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Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times best seller!

"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 10 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 10 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)

©2018 Laura Sebastian (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"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 of The 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)

"An emotionally complex, breathtakingly suspenseful series starter." (Booklist)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected, but still very good.

I have to start by saying that the idea behind the plot of this book is nothing new... I've read a lot of fantasy/dystopian books similar to this one. There are some fun things that made this one stand out though, and I liked the overall story and it ended in the ways that I predicted all along. The ash crown plays a very interesting part in this book, and the stones/gems that brought magic to the table. Those were some super interesting elements to this story.

When I started this book, it was slow moving, the world building was good, but the plot and character development was slow. There was a lot of back story, some necessary and some I could of done without. Our main character is being raised in a semi-prison, watched 100% of the time by these guardians called shadows - even when she sleeps, which I found super odd. I have a mental picture of what her room looked like, and it was a lot like a solitary confinement space in a prison. I immediately was drawn to her mental state and how that was holding up to what she had been through thus far. The book didn't really pick up until about 75% in when our heroine could finally see how her plans might work out - but they were still flimsy ones at that point. By the end, I was hooked, even though I felt that the last few chapters were rushed, they were still full of action. I just wanted more of that earlier on in the book, even in small doses. I feel like it would of developed a lot smoother overall.

I found it interesting that we didn't get any definite answers on some questions from the start of the book - but they let you assume the answers. I would of rather of known for sure, mostly about her father. I was also slightly annoyed by the love square we were put through - a second chance romance and a fake romance... I didn't see it necessary to get to the end, but I guess to each their own. The secondary characters stole the show - her shadows and some of the staff were my favorites.

I give this book a solid three stars. I liked it enough, I finished it, but I don't think I could get through it again. I'm not sure if I will pick up a sequel. This is also what happened to me after Red Queen. Predictable storyline, and it fell short.

I really enjoyed the narrator over all - she did a great job bringing these characters to life.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

amazing

loved the book, awesome story line, a bit slow at first but it is to be expected of a new series. I can't wait to see where book 2 goes.
loved Saskia Maarleveld you couldn't have picked a better narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

.

The signing edited over the narration in a few places was weird and annoying. The story was good though and I liked it otherwise.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

the first 60% was very slow

the first 60% was pretty slow but then it picked up which made the book quite enjoyable because there's no half star ratings I'm giving it a 4 but in reality it's really a three and a half. the narrator was fantastic I love some of her other work as well and I will be continuing the series because I'm hoping Book 2 picks up where they left off and it's not as drawn out

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

keeps you on your feet!

awesome book loved how it keeps you on your feet! not a moment of it that I didn't like. I honestly cant even put in to words how good this book was! cant wait for the second to come out in February!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wired background musics is annoying

The story is okay but there is this bizarre background music that they play during narration that is super distracting.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I can’t wait for book2!

Excellent story with mediocre narration. The only thing that bothered me was the reputation of certain phrases and the author writing everything that the main character is thinking about in the middle of events. We are already viewing from the main character’s perspective. Other than that, I’m hooked and I can’t wait to listen to the next book in this series!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Call me a fool. *Spoilers*

Many reviews said this was just like any other YA with it’s love triangle and fake damsel in distress but it doesn’t seem like a formula to me. It reminds me sometimes of The Kiss of Deception or Fire and Thorn series except darker and bloodier.

Spoilers below!

Theo is a good heroine, honest in her thoughts and mostly honest with herself. I did struggle with her rapid change in determination, almost like she switched to giving a crap about her people and country because she was bored with her life and felt guilted into it, but I guess killing your dad might do that to a girl. Some of her decisions were contrived rather than being realistic, it was aggregating. The narrator was very good though. I’d say that this is the first time I actually kind of hate the lead because I am so mad at her backstabbing. You can tell me a million times from a million more characters that Theo is doing the right thing but honestly, she disgusted me. It could’ve been worse sometimes but I wanted to puke sometimes I was so nauseated with her decisions. My heart clenched then and it’s still doing it now. Guess I’m too naive but I Theo could be great and do great things for her country next to Sorin, there are Queens of past that helped in that same way, but oppression changes the game. However, he might have blood on his hands he’s genuine and deserves better which also makes me sick, which is exactly why this is a great book. Laura does such a good job driving out emotions it startled me and had me both wishing the book would end.

I enjoyed it a lot. If you can handle gore, love triangles and calculating females read this, it’s fantastic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent fantasy novel

This book was a really good read, I can’t wait for the sequel. Great view of power dynamics and lots of political intrigue along with the classic love triangle. Definitely can’t wait for the sequel.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric
  • Everett, WA, United States
  • 09-21-18

Games of thrones would be proud

I think this book has a great suspenseful feel to it that will keep the listener involved in story. I also enjoyed how the character found her strength even when others may have doubted her. Also, the narrator really makes that game of thrones feel come to life. All in all, please give this book a chance it will be worth the credit.