Series: Cruel Beauty,
Also in this series: Cruel Beauty
Published by Balzer + Bray on 01 April 2014
Genres: Adaptation, Death & Dying, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Family, Fantasy, Love & Romance, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Young Adult
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Also by this author: Cruel Beauty
Place(s) Traveled To: Arcadia
First Line(s): My mother loved me more than life itself. That’s how everything went wrong.
After listening to the audio of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (review coming soon) I wanted more of this world that she created and so was happy to see that there was a novella that was set in the same world. Guilded Ashes has no real overlap with Cruel Beauty and is set either before or concurrent to it. There is a small appearance from Ignifex but there is nothing in this story that will give anything away in Cruel Beauty. Gilded Ashes is loosely based on Cinderella and shows some of the effects of making a deal with Ignidex.
Maia spends her days walking a fine line and pretending to always be happy because of a deal her mother made with Ignifex. Its a hard life, made even more difficult as her stepmother forces her to be a servant in her home. Overall I liked this story and I liked Maia’s growing relationship with Anax, the prince of the story. Though I never fully understood when Maia stayed in her families house. Yes, options weren’t plentiful but she wasn’t chained there either. She could have made her way just fine. But then, of course, we wouldn’t have a story.
Gilded Ashes is a quick read and I’m glad I read it but I do wish that I’d read it before Cruel Beauty and that is entirely based on how the main book ends. Reading Gilded Ashes after that makes it all a little odd and just a tad bit jarring. I’m not sure if Gilded Ashes is something that I would buy as its only 80 pages but it was defiantly worth checking out from my libraries digital catalog and a good introduction to Hodge’s writing style and this world.