Ash by Malinda Lo

Ash by Malinda Lo

Release Date: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 264
From: publisher
Interest: debut author

Cinderella retold

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, rereading 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 believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s 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, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

What a outstanding debut novel! Malinda Lo absolutely blew me away. The writing was elegant, beautifully lyrical. Malinda has this unbelievable talent for detail and atmospheric setting. She captures the very essence of the world she created. I just felt like I was there.

Characterization was fantastic as well. With such vivid imagery you might think the characterization would suffer, but I think they stood out so intensely because of it.

Ash is a retelling, so some of the story shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Lo was able to weave her own unique take into the fabled fairy-tale seamlessly. I loved the depth to this novel. The faerie world is explored much more in this re-telling, and of course Ash, herself, prefers the King’s Huntress to the Prince. On that note, I’d hate to see this novel labeled as nothing more than “a lesbian retelling of Cinderella” because it is so very much more than that. Ash is a story that anyone can relate to.

Overall an amazing debut, and a beautiful story.