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Ash Princess Reader Reviews

Ash Princess

Sonia Hall, age 15

They killed her mother the Queen in front of her and made her stab her own father. She has lived in the palace with the ruthless Kalovaxians who conquered her kingdom for years, enduring the insults.

They took her mother, her childhood innocence and even her name from her, but now she is fighting back.  Plotting escape, revenge and freedom for her people she is determined to one day become the true queen of her own lands.  She will need guile and cunning, a handful of true friends and a streak of ruthlessness herself to defeat the Kaiser who no one dare defy.  As the sovereign, she feels responsible for the safety of her people who are now dying as slaves in the mines and she is burdened with guilt over not being able to help them.  Her loyalties are tested though as her only friend is the daughter of the Kaiser’s right hand man and then, against her own reason she falls in love with the Kaiser’s son.  How far is she prepared to go, and how will her actions affect the fates of those around her?  

Sidney Greenslade, age 14

A powerful and thrilling fantasy, Ash Princess kept me on the edge of my seat with its brilliant storyline, complex characters and exciting plots. I absolutely loved it! Ten out of ten!

‘Ash Princess’ is a thrilling and dramatic fantasy novel, about Theodosia Houzzara, the Ash Princess. 

Ten years ago, her country, Astrea, was invaded by the Kalovaxians and Theo's mother, the Queen, was murdered in front of her, when she was only six years old. 

Now the Kaiser, leader of the Kalovaxians, rules over a fearful and broken Astrea, and Theo has become the Ash Princess; a living joke. The Kaiser took her freedom, enslaved her people, even changed her name to Lady Thora. Theo lives in fear and pain, and most Astreans now work in the dangerous mines, where, after some time, they inevitably go mine-mad and die.

Theo has given up all hope of escape, until a trio of Astrean rebels, all with powerful magical gifts, help her concoct a plot that might just set her free. However, for the plan to succeed, Theo must seduce and murder the Kaiser's son – but Theo realises that she has feelings for the Prinz. Faced with choices that threaten to break her heart, and unable to trust even her childhood friends, Theo must decide where her loyalties lie – and who she, Theodosia Eirene Houzzara really is, beneath the fury and the ashes.

Ash Princess is a fantastic book about loyalty, revenge, power and knowing who you are. It captivated me, and I was always on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next turn in the plot. The story was really unique and incredibly vivid. The characters were wonderfully complex, and very engrossing. My personal favourite was Artemisia, with her fearless, selfless personality, funny, sarcastic quips and, deep down, kind and loving heart. I really enjoyed reading it and was so surprised by the twist at the end! Utterly brilliant!


Ella, age 13

From the start of it I was instantly enthralled and desperate to read more of it. The characters are so good, it’s like the author has actually carved them from human emotion.

As an indicator of how good this book is I read all 419 pages in under a week.

From the start of it I was instantly enthralled and desperate to read more of it. The characters are so good, it’s like the author has actually carved them from human emotion. The plot is so good too, it had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through! And the way the author describes some scenes, it had me crying, holding my breath in worry, and grinning from ear to ear.

The story is told in the first person, from Theodosia’s perspective. A young lady in the court of the Kaiser, dubbed unceremoniously the ‘Ash Princess’. When Theo was six her homeland, Astrea, was invaded and her mother, the Queen, was murdered before her by the Kaiser’s most lethal warrior. Theo was then striped of her heritage and changed into lady Thora, or the Ash Princess.

She lives with only one more hope of rescue until the Kaiser makes her kill him herself. She is devastated but soon she discovers she has another hope and it’s like someone relit the fire inside her. And for the first time in years she lets herself remember who she really is, a Queen.

Charlotte Cassidy, age 13

This book is a fantastic book that drags you into the story and keeps you there the whole way through. I loved it!

The Ash Princess is a brilliant book about love, revenge, murder and power. It is a fantastic book that drags you into the story and keeps you there the whole way through the book. It is about a princess named Theodosia, who is the last survivor of the Astrean monarchy from the Kalovaxian invasion. Everything she loves is taken away from her, right in front of her eyes: Her name, her power, her mother, and now she wants her revenge. Known as the quiet, obedient Lady Thora to the Kalovaxians, she  kept in the palace by the cruel Kaiser as a reminder of the Kalovaxian rule, Theodosia makes a plan with some other Astreans to escape and overthrow the Kaiser. Will it succeed, or will she stay as Lady Thora, the broken Ash Princess forever? In this book, I think that Theodosia is a really strong, independent woman. Even when things go wrong, she figures out some way to survive. This book is an enthralling book, and I can't wait for the sequel!

Grace Spear, age 15

This book was incredible! It was one of those stories that I really wanted to finish but never wanting it to end.

Theo’s country was invaded when she was young, with her mother (the queen) murdered before her very eyes. She now lives under the Kaiser's rule who constantly takes advantage of her. When she is forced to kill her only hope of escape, she vows revenge. With help from some magically gifted rebellious friends she plots to seduce and kill the kaiser's son. However falling for the prinz wasn’t expected and now she has to decide who to trust, and how far she is willing to go to save her people. 

I loved this book. I generally couldn’t put it down and when I did I couldn’t stop thinking about what might happen next. It kept me on my toes, trying to figure each character out. My favourite character was Blaise as you can see how much he cares about Theo, yet you can’t imagine what he has seen. I loved the relationship between the Prinz and Theo and I was always questioning what would happen next. This book was amazing and I definitely recommend giving it a read. I hope there’s a second book to come!


Faghra Saleem, age 14

Beautiful, magnificent and truly captivating. Ash Princess was a wonderful read that I will never forget.

Ash Princess was a marvellous book which had me entranced from start to finish. The words were written with such detail, and the dialogue flowed so effortlessly, that I couldn't put the book down until I finished. Needless to say, I read the book within a day, and even then I wanted to know more. 

Theodosia. Forget Snow White, forget Cinderella. Forget even Mulan or Merida, because Theodosia? She beats them all. Theo is literally the epitome of what I've always wanted to see in a princess. Brave, loyal and willing to do whatever- and I mean whatever- it takes to take back her country. 

Even if that means killing the Prince (Well Prinz I should say.) Although his sense of loyalty and his complete and utter trust in Theo is particularly endearing, Soren- in my eyes- has nothing on Blaise. Clearly, I am sliding more towards one side of the love triangle then the other. 

Ash Princess is a wonderful book about a princess imprisoned by those who captured and took over her mother's kingdom. The horrors she has faced make this book like no other. For her people, she is ready to sacrifice everything. Her safety, her love and even her best friend. 

This book was an amazing read and I recommend it greatly. I would give this a 4/5.


Emma Baird, age 15

I eagerly await Laura Sebastian’s next addition to Theo’s story but in the meantime I would definitely recommend this epic novel.

Theodosia, the rightful ruler of Astrea, hides under false names as she waits like a damsel in distress for her people to rescue her. Only when the cruel Kaiser, conqueror of her country, forces her to kill an all too familiar leader of the rebellion, does Theo realise it is time for her to live up her title and free the Astreans. However, in her years of hiding she has formed bonds of friendship and even a blossoming first love with Kalovaxians so the rebels spurring her on are worried. To free all her suffering citizens will the Ash Princess be able to sacrifice those who she has come to love?

A thrilling tale of a girl trying to escape her mocked existence in court to avenge her countries losses and save her remaining people from the terrible conditions they are forced to survive in. Personally, I enjoyed the development of Theo’s character from the isolated girl to the warrior queen she is on her way to become and found myself hooked on this book to see what influential choices she would make.

Izzy Read, age 17

Perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas, it left me hooked to the end.

Ash princess is about the liberation of a princess in chains from her own actions and finding her identity as a ruler. You see the rotten side of a seemingly beautiful court, and the vengeance and sorrow in a girls heart after a lifetime of abuse.  This is a story filled with highs and lows of magic and the oppression; it often can be reflected in today’s world.

Edel Waugh

This was a brutal tale of one woman’s fight to survive.

This was a brutal tale of one woman’s fight to survive while living in the court of the Kaiser, under his constant watch and regularly punished she has to befriend anyone that can help while holding onto any hope that she will one day get out of here and back to any of her people that are left that have not been killed by the Kaiser and his army. Theo is a strong woman, a princess who has lost her home, family,and people to an evil man, despite the immense hardships she has faced each beating has made her more fierce, each scar getting her closer to battling her way back. 

Megan Chambers, age 17

I loved this book! It was a struggle to put it down each night so that I could still go to sleep! I’d definitely recommend it!

I really enjoyed this book. It made me feel so many different emotions, Sebastian is a very talented author. I loved the world it was based in, and I enjoyed the ties it had to the German language. I can’t wait for a sequel now!

Linda Brown

This great debut novel is a ‘Game of Thrones’ for YA readers ( sorry no dragons!)

As an older reader I have come across this theme many times before but Ash Princess really stands out and is well worth a read.

Theo, who is a very strong female lead character, watched her mother, The Queen, being murdered at the tender age of 6. For the past 10 years the Kaiser has kept her alive but has subjected her to relentless abuse and humiliation which she has had to learn to survive. When she is then forced to kill her last hope of rescue Theo vows to take revenge on her captures. 

This 1st book in the series follows Theo as she executes her plan, with the help of some of her loyal subjects to destroy the Kaiser and take back her rightful position as Queen of Astrea.

Let me warn you, this is not a light hearted story, as you turn the pages you will come across some of the following themes; racism, abuse, graphic beatings, torture, murder and death. These are not written in great depth but are present and well crafted that make a story that is engrossing and pacy. There is a romance twisted into the plot, a love triangle. Theo is struggling with her feelings for a childhood friend Blaise and the son of the Kaiser, Soren. 

Okay, the book isn’t groundbreaking but it’s 419 pages are really well written and crafted. The characters, plot and twists make it a compelling read that I would happily recommend to any 14+ readers of fantasy fiction. 


Felicity Kerswell, age 15

I would recommend this book. It was amazing, crazy and full of plot twists.

This book was brilliant! I was drawn in by the prologue and it just kept getting better. I loved Theodosia's attitude change from an oppressed scared girl to a princess willing to do anything to free her people.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781509855209
Publication date: 14th June 2018
Author: Laura Sebastian
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 448 pages
Genres: NewGen - YA Fiction, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Fantasy & magical realism (Children's / Teenage), Romance & relationships stories (Children's / Teenage), Adventure stories (Children's / Teenage),