THE GLASS SPARE was such a good story. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but the further I read, the more I got invested in the story. I ended up really enjoying this story. It was unlike anything I have read although at first I thought I knew the story.
Wil is the youngest, and only girl, in the royal Northern family. All of her siblings are knows as “spares” except the oldest brother Owen, who is set to inherit the kingdom after her father. Her father is a cruel man using his spares to spy on their enemies and risk their lives to expand their father’s kingdom. The work is dangerous. One night while spying Wil is attacked. She defeats her attacker by turning him to into ruby stone with only her touch. She is terrified at first, but she wants to learn more. She is forced to leave her home when she inadvertently touches someone in the royal family. Her exile leads to the company of a cursed heir who has ideas of how to use her power. Wil is faced with helping this heir or finding her way back to the family that deserted her.
There us great character building. Wil starts off as a spoiled girl who has to fight for her father. Her journey takes her to place where she must sacrifice for people she comes to care for. She is a good person, but if she stayed at home she probably wouldn’t have reach her full moral potential.Both of her new companions grow as well. I liked seeing them all change their initial assessments of each other,
Family is a important aspect of this story. Both good and bad, we see Wil and her new friends, Loom and Zay, struggle with their feelings for their family. She has a great relationship with one of her older brothers who was sick for a long time. Through flash backs we see how Will and this brother came to be so close, even though they are very different. Wil also has a great relationship with her mother. We don’t see much of her mother, but I am hoping she will be more of a key player in future books in this series.
Although I will admit the story builds slowly, the story did pick up after about 25% and I by then was totally invested in the character of Wil. By the 75% mark I had a completely different feeling about this story and read it at a furious pace.
The world building was pretty fun to imagine. there were some really fun places visited in this story. The author has laid out some fantastic scenes that were easy to see without sharing too many boring details. It was also pretty easy to imagine what the characters were feeling in this story. With third person writing this is not easy to do, but this was very well done.
There were so many surprises in this story. Fantasy stories can go anyway they want to and this was a great example of a great adventurous fantasy story. There is some technology, which I rather enjoyed. This almost had a steampunk feel to it, in a fantasy setting. There was also unpredictable turns, the characters didn’t act predictably, people even died without any kind of warning, and all the characters found themselves in the presence of even more unpredictable situations. In short, there was a lot of suspense. I had no idea which way the author would take this story.
The clothes were well described. I can’t tell you how many books I have read, especially fantasy stories where anything goes, where the clothes are glossed over leaving me wondering. The author included details like style, comfort level, and where they came from, which made me very happy.
There were a few issues I had with this story. I am sad to say there was no map for this world. The distances were pretty well described but I would have loved to see this world on paper as the author envisioned it. Maybe the final copy will have a map. Maybe? I hope so.
The kid seemed to come out of nowhere. Like, there was no mention of this kid until Wil found him. What? That was a little convenient. Or maybe I missed it? I also disliked that both fathers were cruel, but I guess it says something about the fear these two had at loosing to their enemies.
There were some pretty amazing revelations in the last bit of the story and now I absolutely need the sequel. That ending! Ugh, I can’t wait to see what happens next!
The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Glass Spare #1
Published by Balzer & Bray on October 24th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, General, Romance, Royalty
eARC provided by HarperCollins
The first in a new fantasy duology, The Glass Spare is a gorgeously told tale of love, loss, and deadly power from Lauren DeStefano, the bestselling author of the Chemical Garden series. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Renee Ahdieh.
Wilhelmina Heidle, the fourth child and only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.
Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, though, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.
But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with Wil’s power.
With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?