Saturday, November 18, 2017

The glass spare by Lauren DeStefano

Her entire life, Wilhelmina 'Wil' Heidle has known she is a spare child, the girl child her mother desperately wanted and that her father didn't need.  Her oldest brother Owen is going to be King after her father, and her brother Baren was the spare child - which left Wil and her brother Gerdie as the useless spares.  Determined to find her place in the family Wil takes of advantage of the fact she is dark haired and looks nothing like the rest of her family to become the King's spy.  She can leave and enter the palace undetected, and she can defend herself in a fight, which makes her uniquely placed to move through the crowds of the capital running errands for her father or her brother Gerdie - who is also determined to prove that he is not a useless spare by using alchemy to create weapons that add to their fathers power.

Wil is used to being forgotten and overlooked, she is used to proving herself for every single scrap of attention from her father - she is even used to being deadly, but not from a single touch of her hand.  When she is cornered in a fight Wil discovers that she can turn living things into glittering gems with a single touch, and she is horrified when she takes a mans life.  Desperate to keep her secret, Wil takes risks, and when she takes another life she enters a banishment that takes her far from home and the people she loves.  Her one hope is to find someone who can remove the curse, but nothing seems to be going to plan for Wil, and she soon finds herself far from home and caught up in a most unexpected situation.  Wil is used to proving herself, and working hard to prove her worth to her father, and she is slowly coming to realise that there is more to the world than she ever knew.

The glass spare is the first book in a duology, and while I was a bit disappointed because I had picked it up thinking it was a standalone, I am now quite looking forward to the sequel as the story slowly built towards a series of revelations that deserved to be explored over two books.  I can probably guess what some of the story will be in the sequel, I really enjoyed the journey as DeStefano has written the character of Wil with just the right dose of humanity and magic to make her relateable and fantastical.  I have seen some negative reviews about The glass spare, mainly that it was cliché and a romance novel hidden as fantasy - but both of these descriptions are both overly simplistic and basically unfair. 

DeStefano has taken an old story, King Midas and his golden touch, and spun it into a new tale that was well crafted and a brilliant escape from the real world.  You should definitely read this story for yourself and make up your own mind - don't let the critics put you off because you'll be the one that misses out!  Now comes the wait for the sequel, hopefully it won't be too far away.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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