Adriana's Reviews > Ash

Ash by Malinda Lo
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Apr 17, 10

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-family-grief, ya-fantasy, ya-romance, ya-self-identity
Read in September, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Ash is a sorta-retelling of Cinderella. I liked how the author re-worked the story and really made it unique. I would say it has elements of the Cinderella fairy tale, but I don't know if it is really a re-telling, it is more of a re-imagining. Ash (or Aisling) has been left orphan first by her mother and then by her father. Her mother was studying to be a greenwitch, but fell ill very suddenly. Her father remarries (in come the evil stepmother and stepsisters), but he also becomes ill and passes away. Ash is left to tend to every need, want, or whim of her step-family, supposedly because her father left her stepmother with very large debts. Ash has always been fond of the old fairy tales and she still believes that their magic can be found in the Wood. As she continues to grieve for her losses and her situation, she befriends a fairy in the wood. He becomes somewhat of a fairy godmother to her, but he also requires payment for her fulfilled wishes. These wishes relate to her longing to be with the King's Huntress, Kaisa. This is the biggest difference between Cinderella and Ash. Ash realizes that she loves a woman and that she prefers to pursue that love instead of entering into the fairy world, which also has a great pull on her. The story is also not bright, cheery, or humorous in any way. I would describe it more as rich, shadowy, intriguing, and magical. The author is really great at telling a story and weaving in old fairy tales into the narrative. I enjoyed it but didn't give it 5 stars because I simply don't see myself re-reading it. A great read though.
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