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Ash Princess

Written by: Laura Sebastian
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times best seller!

"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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My Favorite Book if 2018

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wow

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

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jay-Tiz
  • 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. 

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Yvette
  • 2018-11-27

slow start<br />

The narrator was good! But the story dragged! I might pass on book two! The main character is double minded and weak!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • roman bay
  • 2018-09-17

solid 3.5 stars

this book was entertaining. it had a solid story flow. The characters were likable and the author did a great job describing feelings and transferring emotions, my least favorite character was the main character.. she felt immature and slightly irrational which aggravated me. there were couple of chapter where the story slowed down and there were some ideas in the story that I thought could of been better of more thought was put into it, but still was mostly enjoyable. The Romance wasn't my thing but unlike some stories I read it was bearable. I would compare this book to a freeway, it wasn't a race track with twist and turns, full of action and mystery but it did get you through a smooth road at a decent pace. interesting enough to see what happens next in the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • 2018-05-07

.

The signing edited over the narration in a few places was weird and annoying. The story was good though and I liked it otherwise.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Denise
  • 2019-01-21

Better than the average Fantasy

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is not your average Fantasy novel. First of all the characters are not all good or bad. There is some grey area. Theo/Thora witnessed her Queen Mother’s death when she was little, and has been “kept” by her captor, the Kaizoran, and tortured and humiliated for 10 years. She is not behind bars, but lives among the usurpers who look at her with distain. She is whipped for no reason except at the Kaisoran’s whim. She is watched and followed 24/7. And she is befriended by Cresentia, her Mother’s killer’s (the Theyn) daughter. But this friendship has strings. Thora is more Cres’s pet than true friend, and Thora/Theo knows it. How can a girl like this be anything but vengeful and full of hate, AND near hopeless. This colors her dark world and she cannot trust anyone.

While listening to the audiobook, I am reminded of 2 other series: The Cruel Prince and The Queen of the Tearling. The story reads much like TCP in scope and story telling, and I loved this series, but the writing is an echo of TQotT, and I loved this series as well. So I have high hopes for Lady Smoke which is soon to be released. So I highly recommend The Ash Princess if you like low fantasy with a little bit of romance and if you loved TCP. I also thought the narrator did a really good job with this book. She was a good fit.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful