Ash

Malinda Lo, Author
Malinda Lo, Author . Little, Brown $16.99 (264p) ISBN 978-0-316-04009-9
Reviewed on: 08/31/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Prebound-Glued - 264 pages - 978-0-606-15125-2
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-0-316-04010-5
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-07133-8
Hardcover - 124 pages - 978-0-316-15198-6
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This debut, a retelling of Cinderella in which the heroine falls in love with a beautiful huntress rather than a prince, should establish Lo as a gifted storyteller. Aisling, aka Ash, is newly orphaned, her beloved mother dead and her father soon to follow. But not before he marries the woman who plays the part of Ash's wicked stepmother and provides her with equally unkind stepsisters. Only Ash's periodic trips into a fairy-filled wood at night and time spent with the beguiling huntress Kaisa—who enthralls Ash more and more—save her from her oppressive new existence. Lo's prose is beautiful, her descriptions lush; the novel's one flaw is that the third-person narrative keeps readers at arm's length. The dialogue is sparse, with Lo spending most of her time on narration, making it difficult to connect emotionally with Ash. This aside, Lo offers an important twist on a classic story that will appeal to a wide readership, especially those looking for a girl romance. Ages 15–up. (Sept.)

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