Author: Malinda Lo
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.
Plot: 4 Stars
I thought going into this novel that there would be no surprises since it's a retelling of a classic tale, but I was completely wrong. Although the twists and turns were a little more subtle than many books I've read, they were definitely present. As a bisexual woman, I found myself completely enthralled by the two directions in which Ash was being torn.
Pace: 3.5 Stars
The first half of the book moved a little too slow and was slightly confusing. I was unsure of where the novel was set or what time period it was, but by the second half, I found myself getting pulled further into the story and ignoring my analytical mind that was still wondering about the minor details.
Characters: 5 Stars
There were no one-dimensional characters in this novel. I found that I loved the majority of the characters, and those I didn't love, I loved to hate. There were no major characters that didn't spur some sort of emotion from me, and that made them all wonderful.
Cover: 4 Stars
Although the composition, font choices, and image choice work really well in their simplicity, there's just a tad too much black.
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.