DiverSFFy: Ash by Malinda Lo

DiverSFFy is a new feature hosted by yours truly! The goal is to get the word out about books in science fiction and fantasy that do a good job of portraying people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives - be it race, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic levels, etc. I'd love it if you joined in - just link me to your posts in the comments or on twitter (@spidersilksnow)!

This week's pick: Ash by Malinda Lo

The Rundown

Title: Ash
Author: Malinda Lo
Genre: Fantasy, retelling, LGBTQ fiction

So what's so diverse about this book?

This is a gorgeously written retelling of Cinderella, with a twist. Ash, this story's Cinderella, doesn't want to marry the prince. Ash ends up falling in love with someone else - Huntress, a respected member of the King's court.

Yes, this is a lesbian romance. It may make some people uncomfortable, but I highly encourage those people to read this book anyway. When I first read this book, it was at a time when I didn't really understand what it meant to be part of the LGBTQ spectrum. I didn't understand it, so I was uncomfortable with it. This book not only helped me understand that perspective better, it made me realize that who you love doesn't define you. I happened to read this right before a good friend came out to me, and I'm very glad I did because it helped open my eyes and made me a more supportive friend than I would have been otherwise.

Why you should read it:

Diverse twist aside, this book is one of the best fairy-tale retellings I have read. The world is richly detailed and the writing is lovely as well. There is a strong influence of Fae folklore and you really see the darker side of the Fae and the price you pay for every little bargain. All of the main characters were endearing (except Sidhean, who creeped the hell out of me). I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it.

The Twitter version:

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  1. This book was on my radar for having a lesbian romance and then I wasn't sure if it was actually good and now I once again NEED IT! And again: I love this feature so much! I am definitely planning on joining in, but maybe I'll make a subsection within my review since otherwise I worry I'll forget, you okay with that?


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