A Curse of Ash & Iron by Christine Norris
Published May 21, 2015
A Curse of Ash and Iron is a retelling of Cinderella which was something that was not explicitly stated in the synopsis so I didn’t really expect it to be the way it was but at the same time, it didn’t disappoint. The only thing was that this book too me forever to finish. I was just never really caught up with the characters or the plot so I took my time to read it while devouring other books on the side. Then it came to that point when I just wanted this book over and done with.
What I did like about this book was how much more realistic it was compared to other retellings. It gave a good reasoning as to why and how the evil stepmother was able to hide and force Ellie to essentially become a maid. The original just didn’t make sense – how did others not even realize that the daughter was acting like a maid to the stepmother? Also, I liked how the stepsister in this book wasn’t evil and in fact, stood up against her mother in favor of Ellie. It was nice twist to the norm.
Ellie was a very strong character. Even though she lived under her stepmother’s thumb of the past number of years, she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself and once she saw the chance to break free from the spell, she took it. She didn’t dawdle (much) and I liked her spunk. Even though she never outright did anything against her mother but she had a sharp mind and didn’t hesitate to use it. The only part she seemed confused about was where her heart lay. She wasn’t sure if she loved Ben or the “prince” and to be perfectly honest, I was so sure she would go one way because I didn’t really see how the other way would work but I guess that was not the case. I kind of wish she went with the one I thought she was going to fall for just because it’ll be different but alas.
Ben was such a sweet boy. Even though he didn’t believe Ellie at first about the whole spell thing since he didn’t believe in magic, he was still willing to go out of his way to help her because he saw that she was in need. He was compassionate and kind.
Even though Ellie didn’t pick the guy I chose for her, I still really enjoyed the ending and thought it made a lot of sense as well. There were still a few questions that remained unanswered such as who was that lady and how did her stepmother become involved with magic? Regardless, still a decent novel that I would recommend to those who are interested in reading a steampunk version of Cinderella.