Ash (2009) by Malinda Lo.
I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Malinda Lo talk about her writing during her Diversity Tour earlier this year and I’ve been eyeing my autographed copy of Ash since then, waiting until I had a chunk of time to dive into it. I can finally report that I munched it down in just a couple of days.
Malinda Lo has taken the Cinderella story and created her book from the spaces left untold and unexamined in the classic narrative. The main characters circle around in a complicated love triangle involving fairies, both beautiful and dangerous, royal balls, and a mysterious Huntress thrown in for good measure.
If you’ve heard anything about Ash before now, you’ve probably heard that it’s a queer re-telling of Cinderella. And that it is. But more than that, Malinda Lo has created a vivid world where Ash becomes an active agent in her own life. In Ash she’s not a beautiful servant girl waiting for someone else to save her from a life of toil. In Ash, she is the one who makes the choice to save herself— choosing to be with the girl of her dreams.
Now that’s my kind of fairy tale!