30 November 2018
Review by Beth O’Regan – Global Assistant PR Manager
ASH PRINCESS is the debut novel from Laura Sebastian, and while I would definitely say that some sections of the book adhere more to a general Young Adult fantasy template (princess protagonist, love triangle & warring kingdoms) – it certainly also has elements where it comes into its own…
16 year old Princess Theodosia (aka Theo or Thora – depending on if you’re friend or foe) was adopted by/made prisoner of the rival nation of Kalovaxians and the tyrant King Kaiser 10 years ago. This was as her mother, the Queen of Astrea, was murdered in front of her – then her country conquered & citizens enslaved. If you haven’t guessed by now, Theo IS the Ash Princess of the title –forced to wear a crown made of ash when she’s on public show to serve as a form of torture for her as well as a warning for her people.
Due to a catalyst experience at the start of the story, Theo begins to question her comfortable life in the castle and looks outside its walls for the start of a rebellion (only emotionally, not physically – most of the novel takes place within the palace grounds, leading the reader to feel the same entrapment as the Princess). An old friend finally manages to enter the castle, further igniting the flame of anger growing inside Theo – a plan is born. She’s ready to become Queen.
While the overall feeling of PRINCESS is an empowering tale of female revenge – there is a dark undertone to everything. Theo gets punished every time one of her people rebels and the Kaiser can be quite unsettling at times; which makes for an interesting diversion away from the usually light-hearted genre (think more Hunger Games than Fangirl!). It’s only book one of a trilogy, and I’ll definitely be picking up the next one when it comes out!
1. What were your thoughts on Theo’s relationship with Cressentia? Do you think it was a real friendship?
2. How did your thoughts on Theo change throughout the book? When did they change?
3. Put yourself in Theo’s position – is there anything you would have done differently?
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