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Publisher's Summary

The first book in the New York Times best-selling series

"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 10 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 10 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)

©2018 Laura Sebastian (P)2018 Listening Library

What the critics say

"Tense and imaginative, this story of a diminished yet vengeful princess inciting a rebellion to recapture her rightful place of power strikes a timely chord. Ash Princess is a smart, feminist twist on a traditional tale of a fallen heroine, with plenty of court intrigue, love, and lies to sweeten the deal. Good luck putting this one down." (Virginia Boecker, author of The Witch Hunter series)

"The story leaps and twists like a swordswoman, and its blade carves the characters anew and divides them against themselves. This searing page-turner is a compelling examination of the complexities of both evil and resistance." (Sarah Porter, author of Vassa in the Night)

"An emotionally complex, breathtakingly suspenseful series starter." (Booklist)

What listeners say about Ash Princess

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fde
  • 2021-02-15

Great Book

The story line was great, she was able to create a new world with likeable characters. I didn't like the accents used for the characters and how mischievous she tried to make the voices sound (Its actually laughable and cringy at times). Great story and would likely listen to second book if its a different narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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not sure how I feel

this was a predictable story. I'm a sucker for reclaiming the throne stories but I wasnt that impressed with this one. narration was great, background music was strange. overall decent.

1 person found this helpful

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I finished it, it's average

The story was really captivating at first. As it continued, I found it difficult to really latch on. It had its moments here and there, but I found the main character a little annoying at times. Ending didn't capture me enough to continue. This book maybe for some people, but it wasn't for me.

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Get rid of the music

Super weird music for no reason at random times? Please take this out - it’s just weird

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Loved it!

Great book... I will be listening to the next one! Love Saskia’s narration. Loved it!

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Enjoyed it

I enjoyed this book and the world that Laura Sebastian created.
I found the book somewhat slow moving, and very long. I felt like some good editing could’ve cut out some unnecessary scenes and a lot of repetitive comments. There was a lot of over-emphasized regret, and constant reminders of what had happened earlier in the book.
Aside from those relatively minor defects. I did enjoy the book and I look forward to reading the sequel.
The narrator did a good job and was interesting to listen to. However at times I found her too breathy, almost whispering with an overly dramatic flair. But for the most part she was good.

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I tried

I tried to like the book, but I found the characters boring and with not really any back story, it just didn’t catch my attention. I forced myself to listen to as much as I could. While this book will be amazing for a lot of people, it was just not my taste. My apologies.

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So glad I gave this book a try!

I had little expectations as I'd seen Ash Princess in bookstores many times but the blurb didn't quite catch me, but I decided to give the audiobook a try. I am so glad I did! The narrator was fantastic and the world created was fascinating. Theo was a great combination of conflicted views and morals. I loved it!

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My Favorite Book if 2018

I loved everything about the Ash princess and I can't wait for book two !

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Wow

What an amazing, great book, I recommend it to anyone that likes twisted tales. #Audible1

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Addison
  • 2018-06-27

Not what I expected, but still very good.

I have to start by saying that the idea behind the plot of this book is nothing new... I've read a lot of fantasy/dystopian books similar to this one. There are some fun things that made this one stand out though, and I liked the overall story and it ended in the ways that I predicted all along. The ash crown plays a very interesting part in this book, and the stones/gems that brought magic to the table. Those were some super interesting elements to this story.

When I started this book, it was slow moving, the world building was good, but the plot and character development was slow. There was a lot of back story, some necessary and some I could of done without. Our main character is being raised in a semi-prison, watched 100% of the time by these guardians called shadows - even when she sleeps, which I found super odd. I have a mental picture of what her room looked like, and it was a lot like a solitary confinement space in a prison. I immediately was drawn to her mental state and how that was holding up to what she had been through thus far. The book didn't really pick up until about 75% in when our heroine could finally see how her plans might work out - but they were still flimsy ones at that point. By the end, I was hooked, even though I felt that the last few chapters were rushed, they were still full of action. I just wanted more of that earlier on in the book, even in small doses. I feel like it would of developed a lot smoother overall.

I found it interesting that we didn't get any definite answers on some questions from the start of the book - but they let you assume the answers. I would of rather of known for sure, mostly about her father. I was also slightly annoyed by the love square we were put through - a second chance romance and a fake romance... I didn't see it necessary to get to the end, but I guess to each their own. The secondary characters stole the show - her shadows and some of the staff were my favorites.

I give this book a solid three stars. I liked it enough, I finished it, but I don't think I could get through it again. I'm not sure if I will pick up a sequel. This is also what happened to me after Red Queen. Predictable storyline, and it fell short.

I really enjoyed the narrator over all - she did a great job bringing these characters to life.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Jac attack
  • 2018-10-11

Wired background musics is annoying

The story is okay but there is this bizarre background music that they play during narration that is super distracting.

18 people found this helpful

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  • jasmine contreras
  • 2019-03-04

I wanted to like it

for my own experience. i caught my self day dreaming while listening to this. It just didn't hold my attention. the writing wasn't there for me. but I did like the over all plot I just wished it would have sucked me in

7 people found this helpful

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  • Breanne J.
  • 2019-03-20

YA war more than love story

I think the author has great potential in bringing in characters and building them to their potential, and creating a new world. It just seems to drag on and on and on. It’s a love story retold from a different angle. The heroine is strong and resilient, but has she truly developed through her trials as being captive or is she following one set of ideas to another persons set of ideas? It’s not really a love story. It’s a lot of war, a dash of deceit, with a little love.

6 people found this helpful

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  • J. B. James
  • 2020-05-03

Lack of Descriptive Action, But Loads of Conflict

Go to www.creativemyownway.com for more of my reviews.

How would you feel if your mother, the Queen, was killed in front of you at the age of six and for the next ten years you find yourself underneath the care of the person who had your mother killed to conquer your people? Oh, and to make matters worse, every infraction committed by your people is levied upon you? Did I forget to mention that your name is also stripped from you? May I introduce you to Princess Theodosia Eirene Houzzara, The Ash Princess. Theodosia, whose name is changed to Thora, is the main character of this story. For ten years, the Kaiser has “hosted” her in his estate. And for ten years, he has paraded her around in front of the other nobles, beating her for the rebellion of her people. That is, until the day Ampellio is captured and she is tortured in a different way, signaling the start of a chain reaction.

What I loved about The Ash Princess Trilogy is that you feel every emotion Theo is faced with. She is the rightful Queen of a conquered people and must decide if she will be their Queen, or will she continue to be a puppet princess. This is a series high in mental and emotional conflict and leaves the reader feeling the weight of every decision that needs to be made. There is elemental magic, a love triangle, internal struggles, and all-out war. One thing I really appreciated is that even though this is a LGBTQ inclusive book, it was not forced upon the reader. Truth be told, every relationship in this story is extremely mild. The author leaves it to the reader’s imagination in just about every scenario.

What I did not like about this story was how quickly Theodosia developed feelings for one part of her love triangle. It did not make sense based on how Theo’s character was being built. This love interest is critical to the story and so in the grand scheme it is easy to just overlook. The other thing I did not like, in book two Lady of Smoke, Theo is examining potential alliances when several murders take place and before the murders began I was able to identify who it was. Now, this was the only glaringly predictable situation in the story. Lastly, it is not something I do not like rather something I wanted more of, there are several battles and attacks that take place that are woefully undescriptive. I found myself wanting more; however, there is still so much conflict that this would have just made the series better.

At the end of the day, every book in this series makes it onto my bookshelf. I enjoyed each book individually, and loved the overall story they told together. This is a great series for young girls looking to develop confidence, and one that I would highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • H. J. Ortiz
  • 2019-02-03

Ash Princess Review

I purchased this book during the crazy and frightening Black Friday sale at Barnes and Nobel. What drew me to it was the interesting cover. I saw it and something about it caught my eye. I saw a troubled throne, a fallen one. And after reading the synopsis, I realized that is exactly what this story is. I did not hesitate in purchasing this novel.

This novel reminded me of a series I recently read, the Snow Like Ashes series by Sarah Raasch. As I was reading it, I saw that the struggle this character goes through is similar to Raasch's character. I absolutely loved the Snow Like Ashes series, so as I read more, I fell more and more in love with this story. This story was full of tough decisions, and I just grew anxious to know what the Ash Princess, Theodosia, would do. How would she redeem her family, her thrown, and her people?

To me, Ash Princess was a hit! It kept me wanting more and more. The fallen kingdom Sebastian creates and the Ash Princess' fight for her people is riveting and drew me in. I wanted to know what would happen to Theo and to those around her. I wanted to know what she would do. Who does she truly love? That is, if she even has time to think of love with everything that is going on in her life. After years of torture and pain, the Ash Princess grows courage, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for her and her people. I will anxiously await Sebastian's sequel to Ash Princess, Lady Smoke, which is set to release in February 5, 2019.

Audible Review:

Maarleveld does an magnificent job! Her narration drew me in from the start, and I felt she captivated Sebastian's Ash Princess and her attitude and emotions effectively. I did have to read at more than a 1.5 speed. 1.0 was too slow for me, and was quite dreadful. At 1.25 speed, Maarleveld's narration is about the speed I read, so I enjoyed it at that speed the most. However, I did want to get through it quicker so I read it a faster listening speed. For those of us who like to multitask and listen on the go, I recommend listening at a 1.75 speed, so one does not miss anything. For those who are listening while reading the book, I found 2.0 and 2.5 speed to be the best speeds. 3.0 was too fast for me, and I was missing a lot of what the narrator was saying and had to eventually slow down the narrator's reading speed. 

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ashley
  • 2018-05-23

the first 60% was very slow

the first 60% was pretty slow but then it picked up which made the book quite enjoyable because there's no half star ratings I'm giving it a 4 but in reality it's really a three and a half. the narrator was fantastic I love some of her other work as well and I will be continuing the series because I'm hoping Book 2 picks up where they left off and it's not as drawn out

6 people found this helpful

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  • Laura Berkman
  • 2020-02-24

Amazing!

Finished it in 24 hours. The story was more brutal than I expected but I was hooked from the beginning. I love the character developments as well.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Chelsea Pummell
  • 2020-10-08

It’s mehhhh

I liked the premise a lot, it had promise...but at times I liked it and at times I really didn’t. I felt the storyline and narrative got really repetitive at times and I turn could’ve used extra description for certain aspects abut was using too much descriptives at other times.
There was a point where I almost gave up and wasn’t going to finish but I was already invested. It was an okay way to pass the time, but not sure if I’ll go on to listen to a sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • bbaluski
  • 2020-09-12

lacking.

The characters were well redeveloped but I kept anticipating danger and intrigue but the story left me flat.

1 person found this helpful