Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary: “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?” (Summary found on Goodreads).
The Glass Spare is an atmospheric, beautifully written fantasy book. In the beginning, I feared it would follow the path of basically every fantasy book ever and it really didn’t. It introduced some wonderful things to the fantasy world, like magic systems that actually make sense and a world that’s not stuck in the dark ages. It was such a breath of fresh air to see electricity and modern devices in another world. Usually, those two don’t go together, but Lauren DeStefano made it work! A lot can be said about the world building too, which was so much stronger than many other fantasy books I’ve read. As well, I loved how there was a page that literally laid out the workings of Wil’s power. That doesn’t usually happen.
I was a little concerned when Wil met Loom and it becomes clear her power doesn’t affect him because this part really reminded me of Shatter Me, which I didn’t like. Shatter Me had the astute issue of everything feeling insanely contrived, with basically no explanation of why. Juliette couldn’t touch anybody, but two boys come along…and suddenly she can touch them. So, needless to say, I wasn’t overly happy when this turned around. However, as the book progressed, it became clear that DeStefano actually had an explanation for this turn of events, and I’m looking forward to seeing it carried through in the sequel. I saw some of the plot twists coming, but not all of them, so that was definitely a bonus, too!
With that said, it didn’t feel much like Shatter Me in any other aspect, so if you’re worried about them being similar, they really aren’t. The main similarity is the touching thing, but while Juliette killed people with her touch, Wil turns them to stone (and then they die). Similar, but The Glass Spare feels more thoughtful and is written ten times better.
That leads me into my next point…that this book is so beautifully written. Every sentence was so poetic and strong. I will literally read anything DeStefano writes now, just for her writing; I don’t even care if the book is about a topic I can’t stand. I will read it.
“He had been nearly everywhere and brought back the world in tiny bits and pieces, neatly arranged in drawers and wedged between his books.”
I also loved Wil. She is such a strong character with a really spunk to her. She loves her family, but she also loves herself (not completely, but a little). She’s not perfect, but she’s so much better than many other characters out there. She’s the epitome of a strong female character and I can’t wait to read more about her. I’m not completely sold on Loom yet, but I do like him so far.
(And I’m also a sucker for hate-to-love).
As for Zay…I’m not quite so sure how I feel about her yet. She has the “mama bear” protectiveness for her son, which I do love, and for Loom, because they have a very complicated relationship. But I couldn’t really latch onto her character, like I could the others.
Then, there’s Wil’s family. I love Gerdie so much. He’s such a precious cinnamon roll and he deserves the world. I hope to see more of him in the future!
So if you can’t tell, I loved this book and highly recommend it!!