Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Enchanting Review: ASH

Young Adult
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN# 0316040096
264 pages
eBook/Print – Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

ASH was a beautifully told story and one that will live on in the memories of its readers for quite a while. Our heroine, Aisling, or Ash for short, is our Cinderella in this twist on the classic story of struggles overcome to find true love. Ash is an easily relatable character, which is part of what makes this story so attractive. She is a shy girl, but not overly so. She has her opinions and will let them out when needed. I think that many girls will be able to connect with ASH and her realistic personality.

Of course, we can’t have a romance without another party to join Ash. In this retelling of Cinderella, Ash’s Prince Charming actually comes in the form of the King’s Huntress, Kaisa. Wealthy and regal in her position by the King’s Side, Kaisa is a beautiful woman and full of life. She befriends Ash, despite the difference in their stations and shows our timid heroine how to truly live.

When Ash’s father dies and leaves her alone with her stepmother and stepsisters, life seems to be pretty much over for the young girl. Much like the classic Cinderella story, Ash’s stepfamily treats her poorly and it isn’t too long until she becomes a servant to her family. The similarities between the age-old princess story and MALINDA LO’S wonderful work of art pretty much end here though. To escape from the darkness of her days, Ash travels into the Wood near her house, despite the age old warnings that the Wood holds strange magic.

It wouldn’t be a complete romance if there weren’t some form of suspense thrown into the mix. Sidhean, a beautiful man who is anything but human, is an integral part of the story that really helped to make ASH a true tale rather than just another bedtime story. When Ash catches his eye, everything changes. Sidhean hides a secret from Ash and as time goes on it becomes more and more unclear whether Ash is safe with Sidhean or not.

In all, I would have to say that I absolutely loved ASH. There have been very few books that have made me say, “Wow,” and turn back to the first page to start the story all over again. I can honestly say that this was a book I could not put down and one that really had my mind turning. It’s as much of a romantic story as it is a suspenseful one. The imagery within the pages was spectacular and the book was filled with such color that I’m amazed a little sparkle didn’t fall from the pages as I was reading. MALINDA LO has created an immediate fan in me and I wait anxiously for her next work.

MALINDA LO and ASH have received multiple nominations, including a nomination for the Andre Norton Award for excellence in Sci-Fi and Fantasy for young adults. She can be found online at

Cinnamon Brown
February 2010

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