This was an intense dark read that delves into what desperation and the will to survive can turn a human into. The main character begins as a fractured shell of who she was and has to rebuild her identity to not only save herself but her kingdom before it is destroyed by the monstrous king who slit her mother’s throat and took her crown.
This isn’t a story about swords and epic battles. It is about the wars we wage internally with ourselves and how intelligence and manipulation can be a woman’s greatest set of skills. These characters engaged me with their portrayal of how neither life nor people are black and white. We all have the capacity for cruelty as well as kindness and the line keeping us from becoming that which we hate can be a very fragile thing. I loved this book.
"Made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir" (Bustle), Ash Princess is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.
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.
"Sure to be one of the summer's most talked about YAs. . . . A darkly enchanting page-turner you won't be able to put down."-Bustle
About the Author
Laura Sebastian grew up in South Florida and attended Savannah College of Art and Design. She now lives and writes in New York City. Ash Princess is her first novel. To learn more about Laura and her book, follow @sebastian_lk on Twitter.
Praise for Ash Princess, Book 1 in the Ash Princess series:
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! “Sure to be one of the summer's most talked about YAs. . . . A darkly enchanting page-turner you won't be able to put down.” –Bustle
“Tense and imaginative, this story of a diminished yet vengeful princess inciting a rebellion to recapture her rightful place of power strikes a timely chord. Ash Princess is a smart, feminist twist on a traditional tale of a fallen heroine, with plenty of court intrigue, love, and lies to sweeten the deal. Good luck putting this one down.” —Virginia Boecker,author ofThe Witch Hunter series
“The story leaps and twists like a swordswoman, and its blade carves the characters anew and divides them against themselves. This searing page-turner is a compelling examination of the complexities of both evil and resistance.”—Sarah Porter, author of Vassa in the Night
"Laura Sebastian has created a dark and spellbinding epic in Ash Princess. Brace yourself, because Theodosia Houzzara—wounded, driven, and deadly—is going to carve out a place for herself in your heart." —Sara Holland, New York Times bestselling author of Everless
"An emotionally complex, breathtakingly suspenseful series starter."-Booklist
"For fantasy fans, especially those who enjoy strong female protagonists, this book will be an easy sell. Theo is tough, honorable, and relatable in her emotions [and] Sebastian has built a beautiful and complex world."-VOYA
"Delivering a narrative that crackles with political intrigue, powerful and debilitating magic, and the violent mechanisms of colonization...[Ash Princess will] submerge readers in a turbulent and enthralling plot."-Kirkus Reviews
"Through unexpected allies and daring escape plans, [Theodosia's] trip from downtrodden princess to queen is an engaging one that fantasy fans will enjoy...[as well as] fans of The Selection series by Kiera Cass and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins."-SLJ
"[Ash Princess] provides a window into the complexities of human interaction and emotion, familial tensions, and the false public face that is sometimes required in politics and at court...culminating in a climactic ending ripe for a sequel."-Publishers Weekly
"Sebastian brings interest to Theodosia’s character through her internal battle...and the threats she must navigate provide nail-biting tension....Readers will want to follow her into the coming revolution in a promised sequel."-Bulletin