Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Curse of Ash and Iron” as Want to Read:
A Curse of Ash and Iron
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Curse of Ash and Iron

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Benjamin Grimm knows the theater is much like real life. In 1876 Philadelphia, people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives, and never revealing their secrets.

When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, he is delighted. His delight turns to dismay when he discovers she has been under a spell for the past 7 years, being forced to live
Paperback, 289 pages
Published May 21st 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press (first published September 2nd 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Curse of Ash and Iron, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Christine Norris LOL! I'm sorry if this question has been hanging around for awhile -- I don't see a date but I don't always see them right away. EDIT: oh, 37 days!…moreLOL! I'm sorry if this question has been hanging around for awhile -- I don't see a date but I don't always see them right away. EDIT: oh, 37 days! Yikes, sorry to take so long! I was likely going on vacation or in the middle of a huge power outage.

The answer is... nope. I didn't even realize that it was the same name until after I had finished and a reader told me. I like comics but I'm not a big FF follower. Ben gets his first name from my great-grandfather, Benjamin Russell. The last name I chose just for fair-tale reasons.

Thanks for asking! (less)
Christine Norris Yes! Absolutely no sex and very little (mild) profanity.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  90 ratings  ·  56 reviews

Sort order
Sara J. (kefuwa)
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who are inclined to YA fairy tale retellings?
Recommended to Sara J. by: Netgalley
Shelves: ya
Charming YA retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. Good bit of steampunk-ish-ness going on but ended up being something of a story element (i.e. a “novel with steampunk elements in it” as opposed to “a steampunk novel”). The magic/magical element also feels somewhat similar - elements in a story rather than making the story magical. That aside, I found myself quite taken with the tale at the end. It’s just that my expectations at the start of what this read would entail didn’t match up with wha ...more
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A new retelling of Cinderella set in a steampunk version of late 19th century Philadelphia, deftly weaving real historical facts and people into the familiar story, and spicing it with just a touch of magic to create a new love story. There's a curse, a geas, and a quest, but they pale behind the adventure and the ball where all might be won or lost.

Great fun to read, perfectly balanced between the new and old elements. I was very glad to have this to read!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy fro
Sarah Marie
A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris

1.75 stars

Benjamin Grimm prefers to hide behind the theater curtain than interacting with the society in 1876 Philadelphia. Eleanor Banneker is one and only friend, but he hasn’t seen her in years. When they are reunited he is delighted, but shocked to discover that she’s been under a spell for 7 years. Ellie and her father are both under the spells of her stepmother, but she is sure that she can break them. The problem is that when the clock strikes mi

Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
First things first: I received a review copy for this book over at YA Bound Book Tours.
The book is out for a while now and you should totally check it out.

This is a Cinderella retelling with a few Steampunk elements.

Even though Cinderella isn't exactly one of my favorite fairytales, I still loved the story in the book very much. I loved the magic in the book. I loved the Steampunk elements. And just all the little details that the author put in this story.

The characters. Ellie is such a wonderfu
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful, thank you Curiosity Quills for letting me read such a lovely book! Definitely one of my favourites of 2015 :) There's a bit of a Cinderella storyline going on, with a gorgeous steampunk touch, and it's set in Philadelphia - I've not read much steampunk but it all seems to be Victorian London, so I loved this being set elsewhere. Funnily, I kept forgetting that it wasn't in London until suddenly someone would mention Philly, or New York, or something else American, and I'd b ...more
Read all my reviews on

Based on the cover I assumed it would be a steampunk novel, however, I didn't realise that it was a Cinderella retelling until I was halfway the book.

Benjamin Grimm reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor and find out she's been living under a spell for years, forcing her to live like a servant in her own house.

I didn't like the book, it wasn't for me. I didn't think it was steampunk, so maybe I was just disappointed and didn't like
I'll admit, that when I first read this was a Cinderella retelling I was thinking along the lines of this:

Cinderella ballgown

But then, when I looked at the character names (Benjamin Grimm) I thought that this could be a retelling melding several fairy tales together.

Spooky Grimm

Alas, I was wrong.

What was involved in the retelling was a steampunk-esque version that mixed stories like The Illusionist with its orange tree trick, and other magician movies like The prestige with the birdcage tricks...

The Illusionist orange tree trick

The Evil Queen from Snow Whit
For a long time, A Curse of Ash and Iron have been on the list of the books I was waiting to be published. I noticed it while it was announced as a Strange Chemistry release. Then the Strange Chemistry got shut down. :( I was happy to hear Christine Norris and Curiosity Quills Press made a deal and that A Curse of Ash and Iron is going to be published after all. And finally it’s here.


* Realistic Cinderella retelling. Cinderella was never one of my favorite fairy tales, mostly because I had
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy from Curiosity Quills via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was a truly charming and delightful retelling of Cinderella. I have read several stories that set out on this same path this year, but I felt this one had some truly unique elements to offer. First, I thought this was most interesting because it was a dual narrative between Eleanor and her childhood friend, Ben. The addition of a male narrative to the story was a real surprise, but it added something spe ...more
Samantha Brody
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Well, it finally happened. I shipped the wrong ship in a YA book. I am *distinctively* unhappy with this turn of events, to say the least.

On a more serious (or book related note), this wasn't terrible by any means, but it was mediocre at best - the prose was solid & I'd be curious to see the author's future work, but the plot was in need of significant development. It was a little too cut & dry in terms of a Cinderella adaptation, and given the premise re: illusions, magic, steampunk &a
Rachel's Book Reviews
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was ok

Full review soon.
Leann Frantz
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. keep up the great work
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for an honest review.

This review was originally posted on Books and Ladders

I love fairytale retellings. I like knowing the general outline of the story and seeing how the author puts a new twist on it depending on the theme of their story and what they want to do with it. A Curse of Ash and Iron does this almost to perfection.

I thought the prologue was a bit misplaced, but it was there to introduce us to both
Alyson Stone
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Book: A Curse of Ash and Iron
Author: Christine Norris
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to thank Tanya for helping with opening the file.

First off, why doesn't this book have more reviews?! This truly is a hidden gem in young adult! The more books I read, the more and more that I am discovering that many times the books not on the bestseller lists are actually better than the so called "b
Maureen Lubitz
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on You Must Have Your Hands Full

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had not heard of A Curse of Ash and Iron before I received the opportunity to review it, but I was extremely intrigued by the premise. This is a young adult novel written by Christine Norris.

As the story begins, we are introduced to Ben and Ellie. Despite the fact that Ben was the son of the cook in a grand home that Ellie lived in, the two were best friends of c
Alyssa Marie
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I love re-tellings of fairy tales, so when I found a book that is a Steampunk retelling of Cinderella, I was really interested in reading it! A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris is re-telling with many twists! It was such a charming story and very enjoyable to read, a book that is not easy to put down. Ben and Ellie, childhood best friends, are reunited one night at the theater. When Ellie asks for Ben to help save her from her life with her stepmother, they begin to solve the mystery of ...more
Emily Moore
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was the best retelling I've read all year!

Note: I received a free copy of this book from Curiosity Quills in exchange for an honest review.

Plot summary: The novel starts with best friends Ellie and Ben hiding from the fighting that has broken out between Ellie's stepmother and Ben's mother as his mother, the household cook, is being fired. They make a pact to never forget that they are friends. From this point forward, the narrative alternates perspective with them as their young adult sel
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

I didn't realize right away that this is a Cinderella retelling because apparently the cover distracted me from actually reading the synopsis.

What I liked:

-the cover!! Gorgeous. It reminds me of the Gail Carriger novels that I really want to read.

-the plot. I love fractured fairy tales or retellings, and, even though I think the best Cinderella retelling ever is  Ella Enchanted , I'm always down to read a
Casia Courtier
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I received this book from the publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, for the book's blog tour and an honest review.

A Curse of Ash and Iron is a steampunk retelling of Cinderella. There is action, romance, magic, and gears. A pretty good combination. Add that it's a fairy tale retelling and I couldn't resist.

The book starts off with a prologue that becomes important to set the tone of the friendship between Ellie and Ben. Ellie is the daughter of a well to do man. In the beginning of the book, her mo
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have read a lot of fairy-tale retellings this year. However, I have yet to be disappointed or grow tired of them. ‘A Curse of Ash and Iron’ by Christine Norris has definitely helped in keeping my interest alive.

A retelling of Cinderella, ‘A Curse of Ash and Iron’ incorporates magic, steampunk and 1876 Philadelphia to create a beautiful book that really grabs your attention. I really enjoyed the book from start to finish and I am really pleased that the author included things that might be a b
Jessica Headlee
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: history lovers, people looking for fairytale retellings, and slow burn lovers
*The complete review can be found on my blog: Of Books and Pen


This was a fantastic book and very well written, definitely one of my favorites of late.

The only thing keeping it from getting a full 5 out of 5 is the way the author would switch scenes or point of view between Ellie and Ben. Occasionally, Norris would stop in the beginning of an action or conversation that the reader never experiences later. Personally, I don’t like to end scenes with a loose piece of dialogue, but that
Eustacia Tan
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think everyone knows how much I like fairytale retellings. However, I haven't really read Steampunk retellings - I think there were some in the Once Upon a Time retelling (I hope I remembered the series name right!), but not much other than that. So when I saw A Curse of Ash and Iron, I jumped at the chance to read it.

A Curse of Ash and Iron follows Ellie, who has been under a curse for the past few years. Though she's still living in the same house she's always been in, no one recognises her.
Sarah-Jayne Briggs
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

(This review may contain spoilers).

I found this book to be a really good take on the story of Cinderella. It was good to see the friendship between Ben and Ellie at the start of the book and I couldn’t help feeling a lot of sympathy for Ellie. I was glad that Ben had his mother, and that she cared about him as well.

There were times in the book that I didn’t especially like Ben, I have to say. Despite his promise to help Ellie, I felt
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars!

Excellent re-imagining of ‘Cinderella’ with a steampunk twist; a satisfying and magical tale told from dual perspectives, of Ellie and Benjamin. ‘A Curse of Ash and Iron’ is an old familiar tale set in a new place with some different characters and a refreshing twist on the plot. The tale touches upon key elements of the traditional ‘Cinderella’ story and provides a much more in depth look at the inner workings of the plot. Set in Philadelphia in 1876 amidst the introduction of scientif
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I just love fairy tale retellings and this one was unique! I just finished reading The Ugly Stepsister and so I was excited to read yet another Cinderella story. It follows Eleanor(Ellie) and her best friend, Ben as they try to break the curse placed on Ellie and her father. You see after Ellie's mother passed away, her governess Olivia swooped in and married her father. Soon after that Ellie was
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Approximate Lexile: 810

The lovely cover illustration led me, like others, to believe this story would be set in a steampunk world. It’s not. Everything mechanical is actually realistic, and there are no airships, etc. However, there is just a bit of magic.

This is a re-telling of Cinderella, and you know how much I love a retold fairytale. This one does not disappoint. While there is no fairy godmother, Ellie does have a secret supporter, whose identity, when it is revealed, may surprise some. He
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish date: 21st May 2015

Full review can also be found on: Paein and Ms4Tune’s Book Blog

This didn't quite turn out to be the book I thought it was going to be. It was sort of a steampunk cinderella. It's not obvious at first and it's not the main plot, but you start to see the comparison early on, I noticed it enough by 14% to make a note. It's quite clever how it's slipped in there, some
Haniya (Voracious Bookling)
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full blog post:

A Curse Of Ash And Iron is a stand-alone by Christine Norris. Christine Norris has written many fiction novels including The Library Of Athena series. This is the first time I am reading a book by this author, and I've never read anything like this ever before. This book has just been released and thanks to Curiosity Quills (amazing publisher) that they sent me this amazing book. Wow, this book was insane! A Curse Of Ash And Iron was an ama
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from Curiosity Quills Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was really looking forward to this retelling of Cinderella with what I assumed would be a strong steam-punk flavour based on that fantastic cover. However I found that the steam punk elements a little light on and would have enjoyed a more of these.

This was not an awful retelling but it didn't really work for me. I found it a bit slow moving in terms of action, with a lot time spent in th
Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steampunk, loved-it
This book has everything I could want in a fairytale retelling. It’s got steampunk, a strong, spunky lead female, a courageous and passionate lead male, evil, ugly stepfamily and loads of fun.

I was a fan of this book from page one. As it led in, with the prologue, we were given the opportunity to get to know the two main characters. We also find out a lot about the background of our ‘Cinderella’, who is now known as Ellie. She recounts her life, since Ben last saw her, and he comes to find that
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Jul 13, 2015 07:03AM  
  • Bear Naked
  • The Rain - Part 1
  • The Journeyman (The Commons, #1)
  • Unnatural Selection (Unnatural Selection #1)
  • Degrees of Delusion
  • Not Wisely But Too Well
  • Lethal Inheritance (The Diamond Peak Series, #1)
  • The Dryad's Kiss (Ancient Enemy, #1)
  • Playing Charlie Cool
  • Feather Bound
  • Her Rebel Heart
  • Hope's Daughter (The Ambrosia Sequence, #1)
  • Forest of Whispers (Forest of Whispers, #1)
  • Wayfarer (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #2)
  • Trail of Shadows and Blood (A Tale So Dark & Grimm, #1)
  • Rings of Anubis (A Folley & Mallory Adventure, #1)
  • The Shadows (The Fianna Trilogy, #1)
  • Dangerous Desire
Christine Norris is the author of several works for children and adults, including the Library of Athena series and the Zandria duology. When she’s not out saving the world one story at a time, she is disguised as a mild mannered School Librarian and Media Technology teacher. She cares for her family of one husband-creature, a son-animal, and two felines who function as Guardian of the Bathtub and ...more