Fairy tales are very often a child’s first book and first story. The beauty of fairy tales lies in their simplicity. This simplicity allows these very basic and simple stories to be re told time again, to be re-written and re-adapted in many different ways. Cinderella, one of the most common fairy tales is a perfect example of this.
Malinda Lo’s 2009 book, Ash is Cinderella with a LGBT twist, a concept that in my opinion is long overdue.
Aisling, or Ash as she is referred to, like the heroine in the original tale is an orphan. Her mother dies early in the book, her father re-marries. Her new stepmother tolerates the girl, but only until her father dies and it is discovered that he was in debt. Ash must now work as a servant for her stepmother to pay off her father’s debt.
Ash lives in a land where there are tales of fairies who steal mortals and take them to the fairy kingdom. When she meets Sidhean, a dark and dangerous fairy, she is ready to join in him in the fairy kingdom. Then she meets, Kaisa, the King’s huntress and begins to learn how to hunt, her starts to change in unexpected ways.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading it. I found it to be original, fun to read and very easy to read. Lo keeps the basic story and characters of Cinderella intact while adding a new layer with the fairies and her heroine falling in love with a woman.
I recommend this book.