Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano
The Glass Spare #1

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 is a very fascinating take on the King Midas lore. I'll admit I've never really been a huge fan of those stories as they seemed so implausible to me. I mean how could a man survive if EVERYTHING he touched turned to gold? How could he eat, etc, etc? However, the blurb for THE GLASS SPARE intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try, and I'm so glad I did. Not only was this book a fresh new take on the old legend, but it handled the "everything" issue by making it only under certain circumstances. I felt the way it was both intentional and unintentional, but NOT everything she touched really enriched the story and I was hooked from the first page.

I really enjoyed all aspects of THE GLASS SPARE Not only do you have the interesting "midas" lore with Wil, but the world behind it was truly fascinating as well. Two kingdoms fully at war with one another, full of curses, and hatred on both sides. But what really made it stand out to me, was that at times I wasn't sure which side I wanted to root for. At the core both kingdoms seemed to have a root of evil with the two main characters stuck in the middle, and I loved the multi-faceted nature.

I really enjoyed this fresh and unique YA fantasy novel, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     The Moonlight Library
     Gizmo's Reviews
     My Guilty Obsession

Review: Everless by Sara Holland

, by Kt Clapsadl

Everless by Sara Holland

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

When I first read the description of EVERLESS, I immediately thought of the movie, In Time. The concepts of selling time with the poor dying young, and the rich living forever. It's a fascinating concept, and one that EVERLESS pulls off very well. I wasn't the biggest fan of In Time, but this book took everything I loved about the concept and executed it perfectly. There's so much more to the story than just the rich stealing from and oppressing the poor. The world behind this book has it's own mythology that I found to be fascinating as it was slowly revealed. 

I really enjoyed Jules' character. She was strong and fierce and determined to find the truth all the while choosing the right path. She doesn't hesitate to put others above herself, and in such a dog eat dog world that she lives, this is truly admirable. All of the other characters were just as well fleshed out and added such depth to the story. And the twists and turns? Oh boy! You never truly knew who was friend or foe, as no one was who they seemed, but it was all very well handled. No character faded to the background, every single one shone through.

All in all this is a strong debut novel from Sara Holland that I greatly enjoyed. After that cliffhanger ending I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment. If you are looking for a fresh and unique story in the YA genre, look no further than EVERLESS.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Du Livre
     Stuck in YA Books
     Gizmo's Reviews


Review: Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks

, by Kt Clapsadl

Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks
World of the Lupi #14

The battle against a vengeful goddess reaches a climactic point as Lily Yu must now face the ultimate challenge in a dangerous new realm—without her husband, Rule...

When a mission to rescue five children stolen by an Old One falls apart under the assault of a demon prince, Lily wakes up in a strange reality—and is immediately taken captive by the dragon spawn who rule there. Jumping worlds has fractured her party, and Cynna is her only companion.

Although the clock is ticking, time works differently, and Lily has miraculously gained a week. That means seven days to free herself, find Rule and the others, rescue the children, and make it home alive. All before the dragon spawn holding her hostage trade her to the Old One. It would almost be doable if this weren’t Lóng Jia—also known as Dragonhome: the birthplace of dragons.

I have to admit, while DRAGON BLOOD was enjoyable, I found myself skimming more often than not. It had all the markings of a five star read, but it was unnecessarily bogged down with all the details. I felt like every little thing was overly described to the point where it was either skim or my eyes would glaze. It's unfortunate as I've really enjoyed the rest of the series, and there's plenty of awesomeness in this installment as well, it's just held back by just too much side noise.

Getting to the good, however, I absolutely loved Grandmother's role in this book. She's always been a bit of a mystery, with her playing larger roles in some of the book more so than others. But this time around I felt like we got to see a whole lot more from her, and I really enjoyed it. She's so strong and regal, and keeps all the other characters on their toes. I also loved Gan, and her journey towards being more of a person and the hilarious levity she brings. Of course I enjoyed the rest of the cast of characters as well, Lily and Rule, Cynna, etc. The characters are truly fantastic and all well rounded.

All in all DRAGON BLOOD had the markings of a five star read from the amazing cast of characters to the intense action and high stakes. Unfortunately the overly descriptive nature of the book bogged things down much more than I would have liked but I'm still a huge fan of the series and I can't wait to see what's in store next.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Reviews
     Inside of a Dog
     Wit & Wonder

Previous Books:
     1. Tempting Danger
     2. Mortal Danger
     3. Blood Lines
     4. Night Season
     5. Mortal Sins
     6. Blood Magic
     7. Blood Challenge
     8. Death Magic
     9. Mortal Ties
     10. Ritual Magic
     11. Unbinding
     12. Mind Magic
     13. Dragon Spawn

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