Aleya Reviews Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge

First off I have to say that I didn’t realize this book was only a novella. On one hand I was a little disappointed, on the other I was glad because I’m supposed to be doing papers and studying anyways. This review won’t really go very much in depth like my last one since I do have to do said homework. I just wanted to get a little something out while it’s still fresh on my mind.

This novella takes place in the same universe as Cruel Beauty so I recommend you definitely read that first. Plus it’s better since you get more pages to establish plot, characters and all those goodies. I really enjoyed the universe that was laid out in Cruel Beauty and since I’d read it I had a deeper understanding of this book because there are things within the novella that don’t get explained (because people should read CB first). With that being said, like Cruel Beauty, it had my undying attention. I was supposed to be studying for Shakespeare… instead I was reading.

This novella is a fantasy fairy tale retelling of Cinderella for those that don’t already know.

Overall I’d give this a 3.5, close to a 4, out of 5. I feel like since it was only 100 some odd pages we didn’t get to develop things properly. Plus the time progression between the main characters was a little ridiculous… then again the Cinderella story is like that… I’ve never liked Cinderella as much for that reason I think. I like a slow progression with love stories.

I will say that I loved how it played in with Cruel Beauty, it was like a little side story. I also loved how dark it was. It was not the Cinderella we grew up knowing in Disney. It keeps the outline of Cinderella with the bad step mother, and two step sisters and of course the prince charming, but it was twisted in such a way that it felt new. There was more backstory for the family and we actually got some one on one time with the prince instead of what we get in Cinderella.

My favorite part of this novella was the backstory and how the Cruel Beauty universe was all woven in. It was done so well and made to be so unique from the original fairy tale. Plus it’s a nice easy read, seriously took me a couple of hours at most, and that was only because I had to do go to class and do homework.

Maia, the main character (our Cinderella) is pretty good. I like the whole thing she has going on with lies and truth. It’s something we all take for granted but it’s a huge part of her world. Anex is the Prince of the story, he’s pretty great. I really liked him. The two sisters I actually liked. I liked how they had distinct characteristics and personalities that made them unique. Plus their names were unique. Koré and Thea. The stepmother was perfect in correspondence to the fairy tale she’s from. Well done on that.

So, the things this novella was lacking was woodland creatures and a glass slipper. Just kidding. Who needs woodland creatures when you have demons and a masquerade mask? This novella just lacked in pages. Granted I understand it’s a novella and it is portraying a fairy tale that essentially happens quickly, but still. I would have been happy with a little more development of plot and characters.

All in all though it was a good novella. It held my attention all 10 chapters and I wish there was more. That’s the only downside. But it is a good companion to Cruel Beauty, so you should definitely read that one first. Consider this a little snippet from that book just in a whole different place with different characters. I hope Rosamund Hodge will continue with this universe. I’d love to see more fairy tale retellings within the Cruel Beauty universe.

Hope you guys like the review! Until later Chaos Seekers!

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