Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
One of the main reasons I picked this book up is the cover, because I’m such a fan of beautiful covers. Thank you to NetGalley for giving me a copy. This review will be full of spoilers, so if you don’t want to know major plot points I’d suggest not reading any further! I also want to give out a trigger warning for this book, Theo suffers a lot of abuse from her captors. Torture, suicide and sexual assault are all dealt with in this book.
I didn’t have high expectations going into Ash Princess, but then I rarely do going into books. So it was unfortunate that this book still managed to disappoint me. Mostly I found that it had a lot of plot issues. My biggest issue being why was Theo even alive? I never could find a reason as to why she was kept alive by the Kaiser. It also never made sense to me why Soren liked Theo, or why he stood up for her and fell for her throughout the story. There’s literally no reason for him to care. It also never made sense why Theo would have a crush on him, even if it was just for a short period of time. After all she went through at the hand of Soren’s father it seemed ridiculous that she would even entertain thoughts of liking his son.
I also found that the plot was predictable. I could see what was going to happen between Theo and her ”friend” Cress from a mile away. It was also obvious that Theo would never get up the guts to kill Soren. It was very disappointing to be right.
I never could get behind any of the characters. Theo was about as interesting as a lump of dirt, her character lacked any sort of spark whatsoever. Like I’ve already mentioned I don’t think Soren’s character made a lick of sense. And the other part of the love triangle, Blaise needed to be explained a lot more. I think of all the character he was the most interesting because you think he’s just a dumb kid and then there is a twist having to do with
Ash Princess had a lot of potential. It as a fairly unique world, I really liked the magic system with the gems. I also liked the how the book dealt with the idea of a people group enslaving another group, it deals with racial issues such as colonizing within a fantasy world and that was great. This book could have been really relevant to today’s political climate, it could have said a lot of really great things about racial issues. Unfortunately it just got caught up in a stupid love triangle and was a boring book overall.
I gave Ash Princess 2 stars on Goodreads.