Review by Andrea of Aines Realm. Andrea is a book reviewer and blogger and can be found on Twitter @AineFey.
I read Ash
by Malinda Lo a few months ago for a book club. It was one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. It’s a retelling of the classic Fairy Tale, Cinderella, but with many differences. It starts out very similar, with the mother passing away and the father remarrying a woman with two daughters of her own, followed shortly by his own death. Due to her father’s money not being able to keep a household running, it then becomes her job to cook and clean and do anything the wicked stepmother wishes.
One day, out in the forest, she meets Sidhean, a dark faery who can grant her wishes. Malinda Lo’s version of the fairy godmother.
Kaisa is the King’s huntress. She leads the hunt for food for the king and his court. She meets Ash, and the two become friends. While Ash’s stepsisters fight for the Prince’s hand in marriage, Ash is only interested in one person… Kaisa.
I’ve read numerous fairy tale retellings, and this one was by far my favorite. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out.
(For your chance to win a copy of ASH, find us on Twitter @thegayYA and tweet us the reason you love Gay in YA!)
Synopsis of ASH:
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she begins to believe that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s royal Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Entrancing and romantic, Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
If you enjoyed Ash
, be sure to check out the prequel, Huntress.