A very unusual take on the age old Cinderella fairy tale, Ash looks at tradition, family, magic and fairies from a very different view point. Ash’s mother is a village wise woman, who dies and leaves her daughter behind in a time when wise women have fallen into disrepute in favour of university learning and science.
When her father remarries and then dies deeply in debt, Ash’s new family (Stepmother and two Stepsisters) expect her to pay his debts through hard labour in the ashes of the kitchen and as their personal maid / housekeeper / cook.
In this world the fairies still live in the woods, and the King’s Huntress holds a special place in society, steeped in tradition and esteem.
I was enthralled with this book, but sometimes found it hard to follow some of the social and historical references.