Pushed into indentured servitude for her stepmother in the City to pay off her father’s debts, Ash is consumed with grief. She misses her family and her happy life at the edge of the Wood where old magic used to linger in the air like fairy breath. Her only joy comes from the brief, stolen walks in the woods with the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean. Ash’s single, unspoken hope is that someday he might steal her away, as fairies are said to do.
But on the day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, from Kaisa she learns the art of the hunt, how to ride and track. Their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, but it grows and changes, and with it, Ash reawakens her capacity for love—and her desire to live.
Entrancing and romantic, Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about choosing life and love over solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
I first saw the cover of this book on Michelle Zink's blog and was immediately attracted. Ash is a lesbian retelling of the classic Cinderella story by an Asian American female author. And right in that sentence are a TON of reasons why I look forward to reading this book. It's familiar yet strange at the same time, with the simultaneous comfort of new romance and the daring and not-enough-publicized GLBTQ perspective. (And oh dear, looking at that last sentence you'd think that I had already read the book and was in charge of writing the blurb for the back of the book. But I haven't read it, and I'm not that person, I swear! I'm not that lucky, haha.) Oh, and it's written by an Asian American woman. Strike one more for the growing AA writing community! :)
Malinda is also an established columnist for AfterEllen, and if you're interested (during your wait for Ash) you might want to check out her article about bisexuality. It's well-written and poignant.
Ash will be published by Little, Brown on September 1, 2009.