Published in 2018 by Pan Macmillan
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Page Count: 433 pages
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
Firstly, for a long time I had so been looking forward to reading this book! I picked it up on a whim last year, and always looked forward to reading it, and naturally, I meant to read it soon, but distractions. When I got a copy of Lady Smoke to review though, I knew it was the right time to dive in!
And I’m so glad I did! This book was everything I needed and more – I was instantly blown away by the glorious Thora/Theodosia, the demure, meek, scared girl, who was also a kickass, fierce, brave, noble and gorgeous rightful Queen! The way she could turn from Thora to Theodosia, and I couldn’t help but get swept up in her passion for justice and equality for her people who have faced such horrors at the hand of the Kaiser!
The Kaiser, what an utter horrible menace! I cannot wait for him to get what he’s owed to him! And Cress, I don’t think I’ve ever so quickly had an “omg I love you so much” to a “you vile rat! I hate you!” But in saying that, I loved her interactions with Theodosia, and I was so so proud of the former for standing up to the latter! I massively cheered! I feel like I would have been more sympathetic towards Cress, weren’t it for her stubborn ideals, that she’s clearly afraid to think for herself and can’t see things for herself, without sugarcoating them like one of her storybooks.
Soren, Soren Soren. I honestly feel like I shared the same feelings towards him that our narrator did! Initially he was a handsome Prince, but always, the son of Theo’s enemy – the one who brought tragedy to her people and land, and loved ones.
Theo’s supporters, from her dearest oldest friend, Blaise, to her newest Shadows, and young serving girl Elpis – I loved all these characters and how devoted to Theodosia they all were – even though they weren’t afraid to be vocal, even sarcastic and questioning – I never once doubted that they wholly supported her!
The pacing was truly epic, I could not put this book down once, and when I had to, I found myself thinking about what could come next! There were so many moments that I was cheering for Theo, and just in awe of her! Some scenes had my feelings going, and I know a lot of this will be fresh in my mind once I start book 2!
Every minute of this book was utterly epic and addictive! I cannot even give it one fault – to say I enjoyed it feels like an understatement! It is honestly one of my favourite books this year and I am ecstatic to start Lady Smoke very soon!
Have you read Ash Princess? Let me know!