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.
I found Ash to be a wonderful fairy tale re-telling. I don't read many re-tellings so for me this was something fresh and exciting! I liked having the background of Cinderella to lead me through the story and also discovering all the changes that were made to make this book it's own unique tale. I really sympathized with Ash and having to deal with the horrible hand that life dealt her from the deaths of her parents to being treated like nothing by her stepmother and sisters.
For the most part I really liked all the characters. The only one I felt like I didn't really understand was Sidhean, the fairy. We didn't really get to know him very well, at first I thought ok maybe he's just going to be the "fairy godmother" but he was meant to be something more but I was left a little confused about what his purpose was and felt that the fairy world was kind of masked in a shadow. So that part of the story left me scratching my head a little. It sort of distracted me from the rest of the story.
I knew eventually that Ash would meet the King's Huntress and befriend her. It was exciting to see when exactly that would be. I never knew if this would be the time they made a real connection or not. It was sweet to watch their relationship develop and to see Ash be accepted by someone of a higher standing after being treated like nobody for the last several years of her life. You knew it was her destiny.
Ash reads like a real fairy tale and I found that really refreshing. Overall an exciting and original re-telling of Cinderella!
Ash will be released September 1st!
Genre: Young Adult
ARC provided by publisher