Ash by Malinda Lo
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: September 1, 2009
Format: paperback | Source: gifted
Genres: young adult, fantasy, retelling, LGBT
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. 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. Their friendship, as delicate as a new bloom, 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 and empowering, Ash beautifully unfolds the connections between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
I’ve wanted to read Ash for so long and I’m happy to say it did not disappoint! I loooove Cinderella retellings- maybe that makes me basic- but they’re my fave and this was well done. It was both traditional storytelling wise but with really unique elements to make it special (fairies, the Huntress). The writing felt a little distant in that fairy tale, old timey sort of way but I warmed up to it. The second half was definitely my favorite; I loved Kasia so much and I loved her relationship with Ash. All the heart eyes!!!
Overall Ash was a very enjoyable, magical retelling even if only a few of the characters really stood out. They were the ones that counted.
Have you read Ash? What are your favorite sorts of retellings? Let me know!
3 thoughts on “Review: Ash”
I really, really, really want to read Ash. As a queer woman, it’s almost embarrassing the fact that I haven’t. One question, is she bi or full on lesbian? I hope the question doesn’t make you uncomfortable but I feel like there aren’t enough stories with lesbian main characters and I want to see myself represented in a book. This post is making me want to buy it and read it asap. I’m glad you liked it because I feel like the reviews are divided and I need the motivation to read it.
I’m so glad my post makes you want to read it! I think it’s definitely worth it; even though it’s not a perfect book, it’s a fast read and sooo good. As far as Ash’s orientation it’s not explicitly mentioned so I hesitate to say anything definitive. Maybe the author’s website would have some insight! Ash is very enamored with the male fae character but I wouldn’t call it romantic feelings, or even a love triangle. And she clearly has romantic, reciprocated feelings for Kasia. She really hasn’t met anyone outside of her family until these two characters so that’s why I’m not sure whether to say she only likes girls or is bi. I hope that answers your question a little bit!
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It does. Thank you! 💕