pretty awful instances of abuse (as happens regularly with this genre) but it's hard to believe that this is a debut novel - it holds its own against any other fantasy book I've read. It's miles ahead of many. 

I loved the concept of the Spirit Gems - these are beautiful stones that are mined by the Astreans, the former rulers of the land. For Astreans, the stones hold great power, but for the Kalovaxians (the ones who have taken control of Astrea) they are little more than trinkets.

Although I received a copy for review, I've also bought my own paperback copy. Now sadly it didn't arrive in time for this post, so please excuse my poor image editing, but I'm really looking forward to re-reading it and I can't wait for the next installment. 

In honour of Theodosia, who is most definitely a trailblazer, I wanted to mention three other women in fantasy who really broke the mold when it came to doing things their way. 

Buffy Summers
I will not let the whole Joss-Whedon-is-actually-not-a-feminist-ally-after-all revelation spoil my enjoyment of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy was an amazing character played by a wonderful actress and she was one of my ultimate heroes growing up. She did the right thing at the expense of her own happiness many, many times for the greater good.

Piper Halliwell
Piper was always my favourite sister in Charmed, mostly because she was the one I related to the most. She really wanted everything she was told she couldn't have - she wanted a loving relationship, and kids, and she found a way to make that work for her while repeatedly kicking ass, looking out for her sisters, running a business, being a brilliant mother and staying true to herself. 

Ursula the Sea Witch
Hear me out. As a child, I loved Disney movies. I still do. But, I always found myself rooting for the villain, hoping they'd win sometimes. Yes, Ursula was evil, but she was also just a smoky-eye- wearing, plus-sized woman irritated by mermaids who thought the world owed them a favour. I love her. Did you know that she was based on the iconic drag performer Divine?

I really recommend Ash Princess if you're looking for a fresh YA fantasy book that you won't be able to put down. 

You can buy Ash Princess at:

You can check out the other stops on the blog tour below: 

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