Wilhelmina Heidle, the fourth child and 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, though, 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 Wil’s 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?
Published October 24th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Two and a half stars: A frustrating read with weak world building an abrupt ending, boring romance and a story that goes no where.
Wilhelmina is the fourth child and only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation. Wil is kept hidden from the outside world, venturing out as a spy in order to be a weapon for her father. Wil is always sneaking to the market for secret supplies for her brother, Gerdie’s alchemy experiments. Then Wil’s world comes crashing down one night when she is attacked. Wil fights back and somehow manages to turn the man into gemstone. Terrified, Wil and Gerdie try to solve the mystery of her power, but unfortunately, they aren’t able to figure out Wil’s power in time. A tragic event causes Wil to flee from her home, leaving everyone and everything behind, the world believing she is dead. On the run, Wil tries to find the man who can hopefully help her reverse her curse, but instead she finds Loom. Loom is another royal on the run, and he is determined that he will save his kingdom with Wil’s help. Can Wil help his kingdom or will her power ruin everything?
What I Liked:
- Lately, I have resisted reading YA books like The Glass Spare. I went into this one excited for something different. While it wasn’t the impressive read that I wanted, I did enjoy the characters and the revision of the King Midas story.
- I liked exploring the author’s vision of the King Midas power. Wil doesn’t realize she has this mysterious power until she is attacked and nearly killed. She escapes by turning her attacker into solid ruby. Wil soon finds that she is able to turn living things into gemstones, a terrifying yet profitable power. This was an intriguing concept, and I liked this new take on an old classic.
- One of the highlights for me was Wil’s family. Her father, the king, is somewhat of a tyrant, he is determined to expand his kingdom at all costs. He keeps his children under his thumb, and doesn’t let them out into the world. Yet, there must be something good about him because the Queen loves him fiercely and she is a quiet, kind woman with some obsessive compulsive tendencies. The Queen loves her children above all else. The kids themselves, Owen, Gerdie and Wil are wonderful. I loved the camaraderie between them, and how they looked out for one another. Gerdie was my favorite. He is disabled after a ravaging illness. He is a mad genius, skilled in alchemy always inventing things. Wil is formidable heroine. She is street smart, resourceful, skilled and she fiercely loves her family. The cast of characters was the best part of this story.
And The Not So Much:
- Unfortunately, this book failed to impress me. It didn’t set itself apart from all the other books like this in the YA genre. Aside from the Midas touch, there was nothing extraordinary about this one.
- The world building is weak. It seems to be a rudimentary/ steampunk world, yet there are all these fancy gadgets and gizmos, I wish more time was devoted to establishing the world.
- The romance is weak. I never felt the spark or chemistry between the characters. Loom is a boring, lackluster love interest.
- The story doesn’t really go anywhere. Once Wil is forced to leave home, the story becomes Wil running away from one danger after another. It got old fast.
- The book doesn’t even end on a cliffhanger, it just suddenly stops leaving me not caring what was going to happen next.
- At first, the story moved back and forth from Wil to Gerdie after Wil runs away. I enjoyed Gerdie’s perspective, and then this big terrible thing happens, and the story cuts away from Gerdie and never returns to his view point. This was the only part of the story that I was invested in, and it was dropped. Big disappointment. I was left wondering about the King, Gerdie, Baron and the ghosts.
The Glass Spare was a book I picked up in hopes of restoring my love for YA fantasy, but alas, this one was a disappointment. The world building was weak, the story undeveloped, lackluster romance, and to cap it off an abrupt ending, leaving me not caring about the fate of the characters. I am sure that other readers will like this one, but for me, it was a miss. I was hoping this King Midas retelling would sweep me away, but instead, I wanted to sweep it under the rug and forget it. Skip this one, or borrow it if you want to read it.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.