ARC Review: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book in the least.


Ash & Bramble

Sarah Prineas

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 absolutely love fairy tale retellings, so I was very intrigued by this book!  Unfortunately, it started off very slow and I found it difficult to connect with the main character Pin.  Over the course of several months I would pick Ash & Bramble up, only to set it aside again and again for a different book.  But something kept drawing me back, and I’m so glad because by the end I was very invested in Pin and all of the other characters as well!

 Ash & Bramble is a Cinderella retelling told from two different perspectives: Pin and Shoe.  It wasn’t difficult at all to keep up with which character was telling the story as Pin’s was told in first person and Shoe’s was in third.  One of the most interesting things about this book for me, is that Sarah Prineas doesn’t just tell us another story of Cinderella. She tells us about the story itself and shows us just how much it takes to pull of a happily ever after!

What I liked

The Characters

Even though I had a hard time in the beginning connecting with Pin, I ended up really liking her!  She’s a strong, I’ll-save-myself kinda gal.  Even when she knows she’s down, when she knows it’s in her best interest to comply, even with all the forces doing their best to bend her to their will she refuses to break or change who she is.

I have loved Shoe from the first time he’s introduced to the story. And even though I know that he is a 19-year-old guy, I couldn’t help picturing him as Martin Freeman.


I know that’s weird.

Moving on!

The Theme

One of my favorite things about this book is how Prineas played with the idea of Good and Evil.  In every fairy tale, the fairy godmother is good and the wicked witch is bad right?  But what if it isn’t so black and white as that? What if the happily ever afters we all wished for as kids weren’t so happy after all? What if everything we think we know isn’t right?  I was absolutely fascinated by this idea and it stayed in my mind long after I finished.

Ash & Bramble is not your traditional fairy tale retelling.  It’s so much more!  With its vivid imagery, multi-layered characters, and theme that just won’t quit, this is a book not to miss out on!

I’d love to hear what you guys think, so drop me a line!


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