Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

 

Summary from Good Reads: 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.

My thoughts…

I enjoyed Laura’s storytelling. I felt empowered through Theodosia’s actions. She had a tough life growing up  in her home but under a tyrannical king. He wasn’t her father. He killed her mother, in their home. She has to live with that every day. Her feelings for the king’s son is magical. The romance, if one were to call it that, although believable had me wondering if it in fact it will last. The way she was treated throughout the novel and her subsequent actions toward its epic conclusion had me cheering for every step of the way. Although, I wonder whether she made the right choice at the end. Duty before country? Love before country? She wants  justice for her mother and her people! Theo wants her kingdom back! Although she has to wear that crown of ashes as an act of humiliation, she uses it to further gain strength to represent the remnants of her people.. Ash Princess is more than a title or reference to the crown, but also a princess living in the memory of tragedy that befell her people as ashes.

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When I met @laurasebastian at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore.

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