Book #124: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

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?

When I first looked at the cover and read the blurb, I’ll be honest, the book didn’t spark me. I wasn’t feeling the story and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. However, it is a club book and I was going to read it. So, I did.

I’m happy to say this is the case of bad blurb/bad cover. Not that the blurb is bad, I just feel it didn’t reflect the story itself.

The story itself has a fairy tale feel to it from the get go. I was pulled into the prologue and wanted more. The overall writing is beautiful and does keep a bit of that fairy tale quality to it. It was easy to go from chapter one to the end without any trouble. However, I was confused at times.

There are moments where I was unsure about the characters. I wasn’t really connecting with Wil despite DeStefano’s writing style. I wasn’t sure of the motives of any of the characters, their relationship with one another, and how the King really is. Now, I was sure about Wil with Gerdie and Owen, but I wasn’t sure about anyone else. to be honest.

There are scenes that tore at the heartstrings and I could see the connection to mental illness in the book.

The setting, though… that was confusing. It was a hodge podge of steampunk meets alchemy meets cyberpunk. Some countries had a good relationship with technology and yet, the one country that is a huge power didn’t. It didn’t really make sense in the scheme of humanity. Usually the better tech is what makes a country stronger.

But, that aside. The story wasn’t bad. It was a solid three in a five star scale. Would I read the sequel? Maybe, but I’m not in love with the characters or the world. DeStefano’s writing though? I’m definitely going to check out her other stuff.

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