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Ash - Malinda Lo - Bogormen
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Ash - Malinda Lo
Title: Ash
Author: Malinda Lo
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 264
Date read: September, 2009

Fairytale meets faery-tale. Malinda Lo has adapted the age-old story of Cinderella in this charming new novel.

After the death of Ash's mother, her father marries a woman with two daughters of her own. All seems well until Ash's father takes violently ill and dies after which her step-mother insists on moving away from their country home, back to her house in the city. Using her late husband's alleged squandering of money as an excuse; she dismisses all servants and puts Ash in their place.

Thus far the story is as we know it, however instead of a fairy Godmother, Ash receives her help from a faery instead. Thanks to a curse Ash' mother put on him, Sidhean had fallen in love with her, and would use all means possible to get her to promise to stay with him. With his help, Ash receives the means to join the royal hunt alongside the King's Huntress and strikes up a close friendship with her - a friendship that will eventually become the basis of Ash's choices, and that will help her escape a life-time of servitude.

Ash is a quick read and a charming story. Retellings of well-known fairytales come in many shapes and sizes and while not exactly innovatory on other points I loved the addition of faeries and the novel idea that the prince may not be the catch he usually appears to be. The characters were very well described, and I appreciated that the step-mother wasn't just plain evil but believed herself to have a good reason for treating Ash as she did. She was still cruel enough that I missed a proper comeuppance, but it did seem more realistic than the "I'm going to hate you for no particular reason" I've seen in other versions of the story.

But like any other fairytale worth its salt, of course this too must have its happy ending, and though different from what most would expect, it still works out nicely and makes for a very enjoyable read.

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