Inside my cupboard was a tree – a miniature hazel tree no higher than the length of my hand from wrist to fingertips, but still a tree, perfect in every way…And as I stared, I saw a slight movement amongst the leaves, a rustle carried by a wind I couldn’t feel, a wind that came from – I knew not where.
Once Selena was the must loved and pampered daughter of a wealthy noble and his cherished wife. Now, though, her mother is dead and Selena is Ashes, the lowest servant in the house, ignored by her father and mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters. All that keeps her from running away is the death bed promise she gave her mother – to stay strong and not abandon her father.
When her sixteenth birthday arrives, Selena is at her lowest ebb. Her father, it seems, has forgotten her birthday, and she is in trouble with her stepmother. When her father does remember his gift is simple – a twig from a hazel tree growing near her mother’s grave. It seems impossible, but this twig is the beginning of change for Selena. Its enchantments allow her to attend an elaborate ball, where she meets the Crown Prince.
Moonlight and Ashes is a brilliant retelling of the Cinderella story, though it is as unexpected as it is beautiful. There is not a fairy godmother or a pumpkin in sight. Instead, Selena is a strong young woman who draws on her own resourcefulness, and the strength of her new friends, together with her newly discovered gifts, to grasp her destiny.
There is magic in this book – it captivates and keeps the pages turning.
Moonlight and Ashes, by Sophie Masson
Random House, 2012
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