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Ash
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A sensual and evocative re-telling of Cinderella.

About the Author

Malinda Lo graduated from Wellesley College in 1996 with a BA in Economics and Chinese Studies. She worked with Joe Blades at Ballantine for two years.

Reviews

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.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

As the author establishes her setting and characters the novel progresses smootly, and would be appropriate for junior secondary readers. - MagpiesEvocative.. original.. atmospheric. - Waterstones Books QuarterlyA fascinating novel for mature teens. - School LibrarianA book which will have teenagers entranced. - CarouselBeautifully written... this sensual and evocative novel is a sophisticated fairy-tale for older readers. - Booktrust

Gr 8 Up-Described as "Cinderella.with a twist," Ash is in many ways the familiar fairy tale about a girl's move from comfort to despair to true love (with a little help from fairies and magic). Standard Cinderella images set up the story: after losing her mother and later her father, Ash is treated as a servant in the home of an unkind stepmother and two unfriendly stepsisters. She has ties to the fairy world, attends the royal ball in an enchanted dress, catches the eye of the prince, and finds love by the end of the story. However, while structural similarities exist, ideologically Lo's beautiful and dark tale takes the story to a new place. It is not about Ash being found and saved by a charming prince; instead, it is about her courtship with Kaisa, the King's huntress, a relationship that burgeons over time and is based on more than just initial attraction. Despite Ash's grief, oppressive guardianship, and dangerous flirtation with the fairy Sidhean, who promises to steal her away from her sadness, the protagonist finds her own salvation and chooses to live and love in the real world and on her own terms. Ash will appeal to readers looking for GLBTQ titles, but fans of romance, fantasy, and strong female protagonists will also embrace this fine debut novel.-Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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