After her mother’s death, Aisling (aka Ash) is devastated. And she’s inconsolable when her remarried father dies, leaving the family with debts that Aisling’s new stepmother forces her to pay off with servitude – so much so that she prays the fairies will take her from the human world. That is until she meets Kaisa, the King’s huntress. Because Kaisa teaches her to hunt and ride - and most importantly to value life and love again.
As my regular readers know by now, I am a huge fan of fairy tale retellings, especially when they follow the recognized formula but bring some sort of new twist to the story. In case you couldn’t tell, ASH is a retelling of Cinderella – with more dangerous fairies and a less over-the-top evil stepfamily than the Disney version.
The tale Debut Author Malinda Lo spins is haunting and powerful enough on its own, but she also weaves in various fascinating dark faerie tales that characters tell each other. Much will probably be made of the fact that Aisling falls for a woman instead of the prince, but in the world of ASH’s narrative, it feels like the most natural thing in the world and no one even bats an eye.
ASH comes out in hardcover on September 1st. Find out more at Malinda Lo’s website.