Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fantastic Fairy Tales - Ash and Bramble by Sarah Phineas

Published: September 15th, 2015
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight

This is Cinderella like you've never read it before.  A fairy tale retelling that has a very dark under-story and the happily ever after ending is in serious doubt - at least it is for some of the characters.

I loved Pin/Pen and her strong, no-nonsense attitude.  She assesses a situation, does what she can to improve or fix it - even if at times that means doing nothing - and never gives up.  Even when things are at their darkest, Pen still has fight in her even when things go drastically wrong and I admired that.  I felt the same way about Shoe.  After being seriously punished he is still willing to do what's right and risk more punishment.

Something I enjoyed about Ash and Bramble were the non-stereotypical Godmother, stepmother and stepsisters.  We are so conditioned to know who is good and who is bad, that it is rather refreshing to have everything turned on its head. This was a fairly quick read, with some surprising twists and lots of interesting characters.  A sure fire hit for Cinderella lovers.

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