Thursday, September 10, 2009
Fresh New Voice of YA- Ash by Malinda Lo
Ash by 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.
This is yet another wonderfully written debut by a great new voice in YA. Lo's prose is very atmospheric and beautifully dark, which pulls the reader right into the story, and peppered throughout with some good wit and romance. Ash is a strong, smart heroine that readers will definitely root for. I loved the twist in this fairy tale retelling- that Cinderella (in this case, Ash) falls for the Huntress rather than the Prince- and Lo did a fantastic job executing it. The conversations and flirtations between Ash and the Huntress were done very well and were realistic; the romance is not quick or anything like that. It takes its time and builds up, and it's very fun to read. The ending though felt a bit rushed, but is still very cute, so I forgive it a bit. Definitely a must-read.