Author: Malinda Lo
Series: There is a prequel out now (Huntress) but I don't know what the series is called collectively, if anything.
Genre: YA, fantasy, fairy tale retellings.
Setting: A kingdom where magic may be dying out.
Reason for Reading: This book was so critically acclaimed in YA circles that I couldn't NOT read it.
Finished In: Days.
Copyright Date: 2009
Cover: Another beautiful cover. A girl in a petticoat and bodice lies curled up on the grassy earth, in lovely sepia tones. The word Ash covers her skirt in fuschia. Up top is the line "The fairy tale you remember."
First line: "Aisling's mother died at midsummer."
Themes: Cinderella, hunting, fey folk, abuse, royalty, dysfunctional stepfamilies.
Best part: I loved the small fairy tales inset into the larger text.
Worst part: In some ways the ending seemed too easy.
Imaginary Theme Song: "White Horse" by Taylor Swift is the obvious choice.
Grade: B+. A really wonderful book but I'm not sure it's a genre-changer.
Recommended for: Anyone interested in fairy tale retellings or LGBT young adult fiction.
Related Reads: Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner, Hero by Perry Moore, Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller.