Author: Malinda Lo
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA, Paranormal Fantasy, Fairy Tale
Published: March 4, 2010
Overall Rating: 4/5
Cover Rating: 4/5
Cover Comments: I love the cover of the edition above. It's so pretty, and even though it's dark it's not creepy. More of a sparkly, magical feel... The edition I got has a different cover, but I don't like it as much.
I recently read and reviewed the companion sequel to this book, Huntress, which is coming out in April. My review is here. It doesn't matter which you read first, because they're just companions.
As much as I liked Huntress, I think I liked this one more. It's a twist on the popular fairy tale Cinderella, and it's just so beautifully retold. Once again, Malinda Lo creates a gorgeous world with her words. Along with this Cinderella story, there's a completely different side, that involves fairies, especially one called Sidhean. He's such an interesting, mysterious character.
When Sidhean's on the page, the scene is typically dark and mystical. Opposite him is Kaisa, the King's Huntress, who is warm and sunny. I love how the two contrasted... it makes two very different sides of the story.
I recommend this book to any romance or fantasy lover, especially if you love fairy tale re-tellings.
"Aisling's mother died at midsummer."
Teaser/ Favorite Quotes:
"'If I am to be among your kind,' she said once,' should I know about them?'"
"'Just as it always had, his sudden departure left an ache inside her: Every time, it felt like he took a part of her with him."
"She tried to run away, but she tripped on the root of the hawthorn tree and fell onto the grave, and the earth was heaving and warm beneath her, a monster rising out of the dark, and Ash wept, for she wanted to live."
"'Are you coming back?' Kaisa asked. 'I hope so,' Ash said."
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.