Sebastian, Laura. Ash Princess. New York: Delacorte Press, 2018.
Hardcover | $18.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1524767068 | 437 pages | Fantasy
Ash Princess is the start to a great fantasy series that takes some of the dark elements of historical political intrigue and warfare and interweaves it with great world building. Given that there are direct depictions of some sensitive issues, and allusions to others, I felt they were all handled well within the context of the story.
Despite my initial qualms about the first person present tense, I felt it worked well in terms of establishing both Theodosia’s character as someone who has become so detached due to the trauma she has faced, and the uneasiness of the environment in which she lives.
However, this is one YA book where I could have done without the pretense of there being a love triangle, as it felt so disingenuous. The romance with one of her love interests that turns sour makes sense, because of the stakes between them, but I didn’t get why there had to be romantic history with the other one, especially since, aside from being one of her allies, he’s really not as well-developed as her other love interest.
That being said, I would definitely recommend this to other YA fantasy lovers, especially those who don’t mind stories that are a bit darker and those where the heroine is a bit more layered and not completely lily-white.