Friday, April 2, 2010

Ash by Malinda Lo

This is a breath-taking Cinderella story about a courageous girl named Ash, who loses her beloved mother to death but she has instilled in her daughter a love of fairy tales and a belief in magic. It is this belief in the fairy world that continues to sustain Ash as she becomes a stepsister to Anya and Clara,when her father remarries Lady Isobel. Soon after, her father becomes ill and dies. For a short while, Ash is part of this family but alas, things change when Lady Isobel finds that her husband died owing money and she makes Ash repay her father’s debts by becoming a servant in their home. Ash continues to wish for her mother, read her fairy tale book and walk to her mother’s grave. It is here that she meets Sidhean, a fairy who scares her, entrances her, and exerts an unnatural pull on Ash’s feelings. Ash also becomes friendly with Kaisa, the King’s Huntress and learns how to ride, hunt, and escape the desperation in her daily life. When Kaisa asks Ash to participate in the hunt and attend the Prince’s Ball, Ash strikes a deal with Sidhean’s magic knowing she will be in debt to him. Ash is such a strong female protagonist because she continues to search for love and acceptance, never doubts who she is, and is willing to risk everything for love. Lo’s story is enthralling, captivating and beautiful in the many different fairy tales woven throughout by each character.

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