Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian - ESSENTIAL

Sebastian, Laura Ash Princess, 448 pages.  Ransom House, APRIL 2018.  $19.  Language: PG (7 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (deaths, beatings)

Ten years ago Thora was Theodosia, the daughter of the Queen of Astrea, a small island country whose only value lay in its people and in its gem mines.  Now, however, she is Thora - hostage of the Kaiser of Kalovaxia, a ruthless man who grinds up kingdoms for their wealth and then spits them out and moves on when he is done.  Is has been a long time since Thora was whipped for the actions of Astean rebels, but today she must kill their leader - who she thinks may also be her father - or be killed.  Today is the day when Theodosia will take her first steps back into the light to fight. 

Clap, Clap, Clap!  Sebastian has written something that true YA readers will flock to - I am talking middle school and high school students, not adult women who also read YA.  While it is hard to imagine Theodosia surviving captivity since she was five, she is almost a dual personality in her ability to compartmentalize Thora vs Theodosia.  It has its weaknesses - the romantic triangle, seducing your enemy and then falling in love with him - but in all, I think it will find a solid fanbase.  My actual beef is with the letter from the publisher that was included in the ARC - implying that before now there have been no books with strong female protagonists - that girls have only been sidekicks.  That is an affront to every strong female I have ever read.  Has no one read Tamora Pierce?  Robin McKinley? Anne McCaffrey? I could go on and on.  What a slap in the face. 

MS, HS - ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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