ARC Book Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano
ashley | I have immensely enjoyed a number of books by Lauren DeStefano, so I was really excited to pick up The Glass Spare. The premise sounded intriguing, though a little familiar, and I was looking forward to seeing how DeStefano put her touch on it.
I really loved the relationship between the siblings here. Well, all of them except Baren, who was just a miserable little thing. But Wil had such a sweet and unique relationship with her older brothers Owen and Gerdie, and I really liked how they all kind of looked out for each other and shared similar, skeptical insights about their father. It kind of gave me a Game of Thrones feel, back when the Starks were a happy family for like, five minutes of the series.
I was really worried that this book would be, well, a book of cliches and a thinly veiled retelling of the King Midas myth, but I really loved what DeStefano did with this. The structure is pretty familiar, and there were parts that felt kind of slow, but the world she built is pretty thorough and magical and she mixed all the best elements of adventure and fantasy together with well rounded characters that again, weren’t necessarily new, but were made of all the best elements of a character in these kinds of books.
Wil was the headstrong, fearless female determined to prove she was more than just a princess spare. Her brothers were all individually unique and complex as well, Gerdie’s experimental alchemy and special bond with Wil was one of my favourites. The mysterious Loom and Zay were also intriguing and well formed characters. Zay could have easily been a character you disliked, but there was something deeper to her that made you understand her harshness and the way she and Wil grew to respect each other was really great. The chemistry between Loom and Wil was your typical love/hate, intrigue/suspicious dynamic that you find a lot in books like this, but it was done so well that it just reminded me why that certain dynamic often makes me weak in the knees.
Stories like this are beginning to be oh so common, so when one pops up that makes me feel carefree and adventurous, reminding me why I love reading so much and giving me that sense of escape, I can’t help but want to scream it to the world. This was one of those books. I could see the destination in the distance, but the journey getting there was still so much fun and such a thrill, with great company, that it made the trip absolutely worth it.
Sidenote: DeStefano wrote a very heartfelt note as her review for this book on Goodreads about what she was dealing with while writing this and how debilitating her struggle with OCD and mental illness has been. I suggest you go read it, it doesn’t necessarily tie into the story or provide a clear representation of the inspiration behind the book, but it’s inspiring and a moving, complimentary companion to this book.
october 24, 2017