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Ash by Malinda Lo
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Ash (edition 2010)

by Malinda Lo

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1,025None8,239 (3.63)84
Member:terriko
Title:Ash
Authors:Malinda Lo
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Ash by Malinda Lo

2010 (11) ARC (12) Cinderella (83) ebook (18) faerie (19) fairies (30) fairy tale (41) fairy tales (99) fairy tales retold (34) fantasy (162) fiction (95) glbt (28) hunting (13) lesbian (57) Lesbian Fiction (10) lgbt (27) LGBTQ (31) library (9) love (20) magic (18) orphans (9) queer (21) read (19) retelling (33) romance (45) teen (16) to-read (41) YA (98) young adult (102) young adult fiction (12)
  1. 20
    The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Another old story (this time, the Greek myth of Persephone) retold as a romance between two young women.
  2. 10
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Kerian)
  3. 00
    Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey (FFortuna)
    FFortuna: Both Cinderella reimaginings with similar atmospheres, although Ash is more fairy-ish and Phoenix and Ashes is about magicians and WWI.
  4. 00
    Silver Kiss by Naomi Clark (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Deftly told fantasy narrative (in this case dealing with werewolves), in which a lesbian relationship is done right.
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English (125)  German (1)  All languages (126)
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Like a lot of the other reviews of this book, I had really high expectations after reading what it was about, but the novel ultimately fell short. I am not much into fairy tales, but the idea of "Cinderella" not choosing the prince and falling in love with a woman instead was pretty appealing to me. I felt bored most of the way through and was just waiting for it to get interesting. I think the second half (when the Huntress has a bigger part) is better, but it never really gaged my interest. The language was beautiful, no doubt about it, but the characters and plot were pretty dull. I think I am harder when judging female characters, but I was disappointed that Ash was so passive and kind of wimpy through most of the novel. I never really felt like she did anything. I did enjoy the Huntress' character much more and while overall I was not satisfied with this book, I may read Lo's next novel, The Huntress, because I feel as an author that she has talent, but Ash just wasn't for me. ( )
  CareBear36 | Mar 8, 2014 |
Lovely storytelling. There was a classic fairy tale quality about the book. The fairy folk are remote and mysterious, chillingly beautiful and a bit cruel. The stepfamily is (mostly) disdainful and mean-spirited, giving the reader something to be passionately indignant about. Since I have a serious addiction to detail in my texts, I loved the descriptions of food, fabrics, dresses, the forest, and so on.

But a fairy tale quality has its drawbacks. As in many classic fairy tales, the reader never felt the full presence of any of the characters. They weren't dull, exactly, but they seemed to play appointed roles without much explanation or motivation. This reminds me of the tales which simply state things like, "the prince fell in love at that moment" or "the queen was angry that the girl was more beautiful than she herself." No need to explain these feelings, in a fairy tale. I kept waiting to know the characters better. For example, Ash must choose between two lovers. One loves Ash because of a curse, the other falls in love with Ash in a presumably ordinary human way, yet I saw no difference in how they acted, nor in how Ash acted toward them, right up to the last ten pages of the book.

The ending was so abrupt, and there was no final confrontation with the stepfamily. There are hints that the younger stepsister is not past redemption, but we have no clue what the future holds for her.

And I was irked that Ash is warned over and over, by stories she reads, and by the fairies themselves, that time in the fairy world does not run the same as time in the human world. But other than a little bit of traveling-farther-than-possible-in-one-night, time is ALWAYS equivalent in the two worlds, even at the most important moment of the book. ( )
  Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
This is a subtle retelling of Cinderella, where author Malinda Lo has taken the backstory and bones of the traditional tale and woven them into an entirely different cautionary tale about fairies, and about a girl who loses her mother and then her father entirely too soon and who wants to retreat into the forest forever, but by the time she finds a way to do that, she has finally moved beyond her loss and is starting to want to live again. That makes it sound dark, and in many ways it is, but it's also a tale of finding love and moving into the light.

Incidentally, I picked this up because I heard it was a finalist for some LGBT award (and many other young adult awards besides [1]), so I was expecting there to be some social strife regarding relationships in there as well, but actually relationships just were relationships, regardless of gender, and the strife came from other sources. I found it kind of refreshing.

[1] http://www.malindalo.com/fiction/ash/ ( )
1 vote terriko | Dec 7, 2013 |
Ash is a fun read with its charming fairytale voice and understated, elegant romance. It was just the right mix of familiar and reinvented, and I enjoyed all the twists in the age-old story. The description of fairies called back very nicely to traditional folklore, and I appreciated the sense of realism about the world. There was a lot of lovely, sensual imagery and great tension without the story being purely about the romantic elements. The end events felt a little rushed for me, but altogether, I found the resolution highly satisfying. I can't wait to dig into Lo's other novels! ( )
1 vote AddisonLane | Oct 26, 2013 |
I finally have gotten around to reading this much recommended book.

I like it. It's done a difficult thing; making the various "Cinderella" tales (http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html) new. It's also rather subtle.

This one's a keeper for me. And I'll be looking for more by Lo.
  medievalist | Sep 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Malinda Lo’s somber and lovely “Ash” is a lesbian retelling of “Cinderella”... It features a beautiful orphan — Ash, short for Aisling, and a perfect play on the name “Cinderella” — a ­cruel, social-climbing stepmother and two sneering stepsisters. Lo gives us a vaguely medieval setting, royal hunts, grand balls and an unquestioned class hierarchy. Not until the introduction of Kaisa, the king’s gorgeous young huntress, do we get a spin on tradition.
 
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Dedication
In memory of my grandmother,

Ruth Earnshaw Lo

(1910-2006)
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Aisling's mother died at midsummer.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From Barnes and Nobel

SynopsisIn 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.
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In this variation on the Cinderella story, Ash grows up believing in the fairy realm that the king and his philosophers have sought to suppress, until one day she must choose between a handsome fairy cursed to love her and the King's Huntress whom she loves.… (more)

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