Quantcast
The Compulsive Reader: Ash by Malinda Lo

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ash by Malinda Lo


Ash finds herself suddenly and painfully alone in the world when her fathers dies not long after her mother, and her stepmother and stepsisters, angry at the debt her father owed, force her into servitude. Ash clings to the old tales of fairies and magic, and walks in the woods as often as she can, hoping for a magical escape. It's while in the woods she meets two very different people: the fairy Sidhean who wields great magic and want Ash to be his forever, and the king's huntress Kaisa, who becomes her friend. Ash will be forced to choose between the two, and find her strength.

Malinda Lo's setting for her novel Ash is gorgeously described. Lush, mysterious, and magical, it's a real, tangible place that will feel like home to readers, full of its own intricacies and traditions. Despite the perfectly portrayed setting though, the characters are a little static. The problem with Cinderella is that she doesn't do much in the story besides go to a ball, and nearly the same goes with Ash. She does discover courage at the end of the story, but it isn't really such a big deal because the villains in the story aren't that scary. They are mean-spirited, yes, but not so much as to make the reader really despise them. But despite that, Ash is a beautifully told fairy tale retelling with some really unique elements about staying true to oneself and believing in magic in every area of life that any reader will enjoy. Lo’s writing is beautiful, and I’m curious to see what else she writes.

Cover Comments: Oh my word, this cover is GORGEOUS! I love it. My ARC had a very green tint to it, but the finished copy looks exactly like the picture. I love the contrast with the dark grass and the white dress with the title on top of it. The texture of the grass is perfect as well. This is a very striking cover! Love it!

8 comments:

Lauren said...

It's hard to put a new spin on fairy tales...I'll have to check this one out!

The Compulsive Reader said...

I agree, it is. One of my favorite Cinderella retellings is Cameron Dokey's Before Midnight...it's short, but it's so different and happy and romantic, which is what I think all fairy tales should be. But on the other end of the spectrum, Ella Enchanted is just as good but it's truer to the original tale...I guess it depends on what you want to get out of the retelling!

Kelsey said...

I love fairy tale retellings, this looks awesome. Can't wait to read it.
(:

Kath said...

I didn't know this was a Cinderella retelling, my favorite! Thanks for the review, can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Thao said...

I love fairy tale retelling. This book sounds gorgeously dark. I have to pick it up soon. Oh and not until now did I realize there's grass in the cover, I thought it was all black. Stupid eyes.

J. Kaye said...

I've got this on my shelf, so I quickly read through...didn't want to read too much of the story...but you did enjoy it. YES! I'm even more excited!

Charlotte said...

I just read (and reviewed) this one myself, and loved it!

Michelle said...

I recently read this as well and it fell short for me. Like you I thought it was beautifully written but I wanted more from the fairy story. Neither of the intended romantic entaglements were passionate enough for me. It would be interesting to see more of Lo's work.