I've been reading reviews all over the blogosphere on Ash, written by Malinda Lo and was so glad to finally get to it myself. The concept of a reworked Cinderella story was incredibly intriguing, as was the unique idea of the main character falling in love with a woman, instead of a handsome prince, as our typical fairy tales go. A very refreshing concept!
"Pushed into indentured servitude for her stepmother in the City to pay off her father's debts, Ash is consumed with grief. She misses her family and her happy life at the edge of the Wood where old magic used to linger in the air like fairy breath. Her only joy comes from the brief, stolen walks in the woods with the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean. Ash's single, unspoken hope is that someday he might steal her away, as fairies are said to do.
But on the day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, from Kaisa she learns the art of the hunt, how to ride and track. Their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, but it grows and changes, and with it, Ash reawakens her capacity for love-and her desire to live."
Though I really loved the Ash/Kaisa dynamic, the rest of the plot fell short for me. I felt the storyline moved very slowly and the intertwining of the fairy world/Sidhean dilemma, with the real world/Kaisa dilemma, was almost too much for this one book. I could see almost two plots, rather than one, though only featuring a single main character.
Ash, was a powerful character, first in grief, then in determination to live and be happy and Kaisa was incredibly refreshing as a character. Melinda Lo definitely pulled me in with her characters, I just wasn't feeling the overall story.
Love, love, love the cover! The story will appeal to fantasy fans and those enjoying fairy tales and the like.
Thank you to Little, Brown for the review copy :)