Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas
Expected publication: September 15th 2015
by Harper Teen
When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit… The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.
Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker. Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after. Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.
I am the biggest sucker for anything to do with ANY fairy tale. Just give me a prince and some magic and maybe a few talking animals and my brain goes to goo. There is just something about this "other" world where these things can take place that makes my heart sing. Ash & Bramble pulled me right into that world but also made me consider how all of the other inhabitants got there. Was there poetic prose...no. Was there a ground breaking plot that had my feels bubbling over...not really. as a matter of fact there wasn't anything completely mind blowing about the book but I am definitely glad I went with my gut and ignored the ratings. This book makes you wonder about fate and are things meant to happen no matter what you do.
The first part of the book we meet Pin. She starts off as so many characters. She has no recollection of her name or where she is from. All she is told is that she is a seamstress and that she must sew but her daily work at it proves futile. She begins to wonder why would a seamstress not be able to do exactly that? This spurs her train of thought along and she realizes she must have had a "before" except none of the other people working in the Godmother's fortress can remember theirs either. All the know is their trade, whether it be spinning straw into fine golden thread, making shoes out of that you can dance all night in, sewing the most beautiful ball gowns, or making candles sticks. Nobody who works at this fortress has a before and no after. This was the part of the book that hooked me. One would simply assume most things such as these came from the Fairy godmother's magic yes? What if it didn't?! This book explores that crucial angle. Shoe, you guessed it the shoe maker, and Oin make a break for it and while he gets away she does not. Fairy godmother once again takes her a places in a tale but as Cinderella. Pin, now called Pen, can feel herself being spurred onward by some unseen force but she also can see cracks in the story, such an unexpected kindness from her horrible step-sisters. She also has Shoe there to try to help her remember. During this portion the book really picks up as we get so much more background, not only on Pen but also on Shoe and what he has discovered about this strange place.
The fact that there was this amazing twist was what sold me on this book. What if everyone in that magically little land had a past or at one point a different life? What if they were just dropped into this story to have it play out the way it should? Would they really be truly happy? There was so many discoveries along the way that I enjoyed. Overall I wouldn't go into this one expecting ground breaking stuff but if you are looking for cute story involving tales of fairy you should try it out.