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, re-reading 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.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.


PRAISE

★ “An unexpected reimagining of the Cinderella tale, exquisite and pristine, unfolding deliberately. … Beautiful language magically wrought; beautiful storytelling magically told.” — Kirkus, starred review

“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. … How can Ash decide between Kaisa, in her riding leathers, and the austere, almost irresistible Sidhean?” — New York Times

“In this groundbreaking, gender-mixing retelling, it’s another woman at court, not the prince, who captures Cinderella’s heart. … 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.” — Booklist

“Described as ‘Cinderella…with a twist,’ Ash is in many ways the familiar fairy tale. … However, while structural similarities exist, ideologically Lo’s beautiful and dark tale takes the story to a new place. 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.” — School Library Journal

“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 … Lo offers an important twist on a classic story that will appeal to a wide readership, especially those looking for a girl romance.” — Publishers Weekly

“Lo’s evocative prose transforms what is at first the darkly ominous setting of the Wood into a place of wonder and beauty, mirroring Ash’s transition from despondent servant to willful young woman. Although the conclusion is of course a bit different from the original Cinderella story, fans of fairy-tale retellings will nonetheless find a happy ending in this inclusive adaptation.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"This promising debut novel, set in an pseudo-historical Celtic society in which magic is just starting to be regarded as superstition, adds a few new twists to the Cinderella story. … [T]he time spent on world-building pays off when the second half picks up the pace, allowing readers a deepened sense of Ash’s character as she … falls in love, with the king’s huntress, Kaisa. Their gradually developed relationship is heartfelt, presented with a stylized fairy-tale matter-of-factness that heightens the book’s romantic aura and expands its audience." — The Horn Book

“Ash … presents gay relationships the same way it does heterosexual relationships, which makes it a terrific book for young teenagers — whether they think they might be gay or not. Lo’s refreshing voice is a needed one, and hopefully a sign of more progressive young adult lit to come.” — Washington Blade

“Ash is a mature retelling of a classic and one that startles as much by its subtlety as it does with its hint of passion. … There is a happily ever after here, but it is found in Ash’s decision to live and love and find happiness. That she makes unconventional choices will just endear her even more to her readers and elevates Ash high above the standard fare.” — Bookslut

“This retelling unfolds slowly, deliciously. It’s an internal story; a story about Ash grieving the loss of her parents, shutting down from it, and eventually choosing life and love. This is a tale about recovering from grief and unbearable loss.” — A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy

“This Cinderella doesn’t merely have a ‘fairy godmother’ appear and grant her wish. No, it goes into the complicated ways the humans and the fairy folk have long interacted — and how one race has kept its magic while the other has not. Malinda’s fairy framework — and her description of their world — is some of the most interesting I’ve ever read.” — The Torch Online

“Highly recommended (and I’m not just saying that!).” — AfterEllen.com

“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, National Book Award-nominated author of 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

“A rich and darkly moving tale I couldn’t put down. Malinda Lo is an exciting and welcome new voice in YA.” — Meg Cabot, best-selling author of The Princess Diaries and Airhead series


Publishers

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2011) — U.S. and Canada
Young Adult Fiction
Hardcover (2011) ISBN: 9780316040075
Paperback (2012) ISBN: 9780316039994
Ebook (2011) ISBN: 9780316175203

Atom Books (2011) — U.K. and Australia

Audible (2013) — Audiobook

Pan — Germany

Elliot Edizioni — Italy

Imagine Books — Korea