I do enjoy a good fairytale retold now and again, but I have to admit that it is not my favorite type of story to read. I don't know what it is about these revised stories that makes them a little less engaging for me, but it's true that I tend to read these a little slower and lose interest a little faster.
Ash by Malinda Lo is not an exception to this personal issue that I have. I started reading it a few weeks ago and finally finished it today. And, I managed to read many other books in the meantime. I just wasn't all that interested in it. At first, I though that I was really going to like this one, but it kind of stalled in the middle for me. But, if you are a lover of this genre, I think that this storyline is one of the more unique and truly retold.
This revised Cinderella tale starts in a similar vein as the original tale. Aisling (or Ash) is the beloved daughter of a wealthy man. After her mother dies, her father takes a new wife who already has two daughters of her own. Ash quickly realizes that her stepmother and stepsisters do not wish to become one big happy family. When Ash's father dies, her stepmother informs Ash that the large debt left behind by her father will be paid off through her service. As in, Ash becomes a servant.
This is where Ash deviates from the traditional Cinderella tale. Instead of a fairy godmother, there is a handsome male fairy named Sidhean. At first, Ash is drawn to him. But, she knows all of the fairy legends and understands that giving her life to Sidhean would be a permanent decision. And, there's the beautiful, strong, and independent Huntress, Kaisha. Ash realizes that there is some inexplicable draw toward this woman, but is also unsure of her feelings and is frightened of betraying Sidhean.
The end of this novel was a little too easy for my taste, but I would not say that I regret reading it. I like that Ash has a choice between a male and female lover. This was an unexpected twist, but not unappreciated. I would recommend this book to those who love fairy tales and anyone open to revising the traditional picture of love in our oldest stories.