Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not Quite A Retelling

Ash by Malinda Lo

Summary: Cinderella retold

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.

Review: A retelling of Cinderella that actually isn't a retelling.

The first thing to know about this book is that it isn't actually Cinderella retold. As someone described it on Goodreads, it is loosely based on Cinderella and as such, it borrows some elements from the traditional fairy tale. A lot of it will look familiar to readers, but the author puts their own spin on a lot of the familiar elements. This book had a lot of potential, but I found it disappointing. Too much was crammed into one book. I would have gladly read a book that was just about the faerie, the Huntress, or the prince (if his character was developed more). 

Ash's trips into the Woods are magical and I wish more detail was devoted to them, especially during her encounters with Sidhean. I liked Sidhean. He was a ethereal faerie, but still quite human. I liked the reason for Sidhean's friendship with Ash. That alone would have made for a good story. The prince is a non-entity in this story, which I honestly didn't mind. I found it hard to believe how easily things were wrapped up with Sidhean. I was glad Ash found her happy ending and I hope it stays good for her. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to big fans of faeries or fairy tale retellings. 


  1. This sounds promising but ultimately disappointing. Nice even handed review Natasha!

    1. I try for fairness since someone might like a book that I didn't and vice versa.