Book Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano (4/5)

29622131Wil 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? 

In a few words, The Glass Spare was:

A quick read packed with adventure. Glittery and spiky.

The plot kept me going. I wanted to know what happened and how Wil worked with her powers to turn things to gemstones. I wanted to know the fate of the kingdoms and how Loom fit into it all. I wanted to know. I wanted to get to the end.

Wil was likable and readable. She could be the dainty princess or the badass, whichever she needed to be, without feeling like a Mary Sue. Loom, on the other hand, felt a bit too-too. He was too welcoming to a stranger (Wil) and too willing to pull her into his plan to save his kingdom. He felt a bit weak and two-dimensional, but I still liked him. Kay was great – she had what she wanted, she had flaws that a lot of girls do, and she didn’t let people tell her what to do. She did feel like “the mom” character, and then “the girl friend” – only stuck in there to be those people to Wil.

The setting – The world in this story is fantastic. I loved the magic laced with steampunk and alchemy. There are dirigibles and goggles that tell time, solar powered stuff, and magical powers. DeStefano created a huge world in the space of this short book, with kingdoms that feel different and people with different beliefs.

The writing – The writing was great, to the point, and solid, without verbiage and long winded prose. It did, however, do that thing where it would say something and then add a weird metaphor onto the end, as if he reader couldn’t understand how the sun shined on the surface of the water. Metaphors are best used when comparing two things that don’t general go together to enlightened the reader to something they may not otherwise, but that’s another post.

Overall – I give The Glass Spare a 4 out of 5, for it’s enticing plot, interesting characters, amazing world, and good writing. While I feel that the story and characters could have been deeper, I’ll definitely be checking out The Cursed Sea, the next book, when it hits shelves.

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