Author: Malinda Lo
Publisher: Little Brown
Price: $16.99 USD HB
Release: September 2009
FTC: I received this book from the publisher with the understanding that I would provide an honest review with no compensation.
Total grade: 85% or a B
Described as "Cinderella…with a twist," Ash is in many ways the familiar fairy tale about a girl's move from comfort to despair to true love (with a little help from fairies and magic). Standard Cinderella images set up the story: after losing her mother and later her father, Ash is treated as a servant in the home of an unkind stepmother and two unfriendly stepsisters. She has ties to the fairy world, attends the royal ball in an enchanted dress, catches the eye of the prince, and finds love by the end of the story. However, while structural similarities exist, ideologically Lo's beautiful and dark tale takes the story to a new place. It is not about Ash being found and saved by a charming prince; instead, it is about her courtship with Kaisa, the King's huntress, a relationship that burgeons over time and is based on more than just initial attraction. Despite Ash's grief, oppressive guardianship, and dangerous flirtation with the fairy Sidhean, who promises to steal her away from her sadness, the protagonist finds her own salvation and chooses to live and love in the real world and on her own terms.
This was the second fairytale “retelling” I had read lately and I must say it was beautiful! I felt that it kept enough of Cinderella so we all knew that was part inspiration but it changed enough that we knew it was not a rip-off.
The characters in this novel were lovely! I felt a strong connection to the very quickly which is always a good thing. This was a pretty good novel. I wouldn’t go so far as to say you should go buy a copy right now but if your out pick up a copy of Ash.
“Aislings mother died at midsummer.”
A Second Opinion:
Kristy gave it 4 of 5 stars. See her review http://www.thestorysiren.com/2009/09/ash-by-malinda-lo.html
Mrs. Magoo liked Ash! http://www.mrsmagooreads.com/2009/10/ash.html
McKenzie thought Ash was beautiful! http://thebookowl.blogspot.com/2009/10/ash-by-malinda-lo.html