Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Ash & Bramble

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 15th, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 12/21/15 to 12/30/15
464 pages

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.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

The good news is, that I am only four books away from reading all the eARCs that I requested back last May. The bad news, is that this particular book was, to put it plainly, not good.

You see, the problem is that I am still not exactly sure what happened. It starts out with "Pin", who wakes up as a seamstress in the Godmother's fortress, because yes the Godmother is evil. She forces others to sew dresses, build carriages, make glass slippers, all for the sole purpose of granting the wishes of a poor girl.

Pin wishes to escape, and she somehow manages to drag Shoe the Shoemaker with her. Together, they succeed in climbing the wall covered in bramble (woo book title!), but unfortunately, Pin is caught by the Godmother. And you know what happens? Godmother erases her mind, and sticks her into the story of Cinderella.

To be honest, I kind of understand how the idea came to be, with the Godmother being the true villain here. However, she lacked a motive. Why bother with setting girls up with princes? And why the entire army of seamstresses and candlemakers, shoemakers, etc. Why need all of this if you yourself have magic? I simply did not, could not, accept the concept that fate was keeping everyone from doing whatever they wanted.

Even without this, the beginning dragged on immensely. Until Pin and Shoe escaped the fortress, nothing much happened. Much of the book consisted of huge blocks of description, rather than dialogue, or anything else really. I ended up skimming most of the book simply because I was not invested in either the story or the characters. 

Le sigh. Unfortunately, I could not get into Ash & Bramble. I just have so many questions regarding everything, especially with the explanation of the "true villain". Could there really be no better explanation to the motives of the Godmother? (It almost reminds me of the TV show Once Upon A Time). Anyways, I'm just really glad I'm finished with this book, and I can move on better ones. 
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