Sunday, August 15, 2010

YA review: Ash by Malinda Lo

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 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. (summary from author's website)

Follow this link to read an excerpt of Ash.

My thoughts...Ash is a hauntingly beautiful retelling of the fairy tale classic Cinderella.  That being said, this is an entirely different story, one that left me turning pages, desperate for a happy ending. 

Ash is full of colorful characters that are both entertaining and mysterious.  The heroine Ash, finds herself an orphan child who is forced to live with the cruel stepmother and her selfish stepsisters.  We see quite a bit of growth in this story, both physically and mentally.  She comes of age as a girl, but she also grows into a strong woman who is able to endure the physical abuse of the step-family while maintaining her sanity. 

Ash spends a great deal of time in the woods where she encounters the other two important characters.  The first friend she makes is Sidhean, the fairy.  He is very mysterious and rather creepy.  The reader is often left to guess his true intentions.  Ash also develops a friendship with Kaisa the King's Huntress.  They develop an impossible friendship that causes Ash to make some decisions that could affect the rest of her life. 

This story is based on the original fairytale, but Ash is something else.  She does not crave the prince and all of his riches.  She does not desire to live in a palace surrounded by servants.  This is what makes the story interesting.  Ash finds comfort and strength in the woods.  While she does crave a different life, it is an unexpected one. 

Ash is a beautifully written story that leaves readers craving more.  My only qualm with the story was the ending.  I want to know what happens next.  Ash is full of old stories and magic. I would also want to learn more about the legends and lure provided by the greenwitch.  This character made several appearances and I was always sad to see her go.  Overall I love this book.  I recommend it to fans of YA fantasy and fairy tale retelling. 

For more information about the author and purchase links, visit Malinda Lo at her website.

If you enjoyed Ash, you may also like...
1. Sister's Red by Jackson Pierce
2. Beastly by Alex Flinn
3. Ice by Sarah Beth Durst


StephTheBookworm said...

This sounds just amazing!

Faye said...

can't wait 2 read this! <3 story retellings!

Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) said...

I've heard really good and really bad reviews. I want to check it out, though.

Marie said...

I've been hearing this title float around the book blogging community a lot lately!

Great review, it sounds really good!

Darlyn said...

I love to read about retelling faeries. Great review!

Tara SG (25 Hour Books) said...

Great review! This is the first one I've seen for this book and it sounds really interesting. Added to my TBR! Thanks!

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