Rating : 3.5 stars
Genres & themes: young adult, fantasy, fairy tale retelling, family, short story, mythology.
This is a dark fairy tale retelling of Cinderella. The key word here is dark. It isn’t all enchanting and sparkly and heart-warming as the Disney version. But the fact that it’s more close to the original version makes it even more special and interesting. Never was I bored while reading it!
I can almost feel her fingers on my arms, ten separate little pressures holding me in place. I don’t often feel her touch this strongly. When I do, it’s usually a comfort—however bitter—because the touch feels nearly human, nearly the mother I remember.
This short story started with a really creepy and eerie atmosphere. I immediately understood that there won’t be many rainbows and sunshine. It’s a retelling of Cinderella so, of course, there is a seventeen years old main character named Maia taking the place of servants, one negative and despicable stepsister (Koré), a little fourteen years old more nicely one (Thea), a cruel and slap worthy stepmother and a past away mother and father.
In order to please and help her stepsister Koré marry Lord Anax, Maia delivered love letters to the latter. Things don’t go as expected. Never would’ve she thought that she’ll actually have the opportunity to converse with the Lord and come to quite know him. Although, she can’t make him hers or even think about coming to openly and truly love him; she has to make her family happy and fulfill her stepmother’s requests. Or else, tears and shattered glasses will follow and her ghost mother might destroy them.
What is great about this short story made in the same universe as Cruel Beauty is that it isn’t necessary for you to read one in order to better understand the other. Things aren’t really explained about the world building in Gilded Ashes, but it definitely is an understandable and very entertaining story. One of my complaints that definitely has an important effect on my rating, is that 111 pages are just not enough! I’m positively sure this would’ve been a better hit and oh so much memorable if it was a full length novel exactly like Cruel Beauty. There was so much to like about it. The characters were…awesome as I can’t help but say. They were also so unique and so I wanted more of them.
The writing is fabulous, wonderful, and absolutely impressive. I wasn’t expecting less from Rosamund Hodge. This author has an amazing talent and makes us believe in her stories. The pacing isn’t fast in itself but neither slow. Just fine and the story goes perfectly with it. I’m looking very forward to reading every single one of Hodge’s upcoming novels!
Recommend to fans of Cinderella and those liking some darkness in their fairy tales.
If you liked this short story, you will love:Add Gilded Ashes on Goodreads