Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Title: Ash & Bramble
Author: Sarah Prineas
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Harper Teen (September 15, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
My Rating: 4 Stars!


Book Description:
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'm not going to lie, what drew me first to this novel was the unusual cover. It caught my eye and demanded that I read the synopsis. When I saw that it was a retelling, and a dark one at that, I knew this would be the read for me. 

What if the real villain of the story wasn't the Witch but the Godmother instead? What if we never got to choose our own endings, happy or not, but they were chosen for us? Forced onto us by a sinister power that has grown too strong over time? What if everything we thought we knew about happily ever after was all a lie?

I admit, I didn't go into this expecting to be caught up in the story, caught up in Pin and Shoe, but I was. Oh how I was. 

Prineas wove a tale so enchanting, so original, and so far from the original that it was hard not to be memorized by it. Not to be caught up in the madness, chaos, and utter unreliability of the tales we have all come to love as small children as they were read to us from storybooks and watched in movies as she twisted them, made them dark and sinister and anything but those we fell in love with.

With a heroine every bit as smart, cunning and strong, as she is unwilling to depend on anyone else to save her but herself. To create her own story, with its own ending. An ending she chooses, one she creates for herself. One where she is the hero, not the prince, not the king, not the Godmother. 

This truly was unlike anything I have read before and I loved and savored every single page of it. I truly was hooked after only a few chapters and even now, after finishing it, I am still thinking about the genius behind it. The what ifs and the could have beens. 

This took me by surprise and I love Prineas for being able to still surprise me when it comes to this genre, and this retelling. Where magic is afoot and anything is possible, even darkness and misery in a much beloved fairy tale that is anything but happy and cheerful. 





*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

54 comments:

  1. It's REALLY Great to see someone enjoyed this book! I was deciding what to read last night and just read the first page of a bunch of like earcs I had on my kindle and OMG -- I read the prologue // intro thing before chapter one from the Godmother and WoW 0.0 I was like, okay, that's it. this is what I'm reading lol. Then I looked on my Goodreads page to add it and saw a lot of my friends DNF it and I was kind surprised and also dissapointed...So glad you loved it.
    Great review too it sounds like a great story! :)

    Diamond @ Diamond's Reads

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    1. The writing style is different and that may be what is putting people off but once you get use to it, it really is wonderfully done. I hope you love it!

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  2. Oh wow, this sounds AMAZING. Honestly, I was put off by the cover, but this actually sounds like just my type of thing. I adore fairytale books!

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    1. I think you will like this then. It really was a fun twist on so many tales.

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  3. This book sounds phenomenal, I love it when an author takes a story and totally transform it!! I'm so glad you like it as I am really looking forward to this one. I love fairy tale retellings when they're done well and in an empowering way and this book sounds perfect!

    Read at Midnight and The Social Potato.

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    1. I really love when authors do that as well and really make it their own and she totally did that.

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  4. I really dig the fact that this Cinderella retelling chooses to showcase a strong, self sufficient female heroine. I'm liking the sound of this one--too bad I passed on choosing to review it. Oh well, I'll live through you! :)

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    1. I loved how strong she was as well, definitely not a Mary Sue type.

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  5. Ali, I'm really excited to see a positive review for this book from you. I was looking at the GR page the other day and I was disappointed to see that it wasn't well loved. I'm looking forward to reading it myself maybe sometime next week.I love that it's so original especially and the characters sound fantastic! Great review, Ali!

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    1. The writing style is very different and takes some getting use to but once you do, it is hard not to immersed in the world and love the dark bleakness of it.
      I hope you love it Nick!

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  6. That good, huh? :) I have to admit, that cover has been calling out to me as well. It's so beautiful! Great review :) Have a lovely weekend!

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  7. I've been curious about this one. The heroine sounds awesome. Great review! :)

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    1. She was, I loved that she never waited around for someone to save her. ;)

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  8. I was eyeing this the other day, but hesitated because lately fairy tale retellings haven't worked for me. You've encouraged me to take a look at this one! Happy weekend, Ali.

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    1. Thanks Heidi you too and I hope you like this!

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  9. Oh this one sounds like it is for me! I love a good retelling and I also love that she saves herself. Yea, I need to read this one and I love the cover too.

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    1. That was the best part about this for sure. ;)

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  10. I agree that cover is totally eye catching. It is so hard for a book to be super original so that is awesome that this one achieved that and was a retelling. Great review!

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    1. It was a fun retelling that was very much original. I liked it way more than I ever expected I would.

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  11. What if the real villain of the story wasn't the Witch but the Godmother instead?

    Yes, I will read this just for that. I am not the biggest fan of boppity-bop, and I think Elphaba is more of a survivor, a wounded animal, than the monster she was portrayed. And you said it's dark too? Hell yeah!

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  12. Oh the idea there is different and original, it's quite intriguing! I haven't heard about this one but I love books like that so I'm sure I could have a good time too!

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  13. Although I don't really like the cover I might try this one because I absolutely love retellings ^^
    Lovely review :)

    @ "Book Addict"

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    1. I hope you like it as much as I did! :D

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  14. I just read a Cinderella retelling and it was wonderful. This sounds pretty fantastic as well. The title is familiar but I don't remember seeing the cover before! (Maybe I forgot)

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    1. Could be? Glad you just read a retelling that was fabulous Candace, I would love to know what it was!

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  15. This sounds so good. It also helps that it is a standalone!!! I feel there are far too many series now, I definitely need more standalones

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    1. I agree, I need a good standalone every now and then!

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  16. Sounds like a really good read - that's such an interesting idea too, to have the Godmother be the bad character.

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    1. I know and it was a fun little twist I didn't expect.

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  17. I like the cover too, and the fact that this is a darker retelling..my favorite kind. Another book to add to my list, so glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Woo hoo! I love the darker versions as well, they are just more fun for some reason.

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  18. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a fan of the cover. The angle and depth make it look wonky. But damn, it sounds good. I should've grabbed it.

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    1. It isn't my favorite either but it does draw the eye.

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  19. To be original with this concept is pretty good. The characters sound great.

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    1. It is especially for a retelling, I agree!

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  20. This sounds like something that I will like when I come back around to YA. I am on a bit of a break from it at the moment, but the characters sound great and I have been eyeballing this one for awhile. Great review.

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  21. Omg, I wanna read this!! Your review was so awesome, making it clear just how awesome a reading experience I can expect from this novel. I want, I want!

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  22. Oh, this book sounds amazing! I hate books which blandly retell a fairy tale, this sounds like she has improvised in the right ways and made an altogether original story!
    Escaping Through Ink

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  23. Happy to know that you were enamored with this one, lovely lady! I am honestly not quite sold on the cover (it feels a little too awkward for me) but dark retellings are so my thing ;)

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. I know what you mean about the cover, sometimes I look at it and like it and other times I feel the same way. that something is just off about it LOL!

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  24. Oh wow. This is a fantastic concept! I love it when a fairy tale retelling comes from a different perspective.

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    1. I really enjoyed it as well. It was a nice change. :D

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  25. Glad you liked this one, Ali. When I saw at ALA I was immediately intrigued by the dark fairy tale retelling. It took me a while to realize that it was a Cinderella retelling. Looking forward to picking this one up next week.

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    1. I hope oyu end up really liking it as well.

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  26. I just finished this and really enjoyed the dark spin and twists that Sarah Prineas gave the story. Yes to a heroine making her own ending!
    Great review, Ali : )

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