Ash by Malinda Lo.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009
Ash, by Malinda Lo, is a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. Just like the original fairytale, Ash is orphaned by her parents and comes to live with an uncaring, cruel stepmother and 2 stepsisters. There are also fairies, magic and a kingdom with an eligible prince. However, Lo alters the tale and Ash is not the sweet Disney Cinderella that a lot of us know her as. Ash is a little tougher, a bit more outspoken, and is not searching for that love from her stepmother that we see played out in so many versions of Cinderella.
After the death of her mother, Ash stumbles upon the world of fairies. Growing up in the country, Ash and her village still practice the old ways, which still acknowledges the magic in the world. As she copes with her mother's death, Ash is drawn more and more towards this alternate world. She meets a fairy prince, Sidhean, and though he pushes her away, she continues to try to find her way back to the fairies.
Shortly after her mother's death, Ash's father falls ill and dies. After this, Ash's tale follows that of the original Cinderella story, and becomes the servant to her stepmother and stepsisters. During, this time, she has a chance meeting with the King's Huntress, Kaisa, whom she admires and soon becomes infatuated by.
As time goes on, Ash, becomes torn by her love of the Sidhean and her growing love for Kaisa. Whom will she choose? Death or Life?
This story is similar to the Mystic and Rider series by Sharon Shinn. It is a great story and an interesting take on Cinderella. Definitely, worth reading.