Ash

Ash

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Malinda Lo

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  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Format: Paperback | 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 206mm x 23mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 5 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 031604010X
  • ISBN 13: 9780316040105
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 23,200

Product description

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.

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Author information

Malinda Lo was born in China and moved to the United States as a child. She grew up in Colorado and has since lived in Boston, New York, London, Beijing, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She is the former managing editor of AfterEllen.com, the largest entertainment news website for lesbians and bisexual women. In 2006, Malinda was awarded the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Journalism by the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and has master's degrees from Harvard and Stanford universities. Malinda now lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog. Ash is her first novel. Her website is www.malindalo.com.

Customer reviews

By Sandy 19 Apr 2011 4

Ash was a story I found to be as beautiful on the inside as it was on the outside. From the gorgeous cover (that really does represent the book) to the beautifully typography at the beginning of each chapter to the actual story itself, Ash really was a package deal (bravo to both author and publisher).


What I loved about Ash was how natural same sex relationships were in the story. They weren't forbidden or had to be kept secret they were as acceptable as hetero-relationships.

Women play important roles in societies, from greenewitches who you go to for medicine and spells to huntresses who lead the king's royal hunt.

I also loved the various fairy tales that were told throughout the story. I had to wonder if they were stories the author found or if she had created them herself because it felt like I could find them in an old book of classic fairy tales.

What I didn't like about Ash was like Cinderella she spends most of her time throughout the book enduring her stepmother and stepsister's ill treatment of her. She doesn't really try to rescue herself but depends on the fairy Sidhean to save her. It isn't until the end that Ash finally decides to improve her situation, to take the initiative and free herself.

Still despite me not being too fond of Ash Kaisa was a real treat to read, she was independent, confidant and kind. Clara, one of the stepsisters was not mean like her sister Ana but she wasn't a sweetheart either. I want to know more about Clara she is definitely a character who should have her own book.

If you want something lovely that really does read like a fairytale then you should pick up Ash because you won't be disappointed.

By TeensReadToo 28 Sep 2010 5

There's something about fairy tales that always feel magical. No matter the story, no matter the characters, there is something about them that just makes you feel the magic inside them. ASH makes you feel every bit of that magic, and more.

Just about everyone, everyone female at least, over the age of 13 or so has heard and/or seen the story of Cinderella. Whether it is Disney's version or the classic fairy tale or the Brothers Grimm version or even one of the other hundreds of versions that have been created over the years, we all know it. ASH is a version that I'm sure you've never heard of before, but that you should.

After losing her mother, Ash's father takes a wife, Lady Isobel. Soon after meeting Lady Isobel, her and her two daughters move into the house with Ash and her father and things drastically change. In line with the fairy tale, Ash's father becomes gravely ill and passes away shortly thereafter. Which not only leaves Ash heartbroken, but also leaves her without either of her parents, and stuck with a "family" that doesn't even like to look at her.

This is the beginning that we all know about Cinderella, and while Ash has many aspects that are the same as the original tale, they are not the same in the slightest. Ash doesn't get the typical fairy godmother; she gets something else all together, but something even more powerful than anything in the candy-coated version that is fed to us as children.

Ash gets a fairy, Sidhean, who is even more lethal and dangerous than anything her stepmother or stepsisters could do/say to Ash. But that's masked in an extent by the beauty and the friendship that lies between Ash and Sidhean. And I mean that to an extent far more than the typical connection between two characters; their relationship is more developed and deeper than most would have thought possible in a novel that doesn't even break 300 pages.

But one day Ash's life, and heart, changes forever. She meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, and there is something between them that's different from the second they meet. Ash begins to stop chasing fairies and starts to live in the world without fairies and the fairy tales, and learns how to hunt and to ride and to track animals. But in this change of life, there is a price for keeping it and for continuing to let it grow.

Through her relationship with Kaisa, Ash finds what it means to grow and what it means to let her heart guide her and, in that realization, she also finds a new capacity to live. Ash prefers the company of the Huntress to the company of the Prince, and that makes this story even more powerful. Malinda Lo has created a world that is magical and finds its own footing in a world where fairy tales are viewed as being for children and has given the older crowd a fairy tale of their own.

This is some of the most beautiful, lyrical writing I've seen in a long time and that is so refreshing. The imagery just blows me away and it's like you're standing right there with Ash through everything, whether it be pain, joy, adventure, or terror. It would kill me to see this story get cast aside and labeled a "lesbian retelling of Cinderella," because it's so much more than that. It's a beautiful story that anyone could relate to and that everyone could take something away from.

I found myself hoping for a sequel in a story that doesn't need one, just because I wanted to spend more time with the characters in this world that Ms. Lo has created. It's beautiful, it's magical, and it's a story that, until now, I didn't know could even exist, but it does, and it needs to be heard. Not to mention, look at the cover. It is so beautiful! This is easily one of my favorite stories this year and I hope that if it's given the chance, it can become everyone else's.

*Gold Star Award Winner!

Review quote

"Cinderella, gorgeously reimagined, captivating and winsome. After you've fallen into the storytelling world of Malinda Lo, the truth of love will transcend the romantic ideal of fairy tales." Julie Anne Peters, author of Keeping You a Secret and National Book Award Finalist Luna"