Review of Ash & Bramble

Thursday, 24 September 2015
Of course I'm always up for another unique Cinderella retelling. Gosh, I love that story.

Book: Ash & Bramble

Author: Sarah Prineas

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fairy Tale, Romance, Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary: A prince.

A ball.

A glass slipper left behind at the stroke of midnight.

The tale is told and retold, twisted and tweaked, snipped and stretched, as it leads to happily ever after.

But it is not the true Story.

A dark fortress.

A past forgotten.

A life of servitude.

No one has ever broken free of the Godmother’s terrible stone prison until a girl named Pin attempts a breathless, daring escape. But she discovers that what seems to be freedom is a prison of another kind, one that entangles her in a story that leads to a prince, a kiss, and a clock striking midnight. To unravel herself from this new life, Pin must choose between a prince and another—the one who helped her before and who would give his life for her. Torn, the only thing for her to do is trade in the glass slipper for a sword and find her own destiny.

Review: First, that cover and I have a love/hate relationship. Stunning typography, but I don't love the white. But enough about my aesthetic preferences; let's get on with the actual review.

The pacing in this one was a little off at times. Could have been a bit more consistent throughout the novel instead of some parts during which I can't fill the page fast enough and then some parts having me want to put the book down and go read something else. 

The story itself, however, was a fresh take on a tale that's been told so many times. Prineas left me in awe of how she could spin such a classic tale and make it feel new. The story was darker and a more feminist take on Cinderella--something I throughly enjoyed. It was a bit confusing at times, but that's what the companion novel (not entirely sure) is for, right?

There was a change in POVs during the story. We went from Pin's first person to third and I wish it had just been first person or third person all the way through for consistency purposes. Not to mention, I liked Pin as a character. As a feminist, she enjoys having control over her life. I also just have a soft side for feminist characters in general. 

I also liked the minor characters and how the Godmother was evil. I also really, really liked Shor's character arc  and thought he was well-developed. He definitely contributed to what kept me reading. 

Ash and Bramble is a fresh take on the common Happily Ever After trope and a good one at that. It will appeal to fans of Dorothy Must Die who enjoyed the dark aspect of the retelling and fans of Once Upon a Time who enjoy the feminist themes in the show. 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for a fair review. This has in no way influenced my opinion. 


  1. I really want to read this book, so it's good to hear that you like it! It's so hard to find a good fairy tale retelling, I've read only a couple of good ones.

    Great review!

    1. Thank you so much! I know what you mean with retellings. Half of them lack originality nowadays so it's always nice to come across ones that feel fresh and exciting.


  2. The characters sound awesome but the switch in POV is odd. Never heard of it! Thanks for the review :)

    Eileen @ BookCatPin

    1. Yeah, the switch was weird. And you're welcome! :)

  3. So glad that you enjoyed this one! I didn't like it as much as you did, but I did appreciate the the idea of Pin taking her life into her own hands :)

    1. Awwww. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as I did. :( I think what I liked most was the feminist themes. They're too rare in retellings.

  4. Nice review :D!
    And yes that cover, it is... okay. I think it is pretty but the colors seem weird, and the white is mehhh... Glad that you liked it though! That is SO weird that it switches POV's between first and third person, like what? I didn't know that this was a darker retelling until I read the summary (which was NOW XD) all I knew was that this was about Cinderella and I REALLY wanted to read it.
    Have a wonderful day :D

    1. Thank you so much! I really don't like white backdrops for covers. Or maybe just for this one. And I'm so glad you want to read it and I hope you love it!


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