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!