Plot: After her father’s death, Ash finds herself thrust upon the mercies of her stepmother. She is forced to work as a servant to repay her father’s debts. She escapes to the world of the fairies to relieve her boredom and her misery. But one day in the forest, she comes upon the King’s Huntress and this love she shall thwart faeries, princes, stepmothers and curses.
This is a beautiful retelling of the tale of Cinderella. Lo is not the first to have revisited the story, nor will she be the last but she has brought new magic and new life to it while keeping just enough elements to make it familiar.
I love the way that Lo weaves fairy mythology into her novel, through tales and characters. These are no Disney fairies. Sidhean is inhuman, frightening, mysterious and charming as a fairy should be. The wishes he grants are very dangerous.
Meanwhile the romance between Ash and the huntress is quite beautiful, though rather chaste. It grows slowly as Ash rediscovers the ability to love. I really grew to care for the characters and only wish that I had been able to see them to be happy together. But that is the sad thing about fairy tales, we have to believe in the happily ever after.
The prequel to this story, Huntress, is due out in April 2011 and I for one can’t wait.