Ash by Melinda Lo

September 14, 2015
Ash by Melinda Lo, InToriLex


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.


Over It, Book Review, InToriLex
This was a book club read, shout out to the Boston Radical Women of Color Book Club. I recently joined this book club and this was my first read with the group. I wanted to like and enjoy this book much more then I did. This is a Cinderella retelling where the protagonist falls for a Huntress and not a Prince. But it is in no way too risque or racy. In fact I expected a lot more from this controversial retelling.  In the book Ash becomes friends with Kaisa and eventually starts to feel something more. Other reviews have objected to the story off the premise alone, but its actually more about the friendship and bond that develops rather than romance.

"She asked 'Will I die?' He replied 'Only a little.' "
The fairy tale mythology and world building was not done well. So I found myself filling in gaps and trying to make connections to things that just weren't  there. I specifically read this book hoping to imagine non-white characters and explore some lgbqt issues, but everything was too subtle with little explanation in between. The writing was decent but the pacing was slow, so I kept reading more but even the final build up to the end was dissapointing. 

I enjoy re-tellings when they are done well, but this one didn't take advantage of the concept or connect the original storyline in a very unique way. I did enjoy the strong female characters and that the step-mother and sisters were three dimensional characters instead of evil caricatures. This wasn't a bad book, if you enjoy a cute fantasy you could find this enjoyable. Unfortunately it wasn't something I would recommend.


Kindlemom said...

Boo for the world building being lack luster. Darn it, I was hoping this would be a good read.
Wonderful honest review though and that cat meme is hilarious!

InToriLex said...

Thanks for commenting, and yes this was a bit of a let down

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