Review: Ash & Bramble – Sarah Prineas

ash & brambleWhen 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.

Rating: 2/5

I felt bad giving this a one star so I rounded it up – one stars are reserved for the books that I seriously loathe or are seriously problematic. Ash & Bramble, meanwhile, wasn’t inherently bad – I just found it very bland.

The writing style was very stilted – I understand how staccato sentences can help enforce an atmosphere of tension and isolation, but this made it very hard for me to get into the book.

2015 has been the year of fairytale retellings, and Ash & Bramble really fell short for me in that aspect as well. Basically, traditional fairytale characters are forced to play their rules, with the Story itself becoming more and more powerful – people just cogs in the machine to act out and re-enact the same old tales. Also, the fairy godmother is evil and pretty much helps keep things in motion. Those that try to rebel usually get their memories wiped and end up as mindless, drooling, at-times suicidal shells of their former selves.

And there was the requisite, half-hearted love triangle in this one, as well as some instalove for good measure.

Gah, ultimately I really don’t have much to say about this one – it just really did not work for me, and I was fairly bored the whole way through. I’ll be interested to see what my fellow reviewers think.

ARC received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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8 thoughts on “Review: Ash & Bramble – Sarah Prineas

  1. Sorry to hear that the book didn’t work for you, Hannah! It’s a shame because I was very excited about this title as it seems like a dark fairy tale retelling, and those are my faves. Half hearted love triangles are the bane of my reading existence, so I should stay away as well.

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    1. It felt more like the book tried to be dark, but didn’t actually achieve it, IMO. And you could see straightaway where the love triangle was going, so it was pretty pointless. ARGH it was just one giant frustration for me!

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  2. Ah, nothing worse than mediocrity… And I had such great hopes for this one. And since we’re on the subject, I’ve got to say I’m getting just a little bit tired of fairytales retellings. I mean, really.

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  3. I’m not much of a fan of fairy tale retellings so this book was not in my radar. I don’t have the patience for stilted narrative, so I think it’s a good thing that I’m not really excited to read this book.

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  4. Boo for this. 2015 has been the year of retellings, indeed! I think I will skip this. I’ve grown quite a bit tired of retellings (after reading so many of them this year), and to be honest, I was never a fan of Cinderella – no matter what twist you put to it – so yeah, I don’t think I will read it… not soon, at least. Great review!

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