Friday, October 19, 2018

Thoughts While Listening To... | Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Title: Ash Princess
Author: Laura Sebastian
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Series? Yes, a trilogy
Length: 13 hours, 17 minutes
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: I checked out Ash Princess via my online local library


"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

1) This seems like just another YA fantasy novel. I've read versions of this story multiple times, so I hope Ash Princess brings something new to the table. 

2) I'm really loving the production level of the audiobook. Whenever Theo thinks back to her heritage and lost community, there's background songs and murmurs. It reminds me a bit of folk songs and tales. 

3) Okay, Theo is straight up manipulating this prince and I am *loving* it! I like that we're seeing her gain a sense of power, and using her wit to manipulate people of the court. Yes, the prince and her firned (whose names I'm blanking on) might not be horrible people, but they are bystanders perpetuating mass genocide and Theo's own torture, so I don't have too much empathy for them. I just hope Theo doesn't start to question herself. Like she said, she is her people's only hope! I am assuming that this isn't going to end well for her though, simply because it's the first book in a trilogy.

4) I'm approaching the 5 1/2 hour mark and I'm not even halfway through...this book is long! And slow...nothing has happened that much.

5) I'm approaching the 8 hour mark, and very unfortunately, the audiobook expires in two hours! :( Back on the waitlist for me, but I think I'll remember enough that I won't restart!

6) Between points four and five we got some romance! And damn, we all know that this is not going to end well. At least, not at first. The romance reminds me a bit of Jules and the prince in Everless. If you've read that book, you know that doesn't end well AT ALL. Even though I know it's going to end up badly, I still ship Theo and the prince.

7) Why do I have a sinking feeling that the prince is wooing Theo this whole time from orders by his father...but he actually does care for her but still betrays her. lol please don't tell me I'm right.

8) I seriously hope that Theo and Cress remain friends! Fuck the prince and all the other guys, friendship is most important! But also...why can't Theo tell Cress not to call her Thora in private?

9) Other reviewers have mentioned a love triangle, but I think it's quite obvious (at least right now) who Theo is legitimately interested in.

10) My aduiobook expired, so it was a couple weeks before I got it again! I stopped around 60 percent, but I jumped right back in and was able to recall a lot.

11) Theo is definitely growing as a character, and her strength is inspiring! She's definitely not annoying me anymore.

12) The love triangle got more complex. It's not that obvious who is going to "win" Theo's affections at the end of this novel, or the trilogy. I have my guess, but I'll have to wait for a some years to see if I'm right in the end.

13) The narration has really stepped up this past hour (I'm appraching the tenth hour of the audiobook). There were times when multiple characters were ssaying the same lines, and the narrator did all parts and it sounded like multiple peple were talking! It just goes to show that the narrator is doing an amazing job with all the characters. Just a couple minutes ago, Theo said that words that two characters used to say to her were "echoing" in her mind. When the narrator performed the dialogue, it not only sounded like two different people but also an echo! Props to the narrator and the production!

14) I'm a huge fan of poltical intrigue, so this book is really working for me!

15) Theo's friendship with Cress is really interesting, and I would love to see that explored further in the sequel. There's obviously going to be something big happening with Cress next book.

16) I'm pretty sure my ship just died?? LOL I'll just ignore it!!

17) I like the Beserker idea, but I'm wary of how Sebastian is going to implement it with one of her characters. Honestly, it just seems like it'll make the series darker and more of a downer.

18) I'm glad that this series is gonig to be a trilogy. Duologies are becoming so popular in YA, but this definitely needs more than two books.

19) The ending didn't occur as closely to my expectations! I've read a ton of YA fantasy books where the protagonist is a prisioner in some sort of kingdom, but the escape plan never ends nicely. Laura Sebastian twisted this conventional ending just a little, and I appreciate it!

20) Holy shit don't tell me that **spoiler** (Theo's mom is alive!? Twin????) (scroll over to read spoiler!) I was not expecting that at all! 

21) Ugh, another antaonigst? Not a fan...

22) And we're done! Ash Princess was pretty good! It was a little slow going, but once Theo found her backbone and started making all these poltiical plans, I was listening to the book nonstop.  

With that, I give Ash Princess
4 out of 5 Fire Crowns!


  1. Wow - I read the eARC so I didn't realize how long it was! The narrator sounds familiar, I think I like her.

    I think we had the same ship, this book frustrated me sooo much with the love triangle but I absolutely adored Theo's growth!

    1. I'm bad at keeping track of narrators, but I definitely liked this narration! If your ship was Theo and Soren, then yes we did! I hate when there's a love interest that is characterized as inevitable, like Blaze was! Theo's growth was the best part of the book!

  2. Haha, I love reading your thoughts! Very entertaining! Glad to hear it got a lot better after the slow start!

    1. I'm glad that it's entertaining! Sometimes I worry that they are as interesting as a normal book review. :) Thank you so much for visiting, Angela!

  3. I just finished this book recently as well! I wasn't expecting the ending to involve another antagonist as well. I also couldn't tell which ship is going to sail either. I am leaning towards a certain character though. Fun read :)

    Elle Inked @ Keep on Reading

    1. I'm not looking forward to the other antagonist. I think we have enough external and internal antagonists for the series! *sigh* I'm definitely leaning towards Soren. I don't remember the exact moment in the book, but Theo mentions that her and Blaze was an inevitability. I just can't ship a relationship that is defined as inevitable. That's just me though! There are for sure problems between Theo and Soren that they need to fix. :)

      Thank you for stopping by Elle!

  4. I am always trying to figure out what new audiobook I want to try next. Perhaps I shall add this one to my list, but it does seem kind of long! Overall, I loved reading your review in this format. I have done some like this and it is so much to write and even more fun to read others!

    1. Thank you Kay! I agree, it's more fun to write and also seems more interactive. Plus, reading a list is so much easier than paragraphs, haha! :D