ISBN-13: 9780316040099
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: September 2009
272 pgs

Anyone who knows me will be aware that I am a sucker for fairy tales retellings, and that is why I got sidetracked and I have to dive into this book the moment I have my hands on it. That said, that does not mean I do not enjoy the other books I am reading; I do, but it is just that I have been waiting for this book for some time. I even remember featuring it on one of the Cover Attraction post a while back.

Anyway, I shall end my ramblings and share my thoughts with you about this lovely book. Ash is a retelling of Cinderella, but it is definitely a darker tale and though the protagonist in each tale may portray of the same (a young girl who is treated unfairly by her stepmother and stepsisters), their journey and destiny are so much different. And unlike Cinderella, Ash is much more than a happily-ever-after story, besides the story about loss, hope and love, Ash is also a tale about courage and self discovery.

Aisling (Ash) is close with her mother and they always share stories about witches, fairies and the like. So when her mother died due to an illness, Ash felt her world has came to an end. To make matter worse, her father died shortly after remarrying another woman and Ash is stucked with her cruel stepmother and her two stepsisters, who claimed that her father has left them in debts and now Ash has to repay them by serving them and doing all the household chores. With no one to turn to, Ash can only find solace in her mother's fairy tales and through her dreams, she could only hope that those fairies will steal her away or grant her wishes. And it appears that those dreams are true, for Ash met a dark and alluring fairy, Sidhean, who told her that he would not want her to cross the human/fairy borders though he is fairly attracted to her.

It is also at this time that Ash met the King's huntress, Kaisa, and their friendship blossom. Their relationship gradually changes and they find themselves got attracted to each other as the days go by. However, Sidhean has already claimed Ash as his own and Ash felt torn between the two. Ash made a pact with Sidhean in return of spending some time with Kaisa and in the end, she has to make a decision between finding her dream or her true love.

Ash is not your typical happily-ever-after fairy tale, for the protagonist does not end up with the prince. In fact, Ash has no interest in the prince, for her mind is occupied with meeting with her late mother and to be with Kaisa. The love triangle between Sidhean and Kaisa is not as anticipating as it look, and I felt Sidhean's romantic feeling towards Ash is not as great. Though I could feel the strong relationship between Ash and Kaisa, I am not sure how some of the readers might react to their feeling towards each other. For me, I could think of nothing but the simple act of love for another human being and the motivations of pursuing one's dream.

Ash is beautifully written and the author has painted a vivid scene of the fairyland and in the woods and I found myself fascinated and drawn to them during my reading journey. This is Malinda Lo's debut novel and I definitely look forward for more.

Other reviews:
Presenting Lenore
Steph Su Reads
The Story Siren
(Let me know if I missed yours.)
20 Responses
  1. Wow! Sounds great@! :)
    I have not read much fairy tales - that genre at all after reaching this age :D

    I need to get my hands into this genre! I like the sound of it!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Sounds really good. I love fairy tale retellings. And Ash has such gorgeous cover.

  3. Melody Says:

    Veens - I love fairy tales, and I think there's no age limit when it comes to this genre! :P I hope you'll enjoy this book when you get to it.

    Violet - The cover is lovely, isn't it? I hope you'll add this book to your wishlist. ;)

  4. When a book demands your attention above all others, sometimes you do have to listen and set whatever else you were reading aside.

    Ash sounds like an interesting book. I love fairytale retellings, especially when they are darker and more complex than the ones we heard growing up.

    Thank you for your wonderful review, Melody.

  5. Julia Says:

    I love fairytale retelling too, Melody! I'm glad that you enjoy the book as much as when you were anxious to get your hand on this book *grin*. Great review!

  6. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    She doesn't end up with the prince???? I love it! Twist those fairy tales around, I say! I don't really blame you for moving this book up to the top of your list!

  7. Ana S. Says:

    I am so looking forward to reading this! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, Melody :)

  8. mariel Says:

    Oooh right up my alley! And straight on the list. I love fairy tale retellings. Great review thanks!

  9. Jeane Says:

    It sounds lovely. I do like fairytale retellings, and this is one I haven't read.

  10. Iliana Says:

    I'm not typically big on fairy tales but I like the idea of a retelling of Cinderella.

    I'll have to keep this one in mind for Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge! :)

  11. S. Krishna Says:

    I've read a lot of great stuff about this book, and you've convinced me to read it! Thanks for the review.

  12. Every time I see this book I just love the cover. I know, I know... we arent suppose to judge by the cover - but seriously - look at it! I think it is pretty awesome. Your review just makes it all the better!

    Great review of this book!

  13. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I'm glad I listened to my heart and read this book! I wonder what's the next book that will have this same effect on me? ;)

    Julia - Thanks! I was very anxious for this book to be released and of course it looks like a long wait to me! :P

    Sandy - I absolutely love fairy tale retellings with a twist!!

    Nymeth, Mariel & Jeane - I can't wait to hear what you'll think of this book when you get to it! :)

    Iliana - You know, I'd love to read a retelling of Snow White and Ariel, the mermaid! :P

    Swapna - I hope you'd read this book soon!

    Sheila - Isn't the cover lovely? I love it! And thank you so much for your kind comment. :)

  14. Andreea Says:

    I am glad you enjoyed this book so much! Great review Melody!

  15. Melody Says:

    Andreea - Thanks! I can't wait to read more by this author.

  16. Beth F Says:

    I keep reading good things about this this one. I'll have to look into it.

  17. Alice Says:

    This sounds like something I'd read. Thanks for the review, Melody!

  18. Ladytink_534 Says:

    This is on my TBR list. Sounds great and goodness know I love a fairy tale re-telling!

  19. Becca Says:

    This is on my TBR list. It sounds interesting! I am glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Melody Says:

    Beth - I really enjoyed this book! I hope you'd read it soon!

    Alice - I think you might enjoy this book! :)

    Jen & Rebecca - I can't wait to hear your thoughts when you get to it! :D

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