Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fantastic Fairytales - Ash by Malinda Lo

Published: October 2010
Publisher: Little Brown company
Pages: 272
Copy provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

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.

Cinderella, almost everyones favourite fairy tale. It's the rags-to-riches, poor girl finds love story that we all dream of when we are little girls. Well Ash is a beautiful retelling of the original but with some major "well that's an interesting twist" moments. At least there were for me. Ms Lo herself describes Ash as "a lesbian retelling of Cinderella.” , but goes on to say "That’s the basic truth, but it does strip away the complexities of the story."

All the characters we expect are there - father dying, wicked stepmother, 2 step sisters, fairy godmother - well not quite - and that's where the story starts to veer from the original. The reader will find considerably more fairies in this version - and they are not particularly friendly -but they provided an interesting twist. There are several surprises in this version of the story that make it fresh, original and modern and I'm sure it will be enjoyed by fairytale fans.

If you're interested in seeing more of what the author says about Ash, check out her website HERE. Her new novel, 'Huntress' is due out in April 2011.


  1. I really liked Ash, which was a suprise for me because it's more fantasy than I'm use to, but I loved the writing style. Great review!

  2. I loved Ash as well! I have a challenge for you. AS a fellow librarian I am tired of seeing cute, young white girls on the covers of YA books. How many new releases can you find for me that don't use this stereotypical image? find me at hallililburn.blogspot.com

  3. I'll have to work on that list in my spare time Phyllis. There's a perfect example on this page though - Desires of the Dead.