(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by HarperCollins on October 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
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 by Lauren DeStefano is one I have been waiting to read for a while. If you know me, you know I love my YA Fantasy and as soon as I read the summary I had to have it.
Wil is the main character and she is the only daughter of the King. She has been kept hidden so no one outside of her family and their guard knows what she looks like. Her father has done this so that she can be useful and spy for him. Wil is always willing to do things for him because it gets her out of the castle and gives her hope that someday she will be able to travel the world like one of her older brothers, Owen who is the heir.
DeStefano has developed a world that revolves around Wil’s father’s empire as he continues to look to expand his reach and power. That power means that war with other leaders appears to be inevitable and the King isn’t above using his children’s gifts/abilities to get what he wants. I loved the way this book felt like a mix of fantasy and sci-fi or steampunk. With Wil’s brother Gerdie working with Alchemy, he creates tools that are to help his father but every once in a while, he gets away with doing something for Owen or Wil and when he finds out about Wil’s curse, Gerdie is willing to do whatever it takes to help her.
I liked Wil. She loves her family and especially her brothers Owen and Gerdie. She would do anything to protect them. Wil is also not afraid to take risks as long as it doesn’t endanger anyone she loves. Unfortunately, when she finds out she is cursed. Wil inadvertently finds out that she has the ability to turn living things into gemstones. She doesn’t know how to control it and it ultimately leads to one of the worst things that could happen.
I loved the relationship DeStefano created between Wil, Gerdie, and Owen. It was very clear they all loved each other, and their closeness was what set the stage for the whole story for me as that is one of the first things we get to read about. In addition to that, we get to understand just how much her mother wanted a daughter and why her father thought her odd and in a way, feared her.
As Wil runs, she decides she needs to find a marveler named Pahn with the intent that he will be able to help rid her of the curse she carries. Unfortunately for Wil, she crosses paths with someone who, when he finds out her secret, tries to convince her of a different course of action and by convince, I mean he gets her on his boat and proceeds to make a deal with her. Since Wil’s only interest is to find someone who can help her with the curse, she decides to hear him out.
It turns out that her captor happens to be the exiled prince of the Southern Isles, Loom. He is looking for a way to save his people from and having seen what Wil can do, he thinks she will be the one to help him, so he will do whatever it takes to convince her. Unfortunately for him, he has no idea that he is asking the princess of the northern king to help him kill her family to stop the war that is coming.
As the story progresses we get to find out what is going on with Wil’s family because we get Gerdie’s point of view and while he is told Wil is dead, he doesn’t really believe it, so you can imagine that due to their relationship, he isn’t willing to give up looking for answers on what happened.
There is a lot going on in this book and I don’t want to give anything away. As a friendship forms between Loom and Wil, motivations change, and Wil is required to make some decisions that will determine what happens next, not only for Wil but for Loom as well. In the end, Wil decides she will do whatever it takes to protect those she cares about.
I really enjoyed this book and found myself unable to put it down. I am definitely looking forward to book two in this series as I want to find out more about Wil’s curse and perhaps learn more about the lengths her mother went to in order to have a daughter. If you are looking for a fantasy with solid characters, an interesting story, and some magic, consider checking this one out. I will just be sitting here patiently waiting for the next book.