Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Title: The Glass Spare
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the 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, 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 her 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?
Review by Nara

I've read most of Lauren DeStefano's previous dystopian novels and was interested to see her spin on high fantasy. I think the idea and characters of the novel were not bad to start with, but the main issue she had with this novel is the same as the issue that arose in her previous novels; namely pacing and plot progression.

Overall, it felt like the story never really became exciting. If I think about it now, not much happened throughout and most likely the duology could easily be condensed into a much more compelling single novel. There were some brief POV changes to different characters throughout the book, but I definitely felt like the book didn't need to have these- they added only a small amount that felt quite unresolved by the end of the book.

I really didn't like the progression of the romance. It felt like it sort of came out of nowhere and the love interest, Loom, wasn't particularly interesting. He had some idiotic ideals that made him quite an unsympathetic character to me. I felt like I never got invested in their relationship because I couldn't see past what seemed like a rather superficial romance.

The premise itself of the novel was quite good, putting a different spin on the myth of King Midas. And Wil and Gerdie (one of her brothers) were well developed characters, and I'm certainly interested in seeing what will happen with these two in the next novel.

I've been hovering about whether the book deserves a "liked it" rating vs a "it was okay" rating, and I think I'll err on the side of being more generous because I will probably read the sequel. It seems like everything will come together in the sequel, making it a more interesting novel than this one.

Liked it
Overall: 6/10
Plot: 2/5
Romance: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 2.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5