BOOK CLUB: Ash Princess

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Author: Laura Sebastian
ISBN: 978-1-76055-550-4
RRP: $16.99
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Ash Princess is the first novel by US author Laura Sebastian and it is the first in a trilogy, which I think is great to know going in.


YA fantasy trilogies with strong female leads are becoming quite common and everyone experiences books differently so it’s safe to say that this one is garnering pretty mixed reviews. The premise certainly grabbed my attention and it’s a book that I look forward to diving into.

Theodosia was six when her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered and her country invaded. She lost her land and her name; she was crowned Ash Princes, a title of shame in her new life as a prisoner.

In her own palace, Theo is imprisoned for ten years, suffering relentless abuse and ridicule. Her only hope for survival is to bury the girl she was deep inside.

Being forced to do the unthinkable, with blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, Theo realises that surviving isn’t enough. She needs to go into battle with her most formidable weapon, her mind.

Blood will be spilt, loyalties will be questioned and allies will emerge as Theo sets out on an impossible quest to save her people and reclaim the kingdom of Astrea. First, she will have to save herself.

I look forward to hearing how our readers experienced Ash Princess.

Laura Sebastian can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and her website.

Ash Princess is published by Pan Australia and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pan Australia 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading Ash Princess so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Ash Princess

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian, and published by Pan Macmillan Australia. It is the first book in a fantasy, YA trilogy, and I cant wait to read the second and third books!
    From page one I was captivated, by the evocative storytelling, the descriptive world scene setting with its dark, political intrigues and the complex, well rounded characters – from the diabolical Kaiser who rules by terror and torture, and gets his enjoyment from seeing others suffer, to Theo the beleaguered hostage princess who must play the part of compliant political pawn in order to save herself, but who has the resilience and resourcefulness to emerge as her people’s true leader.
    Theo or Theodosia is the rightful ruler of Astrea, but her mother the Queen was murdered, her country overtaken and her people enslaved by the Kaiser when Theo was six. For the 10 years since, Theo has been held captive, forced to wear a crown of ash and paraded before the Kaiser’s court at his whim, a living symbol of his domination of the Astrean people. To survive in this environment Theo has been clever enough to hide her true self, and to submit to her conquerors. If her people stage an uprising, it is Theo who endures the punishment, a public whipping or beating, and it is she who must beg the Kaiser for forgiveness. She must be seen to cower so that he can demonstrate his strength and domination.
    However, now as a young girl of 16, circumstances are changing, not only is Theo being seen as a woman, she is also starting to recognise her own strength and power. What follows in the story is Theo’s gradual coming of age, her emergence as a young woman who desires and is in turn desired, and her steps to outplay her captors and to take charge.
    My main regret after reading Ash Princess, is that the second book in the trilogy is not due out until 2019! I thoroughly recommend Ash Princess.

  2. I didnt realise this was not a stand alone book so I was thinking it was a strange ending but now I know it belongs to a trilogy I can relax. My goodness, it is a long time to wait to hear more of this fascinatingly magical tale but I will definitely be watching for the release of the next novel. I really enjoyed the tale of the Ash Princess and her gradual coming ‘back to life ‘ as the true queen of Astrea. I hope the prince Soren is not killed in the future because I think hes similar to Thora in that he has to play a role in order to remain safe from the Kaiser. Given the opportunity he may well rise to be a fine ruler and companion for Theodosia. If I have to wait til 2019 for the next part of the tale I will create my own ending until then. A beautifully written tale of the rise of the heroine.

  3. The Ash Princess draws you in to the story and carries you along. Join “Thora” as she submits to the shame, torture and punishment given by the Kaiser and his people all because she is the rightful heir for a country conquered and stripped of its weath.
    For more than a decade she has been submissive but the presentation of hope in the form or rebels, remnants of her people willing to fight, brings forward Theodisia the rightful queen to the lands.
    There is a lot accomplished in this book but so much more to come. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book. To see how the story unfolds.
    Treachery, mystery, love and family, it’s all captured in this book. Thanks for the opportunity.

  4. I loved this book. From the very first page the descriptive writing style draws you into the world conquered world of Astrea where it is too easy to be lost in the story. The development of the characters was well done and drew you into the shame and struggle of Theo who at a tender had her world turned upside down and her family lost to her.

    Through the emotional and physical abuse she receives you live with her has she grows, not only in stature but in the knowledge that she is the rightful leader and its up to her to make the changes her people need.

    This book has something for everyone, love, loss, betrayal, secrets and dreams (shattered and rebuilt).

    I was very disappointed initially to find out that this was the first of three book (and that they were still a long way from being available), I highly recommend reading this trilogy but wait until the third book comes out so you can read them all at once (seriously – the wait is going to kill me!)

  5. I loved this fantasy novel, it was full of the intrigue and suspense that makes a successful ‘magic’ yarn. Young Theodosia was orphaned at 6 when her mother, the queen of their country, was brutally murdered to enable an easier transition to a compliant population by the invading ‘Kaiser.’ In the intervening years the Kaiser kept her close torturing her physically and mentally to break her spirit. Attempting to rob her of her past and heritage, it appears he has succeeded but Theodosia or Thora as the Kaiser has renamed her, has developed incredible survival skills without losing her innate ‘self’ although it is well and deeply hidden. The situation goes from one of survival to one of active rebellion when the Kaiser pushes her too far at a time when other rebels have managed to make contact with her. It amazed and horrified me to read of the humiliation and pain this woman had endured from a child and I was firmly in her corner as she came into her own and summoned the courage to escape her sadistic jailer. The only complaint I have is that the sequel is not coming out until 2019. I heartily recommend this book and I will be researching the author, Laura Sebastian, to see if she has other work for sale. Also thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for the opportunity to read it.

  6. I want to start by saying I really loved this book! Ash princess is the first book in a fantasy trilogy which i can not wait to continue.

    Theodosia was the princess before her country was invaded when she was six years old. She watched her mother be killed and became a prisoner in her own palace. The Kaiser (basically the King) is a cruel man who enjoys punishing her when her people rebel against him.

    Theodosia’s character really grows in the book and is a much stronger character by the end of the book. I really enjoyed her relationships with all the characters especially with the love triangle that takes place.

    Overall I would recommend this book!

  7. A great start to a new series !! Loved the cover and full of intrigue. The world building was a great bonus , it gave the reader insight into a different world fueled by north and south. The author has done the characters justice by creating fierce yet like able characters. Some not so .

    With lots of vivid imagery and descriptions we are able to get inside the characters heads as well as within the story line.

    I found that THeodosia was torn between two kinds of characters as one . The book does deliver us a love triangle, and sets up the series for an ongoing sequel that has promise and will enlighten the reader to want to delve into more.

    It does contain political aspects, even though this was within the story, the continuous of the overall story was intriguing,

    Be warned though a few possible trigger warnings for readers, such as whipping, violence , rape and beatings. No indepth imagery though .

    A war to regain the thrown, murder, rebellion a princess on a mission . An enlightening read for all the young at heart.

  8. Wow, I absolutely loved this book and found it hard to put it down. Fantastic writing in a way that leaves the reader guessing, it is not a predictable storyline at all which is fantastic.
    Can’t wait for the next book in the series to see what is in store for Theodosia

  9. Firstly thank you beauty and lace and pan mcmillan for the cahnce to read the Ash Princess, I was captivated from the beginning. Thora the “Ash Princess” is a prisoner in her own home after her mother the Fire Queen is murdered by the Kasier, a dark and ruthless man who strives off power and fear. The kaiser enslaves thora’s people and invades the kingdom, Thora is physically and mentally tortured by the Kasier, she survives years of punishment while retaining a glimmer of hope and resliance. As the story develops Thora’s hope turns to anger, for both herself and her people she must rebel, now is the time to take a chance. I enjoyed the political aspects of this novel, the magical elements and the depth of the characters. I found the Ash Princess had similarities to throne of glass by Sarah J Maas, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

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