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Ash by Malinda Lo

We’re all familiar with the story of Cinderella: a girl, coming of age, breaks free of her unfortunate circumstances and upsets the balance of society to rise above her station and marry not just any Prince, but the Prince; they go on to live Happily Ever After. The fairy tale is part rescue mission, part freedom fight with some political commentary wedged between the two. It’s about choices and desires; dreams and surprises. There’s little initiative on Cinderella’s part--her fairy godmother does all the hard work and saves the day. All Cinderella ever has to do is what she’s told: wear the dress, go to the ball, come back before midnight.

Malinda Lo approaches the fairy tale from a different perspective: what if Cinderella had no desire to secretly compete with her stepsisters for the Prince’s heart? What if there was a different way to escape her circumstances? The solution comes in the form of Sidhean (pronounced SHEEN), a cursed fairy, and Kaisa, the King’s Huntress. Alone in the city after her father’s death, Aisling’s curiosity keeps bringing her back to the woods beyond her stepmother’s home where she meets both Sidhean and Kaisa. Sidhean is a strange fairy man who surprises Ash (Aisling’s nickname) by not kidnapping or killing her like the fairies in her fairy tale book. Devastated over her father’s death and miserable at the thought of having to pay back the debts her father left to his widow, Ash struggles with Sidhean to abandon her world altogether and live in the land of fairies. Instead of helping her cross the boundary between the worlds, he grants her wishes. As many as she desires, but with each comes a price. And so Ash uses her wishes to bring her closer to Kaisa, whom she doesn’t yet realize she’s falling in love with.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 20th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! :)
Nov. 21st, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
I really want to read this one. The fact that the cover's so lovely isn't helping.
Nov. 21st, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not a huge fan of the cover, but it's very interesting and attracted my curiosity anyway!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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