From School Library Journal
Grade 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
"Somber and lovely. ... Ash feels pulled between two worlds -- the fairy realm, where a haughty prince named Sidhean waits for permission to possess her, and the charmed hours she spends with Kaisa."
--New York Times
"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. ... Lo's prose is beautiful, her descriptions lush."
--Publishers Weekly"An unexpected reimagining of the Cinderella tale, exquisite and pristine, unfolding deliberately. ... Beautiful language magically wrought; beautiful storytelling magically told." (starred review)
"Part heart-pounding lesbian romance and part universal coming-of-age story, Lo's powerful tale is richly embroidered with folklore and glittering fairy magic that will draw fans of Sharon Shinn's earthy, herb-laced fantasies."
"A rich and darkly moving tale I couldn't put down. Malinda Lo is an exciting and welcome new voice in YA."—Meg Cabot, bestselling author of The Princess Diaries series
"Cinderella, gorgeously reimagined, captivating and winsome. After you've fallen into the storytelling world of Malinda Lo, the truth of love will transcend the romantic ideal of fairy tales."
—Julie Anne Peters, author of Keeping You a Secret and National Book Award Finalist Luna
" This lyrically retold Cinderella tale is not just a beautifully updated fable, but an ode to the transformative power of love."—Cassandra Clare, bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments series