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Ash Princess
Contributor(s): Sebastian, Laura
ISBN: 1524767069     ISBN-13: 9781524767068
Publisher: Delacorte Pr
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: April 2018
Annotation: Held captive by the brutal Kaiser since age six when she witnessed her mother's murder, Theodosia, called Ash Princess, is now sixteen and prepared to reclaim the throne by any means necessary.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Princesses; Fiction.
Courts and courtiers; Fiction.
Kings, queens, rulers, etc.; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017024454
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Series: Ash Princess
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 6.25" W x 1.75" (1.20 lbs) 437 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Laura Sebastian grew up in South Florida and attended Savannah College of Art and Design. She now lives and writes in New York City. Ash Princess is her first novel. To learn more about Laura and her book, follow @sebastian_lk on Twitter.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 March #1)

Sixteen-year-old Princess Theodosia is a royal prisoner in the Kaiser's court within the fantasy setting of Astrea—where some have the power of magical abilities channeled through coveted gems. The victim of intense physical and mental abuse (she witnessed her mother being murdered), she believes her people will come to save her. But after being forced to kill a man she believes to be her last hope, the so-called Ash Princess realizes she'll have to save herself. In a story driven by the strength of its traumatized yet resourceful protagonist, Sebastian weaves together political intrigue, theological questions, and the genocide of an entire race. The princess agrees to stay in her gilded cage to act as a spy for the resistance; her dual purpose provides a window into the complexities of human interaction and emotion, familial tensions, and the false public face that is sometimes required in politics and at court. Theodosia navigates a web of lies and half-truths, culminating in a climactic ending ripe for a sequel. Ages 12–up. Agent: Laura Biagi, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Apr.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 January)

Gr 7 Up—An Artemisian princess is used as a threat to those who would try to overthrow the Kalovaxians who have taken over Artemisia. The new Kaiser even causes her to change her name from Theodosia to Thora and ingrains in her head that she cannot mention her real name without getting punished. He further disgraces her by calling her the Ash Princess, since she no longer has a country to rule, and makes her wear a crown of ashes that crumbles and stains her clothes. She is punished for any events that the Artemisians plan to get back their country or any incidents that cause the Kaiser to look bad. It is only when the Kaiser causes her to kill her own father that her feelings of quiet acceptance turn into rebellion. The journey through her thoughts and the pressure of high expectations from those supporting her as their queen are ever-present as she starts to find a way to take back the country. Through unexpected allies and daring escape plans, her trip from downtrodden princess to queen is an engaging one that fantasy fans will enjoy. The main characters are well rounded but the supporting cast is somewhat underdeveloped. This might be rectified in the next installments. The relationship between Theo and her closest friend, Cress, also seems somewhat contrived, although it is crucial to the story line. There are some graphic descriptions of the punishments that Theodosia endures, so this novel may not be for the faint of heart. VERDICT Purchase where there are still avid fans of "The Selection" series by Kiera Cass and "The Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins.—Lenore Catalano, Hammarskjold Middle School, NJ

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.