Ash opens with a funeral. Ash's mother has just died, and she is being buried according to the ancient rites and rituals that have generally fallen out of favour.
Ash is just a young girl, and flounders without her mother. She visits her grave every night, unaware of being watched.
Ash's world is a prosaic one, but there's another, secret world overlaying that, that humans have largely separated from.
But it's that world that will prove a threat to Ash in the long run.
Sigh. That summary feels a little bit inaccurate, but there's not much more of substance I can grasp on to.
Ash is one of those books, where you read the whole thing and kind of think "but where's the story?"
It's well-written, and the premise is excellent: it's a re-telling of Cinderella, wherein Ash is Cinderella, and her handsome prince is actually the King's Huntress, which is a more than welcome twist to the tale.
I enjoyed Ash while I was reading it, because as I said, the writing is very good. But it felt like there was no ... point to hang the story on. Ash sort of went from one crisis to another and another, until the rather cinema-like climax at the end.
There is, I believe, a companion novel coming, and I liked Lo's writing enough to look forward to it, but now that I've finished Ash, and I'm reflecting on it, I didn't like it as much as I thought I did.
7/10 Someone else cooks dinner – yay! - because the writing IS strong. I just wanted a better story, with a stronger core.