THE GLASS SPARE
SERIES: The glass Spare, #1
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA Fantasy
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?
The Glass Spare isn’t exactly a retelling. It’s an original fantasy story, but clearly influenced by a sort of genderbent King Midas and the ‘golden touch’ inspiration.
My feelings on The Glass Spare are pretty mixed.
I really liked the start of the book.
I really liked seeing Wil’s time in her city, in her family’s castle: the dynamic family relationships between her, her brothers and her parents. I liked seeing her out in the world as her father’s spy and searching for Gerdie’s experimental chemicals down amongst the criminal underworld. I liked the hints of steampunk with the goggles that she wore, the idea that her father didn’t let new technology into the Kingdom and the hint of a brewing political crisis.
Once we moved away from home though, my interests dipped. That isn’t to say that I was entirely bored, I just think that quite a lot of it could have been cut down or repackaged slightly. For the large part of the middle of the book, we didn’t really get to see Wil use her powers or feel that they were necessary to the plot. Her journey with Loom felt a little generic, and there was far too much focus on the romance and not the plotline. I wouldn’t even have minded this if I felt there was any real chemistry between Wil and Loom. The rest of the characters felt a little two-dimensional too. I’d have loved if we saw more of Gerdie and Baron, and their lives going on after Wil’s supposed death. I thought they were the most interesting characters.
Overall, The Glass Spare is a pretty standard fantasy novel. I did like the idea of the magic, and I really liked the family dynamic, but none of these features really made this book stand out to me. I don’t know if I’ll pick up the second book. I’m leaning towards probably not, but I could be convinced once I read the blurb and early reviews.