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The Ash-Born Boy (The Near Witch, #0.5)
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The Ash-Born Boy (The Near Witch 0.5)

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  350 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Before he came to Near...
Before he met Lexi...
Before they faced the witch...
Who was the boy named Cole?

Follow us to Dale, a city on a hill, where in a matter of days fire will devour everything. Meet the Lord and Lady, and their son, the boy destined to inherit all...until everything turns to ash.

It's time to learn the truth behind the stranger's story.

ebook, 61 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Hyperion

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Victoria Schwab
May 10, 2012 Victoria Schwab added it  ·  (Review from the author)
"The Ash-Born Boy" is just my way of saying thank you to readers! I sincerely hope you all enjoy :)
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Reaction(s) to learning Victoria had written a novella in Cole's POV.





Oh yes, I'm THAT excited; the Japanese Mcdonald kids excitement worthy.


UPDATE: I FOUND IT! THANK YOU Richard Denney FOR THE LINK! Anyone else who wants to read it, check out his review of the book to get the link and read it. :)

Actual Review:

Even though this book is a novella, it is beautiful. It's sad, heartbreaking, amazing, incredible, and everything that I love about Victoria Schwab's writing.

Will is such a brilliant ch
May 15, 2012 Ashelynn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Ashelynn by: the author
Shelves: recommend
You guys, you will WANT to read this free short story prequel to The Near Witch. It is so, so good and written in the same lush prose TNW is. After I finished The Ash-Born Boy I wanted to reread TNW so I could pick up clues to who is Cole? which this story answers. SUCH an amazing story and I highly recommend reading it on May 15!

Where to read it? Right here.
Mairéad (is exploring a floating city)
5 Stars, without a doubt! o:

It would seem that the Schwab Effect has infected me. The prose is so beautifully lyrical. Just makes you want to savour it (hence the reason why it took me so long to actually FINISH this). It's poignant, short and tragically bittersweet. I have not yet read The Near Witch which is the novel of this prequel novella, but this really cements my yearning to read it now yes even with the x amount of books i have to read and whatnot. Regardless this short on its own rea
May 15, 2012 Nickey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
As beautiful as words can possibly be!

If you read and loved The Near Witch you will love this, too.
And if you didn't read The Near Witch, read this and then I want to see you say 'no' to the book! :)
Jun 17, 2012 Kristina rated it it was amazing
From the moment that Cole appeared on the pages of The Near Witch I was intrigued by him. What we did learn about him wasn't enough, and I could only hope that one day the author would write something in his POV. In The Ash-Born Boy my wish came true. Set before the events of TNW, we learn who Cole really was and what really happened that horrible night his entire village burned down. We also learn the extent of Cole's powers, how he came to learn about his powers, and what those powers meant fo ...more
May 15, 2012 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Before Cole got to Near, he was a different person. He had a different life that while not his favorite, was a good life. There was something different about him though. A magic that he had a hard time keeping under control. He had to control it otherwise there would be consequences.

Loved this peek into Cole's previous life. A life far more grand then you might've imagined. It really helped develop Cole into an even better character. Now I am super excited to re-read this story as soon as more
Feb 01, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
This was another great story from Victoria Schwab. It really dives into the backstory of Cole. It is a side you don't get enough of from The Near Witch. You get to learn really why Cole is the way he is and how he comes into his powers and what exactly it is that makes him that powerful. I loved getting inside his head and learning about his personality some more. This story makes me want a sequel to The Near Witch so badly. If you have read The Near Witch, I definitely suggest you read this fre ...more
May 14, 2012 Erica rated it it was amazing
With a story just as haunting as The Near Witch, Victoria Schwab delivered another winner with The Ash-Born Boy. Her lyrical, beautiful prose is once again present in this one. As I finished the last pages of this one, I had this overwhelming urge to go read The Near Witch again, to discover the magic of The Near Witch! I just loved hearing more about Cole and his past, as he was such a wonderfully complex character in The Near Witch. The story was chilling and haunting and invoked so many emoti ...more
A wonderful background story on an otherwise mysterious character. We finally get to see what makes Cole, well, Cole. This short story leaves you with a sense of awe and heartache alike. The glimpse is more than enough to satisfy The Near Witch fans and is bound to promote new ones. A definite win-win situation all the way around.
Patricia Riley
May 15, 2012 Patricia Riley rated it it was amazing
STUNNING! This prequel takes you inside the former life and mind of the most mysterious and drool-worthy character in Victoria Schwab's THE NEAR WITCH.

I re-read THE NEAR WITCH the moment I finished this story and was blown-away by how different (in an even-more-amazing kind of way) the novel felt now that I shared Cole's secrets. :)
Nice fairy tale feel. Wish it was longer. Victoria Schwab doesn't disappoint. Different from Vicious, but still great.

" “Once, long ago, there was a man and a woman, and a boy,
and a village full of people. And then the village burned
down. And then there was nothing.”
“How did you survive?”
“The fire was my fault.” "

The link here:
Dec 14, 2014 Bree rated it it was ok
The Ash-Born Boy was a good sequel.
Nothing more and nothing less.
It wasn't mind-blowing or groundbreaking.
I wasn't bored, but I wasn't dying to read it, like, I didn't have this urge to keep turning the page - more so a commitment I made to myself to finish this 60 page novella.
But it was an interesting insight into Cole's - or now I should say, Will's - past.
I liked Mr Breezy in Near Witch more, however, because I got to see more of his character and the development that took place.
carolina ☾
Apr 22, 2015 carolina ☾ rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-e, more-of
Words like magic.
Dec 02, 2013 Giovanna rated it really liked it
"But the wind did not run in William Hart’s veins. It ran deeper, through his bones and between his muscles, rooting somewhere beneath his heart, or between his lungs, a place he could feel but never find. Wherever it came from, it couldn’t be cut out, and that scared him more than anything."

Heartbreaking. Haunting. And so achingly beautiful.
Jami Leigh
May 15, 2012 Jami Leigh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 5-stars, 2012, trad-pub
Plot: 5 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Style: 5 stars
Pace: 5 stars

I'd give this max stars no matter the rating system used. I love this world, I love her style, and I love how even in this short story, she manages to create such a vivid world. Definitely an author who I'll be eagerly waiting for further releases from.
G.C. Nash
Mar 02, 2013 G.C. Nash rated it it was amazing
I was completely satisfied with Schwab's conclusion to The Near Witch until I read this prequel! Now that I see there are other places dotting the vast Moor I wish to visit them all and meet others who control elements this instant!
May 15, 2012 AinmCleite rated it it was amazing
This story was absolutely amazing. Within sixty pages Schwab managed what most authors can't in six hundred. I felt Will's pain as if it was my own and had the sense that I knew him. I would definitely recommend this.
May 14, 2012 Jodie rated it it was amazing
A great reveal as to where Cole came from and just who he is. I never expected such sadness from his life. Whether you've read THE NEAR WITCH or not, it gives you a great perspective on things.
May 10, 2012 Dana rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story that gives the reader inside into Cole/Will's life before he met Lexi. A must-read for fans of The Near Witch!
Rebecca A. Rogers
Seriously, this is the most depressing story I've ever read. :( But it's an interesting prequel to The Near Witch. :)
Dec 14, 2014 Gareki rated it it was amazing
Every time I read this it reminds me of Break by Three Days Grace. lol
Kate (Nomalicious Reads)
how did I not know about this until just now!?! SHAME ON ME!
Frk. Hyms
Sep 18, 2012 Frk. Hyms rated it it was amazing
Wow.. Can't wait to read The Near Witch! Great writing and story!
Sep 03, 2012 Lexie rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the best short story companion I've ever read.
Beth Lehman
Aug 11, 2012 Beth Lehman rated it it was amazing

Explains so much. Gutted in the most perfect of ways.
Laina SpareTime
May 14, 2012 Laina SpareTime rated it it was amazing
I - I - *sobs* Too many feelings.
Ashley Ferguson
Oct 08, 2013 Ashley Ferguson rated it really liked it
Find this review and more at The A P Book Club

This prequel story answered all of the questions I had about Cole after reading The Near Witch! It was really interesting to see who Cole was before he came to Near, and especially to find out why he is the way he is. We learn so much about why he thinks and acts the way he does, and it's both heartbreaking and enlightening.

This story is written just as beautifully as The Near Witch, and I was so sad when it ended (even though it ends pretty much ri
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Oct 19, 2015 Mel (Daily Prophecy) rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012, novella

Robert’s fingers dug in. “I will bleed this temper out of you one cut at time if I have to. Do you understand?”

Before Cole met Lexi, he was William Dale. Robert isn't his real father and it's a monster. William is capable of using the wind, but according to Robert it is something dangerous and it must bleed out of his body. His arms are filled with scars from the cuts he has to make. His mother doesn't agree with this method, but she accepts it silently. I
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Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.
More about Victoria Schwab...

Other Books in the Series

The Near Witch (1 books)
  • The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1)

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“And whatever lie he would have given, it died on his lips as they met hers.” 7 likes
“Let them think you a demon or a god,” she said. “Let them fear you. It does not
“It matters a great deal to me,” he snapped.”
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