Ash Princess

Ash Princess

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...

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Title:Ash Princess
Author:Laura Sebastian
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Ash Princess Reviews

  • Sana

    Edit: I accidentally read this as Ass Princess and that’s what I’ll always see when I look at this title.

    This book is everything I wanted

    to be. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 What a fantastic debut. I loved this so much, I deadass want to reread it and experience all the feels all over again. It was just so addicting and I was unable to put this down!! I devoured this 400+ page book in two days.

    is a trope-filled book with a very common story line. Theodosia, or Theo, was six years old when she

    Edit: I accidentally read this as Ass Princess and that’s what I’ll always see when I look at this title.

    This book is everything I wanted

    to be. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 What a fantastic debut. I loved this so much, I deadass want to reread it and experience all the feels all over again. It was just so addicting and I was unable to put this down!! I devoured this 400+ page book in two days.

    is a trope-filled book with a very common story line. Theodosia, or Theo, was six years old when she witnessed her mother's (the queen) brutal murder and had her country conquered from her. In her country there are magical caves that run underneath the temples. For fire, air, earth and water. These are very sacred and only those who have proved themselves to the gods completely can go and get the magical gems. Now, Theo's people are forced to work as slaves in these mines and dig up the magical stones.

    For ten years she has been living under the Kaiser and his brutal rule, living quietly and trying to please him to survive. All of that ends when she's forced to kill

    and her childhood friend comes and offers her an escape and make things right for their people. She's filled with hate and determination to take back her kingdom and avenge her mother and people.

    Sounds so common, right? Hmm let's see, it sounds so much like

    ,

    ,

    (a lot of other YA books I can't think of right now), and the brutal world resembles a lot to

    . But, I fucking loved this. In my opinion, this book was so much better than

    and

    .

    a lot like

    Theo is always whipped publicly whenever her people try to rebel. There is mention of rape, slaves are treated horrible, people are always being killed, like in

    . But unlike, that book,

    isn't shit-ily written. People are being experimented on and a lot of gore and bloody things occur. There is horrible enslavement that Theo's people go through in the mines and there is vivid descriptions of the horrific things that go on there.

    The Kaiser and his people are white while Theo and her people have darker skin and described as "tawny." Theo's country is colonized and her people are enslaved and suffer through a lot of horrific shit. Theo is also mentally and physically abused, so

    for all that.

    Theo is a character that I really loved and sympathized with from the very beginning. Her life is horrible. Every day she has to be someone she's not and endure the humiliation and abuse from the Kaiser. She has no privacy of her own (literally, three guards called Shadows watch her 24/7, even when she's changing!!), cannot express her thoughts freely and lives in constant fear of the Kaiser. One wrong move and she'll piss the Kaiser off. Then when

    happens and she learns of the horrors her people are going through, she snaps.

    She still has to pretend, but this time instead of fear, she's filled with hate. She's taking risks to meet with her people. She has to learn that the only way to win and survive is by hate and violence. She's also have an inner conflict with herself over her close friend in the castle and her growing feelings for the crown Prinz. She doesn't want to kill them, but if she is to take back her home, she's going to have to.

    I really understood her constant inner-battle. Her friend, Cress whose father slit Theo's mothers throat and whips her, is someone she's known for ten years in the castle. Cress helped her and stood up for her against bullies and has been nothing but kind to her. And now she's expected to kill her???? what.

    LISTEN, I know y'all hate love triangles and I DO TOO!! but this one is somehow bearable, even though it annoyed me a lot. Theo has feelings for the Prinz and her childhood friend, some dude, whose name I forgot, because I DON'T FUCKING SHIP THEM. He's a really good guy, but Prinz Soren and Theo all the way, bitch. Like, they're both good boys, but idk something about the Prinz, man.

    Also, something that you might want to keep in mind is that, it's not until the end, that we get to read about a different scene then the castle. This book takes place in the castle, with Theo plotting a rebellion. It might get a little boring because there's a lot of build-up towards the end. It may not seem like much is going on, but there is a lot of important things happening!

    I, personally, really loved this trope-y ass book and would recommend it!! Please give it a try!

    I'm only reading it for the gorgeous cover. The plot sounds like 1000 other YA Fantasy books out there, but I still have hope that this'll be badass.

  • Katie.dorny

    EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. IT IS PHENOMENAL.

    Theo is so strong, and actually a normal character who relates to things normally which i loved, felt i could relate to her a little better. Magic, kings, war and spying. i could barely put it down! I'm so excited for the sequel already and i can't believe i have to wait another year!

    And I know it had a love triangle, but it was so believable for me.

    And the struggle, omg. And the humiliation. Jesus Christ.

    Theo reminds me a little of Tris from

    EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. IT IS PHENOMENAL.

    Theo is so strong, and actually a normal character who relates to things normally which i loved, felt i could relate to her a little better. Magic, kings, war and spying. i could barely put it down! I'm so excited for the sequel already and i can't believe i have to wait another year!

    And I know it had a love triangle, but it was so believable for me.

    And the struggle, omg. And the humiliation. Jesus Christ.

    Theo reminds me a little of Tris from divergent but she is such a strong young woman.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Loved it!!!

    Mel 🖤🐾🐺

  • Melanie

    Friends, I couldn’t put this down. This was such an addicting and captivating read. This was the first book of 2018 that I read in one day, which is saying something because this book is almost 450 pages. I was just so invested with the romance, the rebellion, and the betrayals, that I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

    is Laura Seba

    Friends, I couldn’t put this down. This was such an addicting and captivating read. This was the first book of 2018 that I read in one day, which is saying something because this book is almost 450 pages. I was just so invested with the romance, the rebellion, and the betrayals, that I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

    is Laura Sebastian's debut novel, which is a story about a girl named Theodosia (yeah, I’m going to be singing

    all day after writing this review), whose ruling mother was murdered, and their land taken over by another kingdom when she was only six-years-old. the Kaiser allowed her to live, but only so that she could live among them, while they take everything she has ever known away. She is used as a reminder for her people that the Kaiser has enslaved, and when they do anything to rise up, Theodosia takes the punishment. Her back is incredible scarred from the whippings she has had to endure, but the Kaiser also inflicts so much mental and emotional abuse alongside the physical.

    The Kaiser conquered Theodosia’s land because there are caves that run beneath four major temples that her people worship (air, fire, water, earth). And gems come from those caves to give people magic, but they also give people with an affinity for the element(s) a lot of magic. The caves have so much magic inside them, that when Theodosia’s mother would rule, people would go down and stay in the caves, most dying, but some emerging and proving that they are worth the element the god and goddesses gave to them. Now that the Kaiser rules, he forces the slaves down there to mine, but most lose their minds after being around the power(s) for too long, and eventually lose their lives.

    Theodosia’s only friend is a girl named Cress, whose father is the one who swiped the blade across her mother’s throat. Inside, Theodosia feels a constant battle about what she can do while feeling so absolutely helpless. Yet, Cress also lost her mother when she was very young, so an unconventional friendship grew from two girls both mourning the mothers they never got to know. I loved seeing their friendship develop and become what it was by the end of the book. But Theodosia is constantly reminded of all the things she lost alongside her mother, but she is forced to do the only thing she can: survive. That is, until one day a boy from her past comes and offers her a way out, and a way to maybe right a few wrongs that have happened to her people.

    As I said above, this is a dark story about a girl who is forced to live among the people who ruined her life and killed her mother.

    for racism, enslaving humans, abuse, torture, graphic beating, humiliation, captivation, gore, murder, death, loss of a loved one, bullying, talk of rape in the past, talk of animal murder in the past, sexual assault (unwanted touching), and rebellion/war themes.

    The other thing I’d like to talk about is that the Kaiser and his people are white with light features, where Theodosia and her people have darker features and are said to have a “tawny” skin color. On top of the fact that this is a story about how one empire colonizes another, and puts the remaining population in chains and are force them to work (and die) in the mines harvesting gems.

    My favorite thing about this book was easily the romance. Now, a lot of books have kind of vague, blurry, love triangles, but

    just has a blatant one, and I loved it. Theodosia is torn between her childhood friend and first love, Blaise, and a boy whose father has taken everything from her, Søren. It is legitimately friends to lovers and enemies to lovers and my shipper heart was so full of happiness. I personally like the enemies to lovers side of the triangle more, and I was falling off my bed, swooning so damn hard, during the last tunnel scene. Like, that is my romance kink, 100%, and if you’ve read this book you’ll know what scene I’m talking about. The romance in this is perfect, and I will read

    at midnight upon release to see how these romances progress, because your girl is invested.

    So, you’re probably asking, “Melanie, why did you give it four stars if you enjoyed it this much and won’t stop gushing over it?” And that’s because, I’ll be honest, this story doesn’t bring anything new to the YA Fantasy world. If you read a lot of other reviews on Goodreads, you’re going to notice the same line of “this is nothing new” and it is true. A lot of reviewers are also comparing this to

    and

    , but I haven’t read either of those! Basically, this isn’t groundbreaking or even unique, but it’s super well written and crafted and it truly made for an un-put-downable read for me.

    Overall, I truly loved and devoured this. This was easily the most addicting thing I’ve read in 2018 thus far, and I completely recommend it with my whole heart. Again, it might not be the most original thing, but that doesn’t make it not worthwhile. I loved the characters, the twists, the plot, the friendship, the perfect romances, the atmosphere, the writing, I loved it all. This will probably be one of my favorite YA Fantasies of 2018, and I hope you all give it a try upon release!

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  • C.G. Drews

    I mean, I actually thought it'd be much darker (omg I'm so sorry) aaand I loved the beginning and less so the end (Y U EXIST LOVE TRIANGLE) but it had powerful magic and freaking awesome world building and I am so there for this.

    It actually takes time to show us languages and cultures and there were a lot of "fantasy" words flying about, but I didn't get confused! (A MIRACLE. Sometimes

    I mean, I actually thought it'd be much darker (omg I'm so sorry) aaand I loved the beginning and less so the end (Y U EXIST LOVE TRIANGLE) but it had powerful magic and freaking awesome world building and I am so there for this.

    It actually takes time to show us languages and cultures and there were a lot of "fantasy" words flying about, but I didn't get confused! (A MIRACLE. Sometimes I get confused about how to spell wednesday so this is like amazing for me.) I felt really sucked into the world after only a few chapters. Plus it had a lot of fantastic details so everything seemed super vivid!

    It's absolutely about a conquered nation, and Theo is basically a trophy, tortured daily for the crimes of her people but kept alive despite the horror she has to go through. So she's like lavished in pretty dresses and wears pretty makeup and goes to banquets and has books. Her BFF is one the daughter of a very powerful dude and she's all pretty and light and flippant. But then in the background you have the conquered people being murdered and enslaved in mines and Theo's being whipped if they rebel. And I just??? I loved that contrast.

    Actually the magic gets a

    from me because I reeeally enjoyed it, but also lol lol elemental magic? STILL??? One of these days someone's going to **GASP** think up something new and we will all fall into our tea and sandwiches in shock.

    which actually brings me to...

    It was hugely

    ...like every few chapters I kept thinking "wow this is the Winner's Curse." But minus the (a) scheming, and (b) interesting dual narrators. So maaaybe this is because I read too much, but literally nothing surprised me and by the last 100pgs I was getting kind of um, erm, bored.

    I'm not frikkin' kidding, I am so sick of these. I think my #1 problem is this

    not to be a triangle, but it

    . It was just irritating. Theo has feelings for her childhood friend, Blaise, and also the prince she's supposed to kill, Søren. Both were about as dynamic as an undercooked noodle. Like seriously, if you asked me to ship someone I couldna do it, my friend.

    Søren's just sitting here being the "misunderstood chivalrous prince" and Blaise is just here being the "tortured angry rebel boy" and I wanted them to POSSIBLY HAVE PERSONALITIES TOO.

    lmao I'm so sorry. I just wanted more from her?! She was struggling with the horrifying PTSD of her situation

    I felt I more got told that than actually SAW it. And otherwise she was just good and nice and determined !! to !! succeed !! (And I think this is why it kind of soured for me, becuase I was hoping for a scheming book but Theo was just good™ and pure™ so. (PS. Yes I'm a Slytherin and Gryffindor books tire me.)

    It basically references darkness

    , but it's not really happening on page. So IDK. We get introduced to this captive princess who could literally not BREATHE WRONG or she'd be whipped (slaves of her people were killed for looking at her too long!) and then by the end she's frolicking off for midnight sailing with the prinz?!? Inconsistent much??

    Just not the, ya know, plot or anything.

    It's long. It's basically 80% set in the same rooms in the castle. No one is conniving for freedom, and rebellion just sort of topples around. I wanted schemes and RISKS and I wanted people to go through with the "bad" stuff they'd have to do to do good. But instead it all seemed to skirt into "safe" zones and IDK. Maybe I should go sit in a box in the corner. I am a demanding fish.

    It's a book that screams for the sequel that's for sure!! (Are we getting more pirates in bk 2?!? I will die of happiness!) It's about wicked conquerors and the glitter and jewels people will pile on top of festering poison and murders and I was definitely intrigued, iffff a little unenthused about the characters and laying on the floor throwing a tantrum at having to suffer that love triangle. BUT I still mostly enjoyed it!

  • Carrie

    Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Ash Princess Trilogy. This is one that is on the darker side with violence, abuse, slavery and a hint of rape so beware to those with issues with these triggers. There is also a hint of a love triangle involved with the main character, a boy from her past and the son (prince) of her captor.

    The story begins as we meet Theodosia Eirene Houzzara who by all rights should be the Queen of Astrea. However ten years bef

    Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Ash Princess Trilogy. This is one that is on the darker side with violence, abuse, slavery and a hint of rape so beware to those with issues with these triggers. There is also a hint of a love triangle involved with the main character, a boy from her past and the son (prince) of her captor.

    The story begins as we meet Theodosia Eirene Houzzara who by all rights should be the Queen of Astrea. However ten years before Theodosia’s people were overthrown and her mother the queen was killed in front of her. Since that day she has done whatever she can to stay alive despite the torture she’s endured.

    When Theodosia’s father who once was a guard in her kingdom is brought into the court for “trial” and sentenced to death at her own hand it sparks something in the fallen princess. She knows that many of her people have died but even if it costs her own life she must do what she can to regain her throne.

    I suppose the first thing to say about this one would be that no, it isn’t a highly original tale but more of one done before. However, when they mention a series like Red Queen in comparison I was hesitant to even try this one because of finding that one so slow and dare I say boring. Ash Princess may have hints of the same type of young adult fantasy read as others before it but it was strangely enjoying to me regardless and I felt myself get caught up in the story as it went along.

    The writing in here seemed to flow rather easily for such a dark tale and had a compelling feel to it I’ve missed in other books of this type. The stage has been set in this first book and with a somewhat cliffhanger type of ending it seems there are sure to be some big developments to come with the plot so yes, I will definitely continue the series on to see how it goes from here.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Emily May

    has a heroine desperately trying to reclaim her stolen throne, a mindlessly evil tyrant who stole said throne, and a love triangle... What's that, you say? You've heard this one before? Yeah, me too.

    That being said, to give credit where it's due, it stands out for being

    .

    Plot and character-wise, it resembles many other YA fantasies. But I was just complaini

    has a heroine desperately trying to reclaim her stolen throne, a mindlessly evil tyrant who stole said throne, and a love triangle... What's that, you say? You've heard this one before? Yeah, me too.

    That being said, to give credit where it's due, it stands out for being

    .

    Plot and character-wise, it resembles many other YA fantasies. But I was just complaining in my review of

    about how I keep reading a lot of “shallow and emotionless” YA fantasy books, and this happens to be one that breaks the pattern. I can't deny it is very compelling, though it relies heavily on violence, abuse and misery to keep us turning the pages.

    I'll spare you a plot summary - you can probably guess it anyway - and just say there's a rightful queen held captive by the conquerors of her kingdom who must assist the underground rebellion and reclaim her throne. Whilst fighting off the hot dudes along the way, of course.

    Many are comparing this to

    , which I did think was shallow and emotionless. Instead, I’d compare it to Sabaa Tahir’s

    - both books are heavy on the violence, feature slavery as a theme, have a love triangle (sort of) and an evil tyrant driving the drama and action. They are also similarly paced and engaging.

    Aside from an awkward infodump in the first chapter, it goes down smoothly. The violence and unfairness make it easy to keep turning the pages. Shortly after the book opens Theo is forced to murder her father, and

    . Theo's undercover manipulations are also fun to read.

    Some of the major plot aspects seem illogical, such as why the new king (called the Kaiser 🙄) would leave the rightful heir alive. The book tries to explain it away but it doesn't really make much sense. Surely if you want to dampen any hope of reinstating the rightful monarch then you would just kill the rightful monarch.

    I should warn that it is at times grim and gory. Slavery is a norm; beatings, torture and rape (non-graphic) are common. The divide between the dark-haired, olive-skinned Astrean people and the pale-skinned, blonde-haired Kalovaxians is clearly along racial lines.

    BUT what can I say? It is also

    . If you have room in your heart (and on your bookshelves) for another fantasy with princesses, evil rulers, rebellion and romance, then you could definitely do worse than this one.

    TW: graphic abuse and torture; rape (non-graphic); racism.

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  • Kiki

    So earlier this year I took a trip to the south of France, notably the Périgord, which is filled with lovely relaxed people with sun-kissed skin and floaty skirts, a nice contrast to my jumpy pasty ass (I was in the middle of an existential crisis and musing over whether or not to quit my job and become a starving artist, and The Results May Surprise You!).

    While I was there I went to this antiques shop filled with retro fridges and dusty comics and amazing vinyl albums from the 80's, from

    So earlier this year I took a trip to the south of France, notably the Périgord, which is filled with lovely relaxed people with sun-kissed skin and floaty skirts, a nice contrast to my jumpy pasty ass (I was in the middle of an existential crisis and musing over whether or not to quit my job and become a starving artist, and The Results May Surprise You!).

    While I was there I went to this antiques shop filled with retro fridges and dusty comics and amazing vinyl albums from the 80's, from

    , which makes me look like a foetus or whatever. Anyway, I was agonising over this fucking incredible standing lamp with an old aged leather lampshade, teeth clenched over the €150 price tag, but... Okay. Let me paint you a picture, here. The lamp was about my height, and the lampshade was at the top, of course, but it was balanced on this handmade ye olde globe, and the globe was being held up by a faux-gold almost-life-sized sculpture of Atlas. It was like a blend of everything I love: good light to read by, inaccurate old-timey maps, and Greek mythology. I was just standing over this lamp, a thread of drool wetting the front of my sweaty t-shirt (it was upwards of thirty degrees all week, and that's not safe for a pale Celtic weirdo like me), trying not to reach into my purse for my credit card.

    Eventually, I talked myself out of it. Okay, that's a lie. I tore myself away from it, like one might tear a glob of gum from their hair, because that lamp would look so fucking good in my flat, next to the K-2SO figurine and the red thread pinned into the plasterboard and the giant snail in the tank in the living room. I kept cursing it, cursing how poor I am, until I came across a cardboard box full of - no, not false nails or chicken feet. No. It was full of carnivale masks.

    They weren't the lamp, but they were pretty cool. I dithered between two of them, one with a big velvet ruff and covered in bells, and another smaller one with a salty little smirk on her face. I eventually chose the one with the bells, and it was only like €15, which was... Jesus Christ, it wasn't the damn lamp, but it would do. I liked it.

    It took me a while to get the mask home, because there wasn't enough room in my luggage, but some weeks later I was balancing on the back of the ugly pink armchair, one eye on the TV watching

    and trying not to press a push pin through my finger. Then the mask was up, and it looks cool, and I've almost forg--no, I'll never forget about the lamp. It will live on in my heart forever.

    So here's the thing. When you read this next part, you'll probably envision me tapping away at my crumb-filled 2012 MacBook next to my giant snail, surrounded by crystals and dusty ornaments and sporting a tin-foil hat, and save for the tin-foil hat, you're not wrong. The point is that on the Ghoul Boys scale, I'm not a Boogara, but nor am I a Shaniac. I'm sort of in the middle, and I have my own theories, and all I'm saying is HEAR ME OUT.

    It started on the day that the mask arrived in my home. On that day, I experienced my very first lucid dream. It was one of the most terrifying things I've ever fucking witnessed and someday, if anyone's interested, I'll talk about it. I took notes down on my phone the second I woke up, but I needn't have bothered: I remember the dream so vividly, and I also remember the absolutely paralysing fear that I experienced. I know it was a lucid dream, and within the dream I was aware that I was dreaming; I said the words to myself inside my head:

    . But it was baffling, visceral, and indescribably frightening. I woke up feeling like I had already lived through a day. The full story is for another time but that's still notable.

    Something changed when the mask went up on the wall. I was sitting in the living room, watching

    and drawing with my crusty old tablet, and I heard the shoeboxes in my bedroom stir, like they were being shuffled around. My flat is fairly small, and the front door opens out to a short hallway with the bedroom to the left and the living room to the right; the noise was therefore loud enough for me to hear over my roaring laughter at the timeless joy of everyone's favourite 90's sitcom and two (albeit open) doors. An important thing to note here is that there are only two shoeboxes and they're fairly big, so it's not easy for them to topple.

    I texted my sister about this, and she seemed spooked. At the time, surprisingly, I wasn't worried. I also woke up the morning after the shoebox incident with blinding lateral foot pain that was so bad I couldn't walk, though I had run 4km the day prior to that so I put it down to overexercise. Though I should mention that I had completed that same 4km run before with no trouble and had also been exercising quite diligently for weeks before that, so... Make of it what you will.

    A couple of days later I was lying in bed at about 9am* scrolling through Tumblr, and I heard a funny clattering in the bathroom, like something being knocked by an elbow. Do bear in mind that my bathroom is stacked absolutely full of useless crap, including but not limited to empty toothpaste boxes, empty shampoo bottles, face masks, 40 vol bleach bottles, a dying orchid, and like eight pairs of sunglasses (???) so it's easy to turn around and knock stuff over. I glanced at the door, then went back to scrolling on Tumblr. Whatever, dude.

    *Don't hate me, but I tend to write off any paranormal experiences that start with "I had just woken up". Sleep messes with your mind, guys. Stuff like false awakening and sleep paralysis can seriously dick around with your perception of reality. I've experienced false awakening before and later discovered after some extensive research that what I thought was a crazy paranormal experience was just my brain tricking me into thinking I had three arms. I'm always open to suggestion but I tend to take anything that happens just after waking up from REM sleep with a big, big pinch of salt. What makes me pause on this is that I woke up at 8am and had been solidly awake but lying in bed for about an hour, scrolling through social media, when this happened.

    Last night, just after I had settled down to sleep, I heard what sounded like the fridge door closing. This is notable, because before I go to bed I obsessively check the locks on the door, check to make sure the sockets are off at the wall, check to make sure the taps are off, and check to make sure the fridge and freezer are shut. This is a ritual, because if I haven't double, and sometimes triple, checked these things then I lie awake all night getting anxious about it. I did these checks, of course, and then the fridge door shut. Okay.

    My flat has been sweltering all summer. It's still warm outside. My flat is now cold. Throughout the entire summer, whenever I opened a window, flies and bees and wasps always buzzed inside and annoyed the crap out of me. The windows have been open every day since the mask entered my home and I have not seen a single bug. There are creaks and small movements in the night. I wake every now and again at between 3 and 5am, though I usually sleep like a corpse.

    Am I imagining it? Probably. But I've seen and heard enough creepy shit in my life to believe that there's more out there than what we can see. And I had prepared, throughout my years, for something of this ilk to happen to me - I had imagined what it might be to live alone and wonder if maybe I wasn't really as alone as I thought. Every time I pictured it, I saw myself terrified and unable to sleep and back in my old childhood home where I could not shake the feeling of being watched.

    But the thing is that I just honestly don't give a damn. I'm stressed and trying to start a career on social media is a fucking disaster and I'm just, like, okay. Whatever. You can haunt my home if you want to, as long as you stay in your corner and I stay in mine. Just don't break anything and we're cool. I can sit at my weird hoofed coffee table and write and this thing, whatever it is, if it even exists, can pulse away inside that mask that feels like it's staring at me, as long as it doesn't scare my friends or pick at the wallpaper. It's cool. I'm fine with it. Let's just both move on with our lives and coexist.

    You were wondering where the book comes in, right?

    I feel the same way about this book as I do about the mask. The book's very pretty, but its contents aren't to my taste. That said, I don't harbour any ill feeling towards it. Some years ago I'd have hissed and spat at this book for being so simplistic and depressing and at the same time boring and expected (elemental magic? Really? Come on. It's 20gayteen) but now, as a grown woman, I'm fine with it. It's whatever. It was very, very standard YA fare and I doubt I'll remember it in 6 weeks' time. It'll sit on my book...shelf, no, not a shelf, just a stack on the floor, and as long as it doesn't fall and crush my toe or anything, then it can do its thing and I'll do mine. I can move on from it and forget about it and lament nothing about my time with it. It was blah and thinner than rice paper but I really can't force myself to care.

    Maybe I should be more pissed off about the book than the ghost, but the ghost cost €15 and the book only set me back like £7.99. The ghost is a better investment, probably, but given the barren fucking wasteland that is my life right now, I'd say they're both equally irrelevant. The only thing I'm cheesed about is the collective £21.35 I paid for a very low-key haunting and a long eye roll. Thanks, Brexit.

  • Lola

    I hope you will not fall off your chair if I tell you that you have read this story before.

    Maybe once, or twice, or a hundred of times, but you most certainly have.

    Girl loses kingdom and family. Girl wants kingdom back and boy helps her. Girl manipulates her way surprisingly mainly into—instead of out of—trouble.

    Nothing stands out. Not even the idea of multiple gods and goddesses and gems that hold power that can be used by and on people. There is the illusion of a world-building but it is jus

    I hope you will not fall off your chair if I tell you that you have read this story before.

    Maybe once, or twice, or a hundred of times, but you most certainly have.

    Girl loses kingdom and family. Girl wants kingdom back and boy helps her. Girl manipulates her way surprisingly mainly into—instead of out of—trouble.

    Nothing stands out. Not even the idea of multiple gods and goddesses and gems that hold power that can be used by and on people. There is the illusion of a world-building but it is just that… an illusion.

    So while you’ve read this story before, it’s true that you haven’t read it from Theo’s point of view. In the beginning, I was sure I would love it. After all, unlike most fantasy YA heroines, Theo *pretends* to be weak and a damsel in distress.

    The pretending entertained me. Except, when you think about it, whether she is aware of her own manipulative actions (like faking fear to let a guy protect her) or not, it remains that she isn’t acting all that differently from other fantasy YA heroines.

    I simply don’t care. Now I don’t mean that I want Theo to crumble and turn to real ashes, but if my powers of prediction are correct, that is not going to happen. Otherwise, there’s no story to tell, and so I don’t care to read the whole trilogy. (Pssst… I can also read hands, for a small fee.)

    Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that there’s a love triangle? Surprise! Now you’ve fallen completely, haven’t you? Well indeed there is. A very—wait for it—predictable and annoying one.

    What a waste of a really amazing cover (oh and potential). Though, was there potential to begin with? The only reason I read it is because I have a thing for princess stories or so I have claimed recently.

    But now I feel like a fraud. Grrr. I might have to rethink my preferences.

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  • Simona

    Please tell me "Prinz" is a typo in the synopsis and that it's not how they spell prince bc I don't think I could cope with that tbh xD

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    pssssstt i know it's german for prince now. thanks(:

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