Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

October 19, 2017 book review 5 ★★★★

I received this book for free from Balzer + Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefanoThe Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Glass Spare #1
Published by Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 24th 2017
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Fantasy, General, Royalty

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The first in a new fantasy duology, The Glass Spare is a gorgeously told tale of love, loss, and deadly power from Lauren DeStefano, the bestselling author of the Chemical Garden series. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Renee Ahdieh.

A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

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?

I don’t think it’s any secret that Lauren DeStefano is one of my favorite authors. She has a knack for creating these unique and intriguing worlds with an eloquent writing style. The Glass Spare is the first novel in DeStefano’s latest duology and I must say I was not disappointed in the least.

Wil is the youngest offspring from King Heidle, therefore she is a “spare” in case something were to happen to any of her other siblings that are next in line to the throne. Because of her father’s insistence of keeping his children out of the public eye, nobody knows what Wil looks like, thus making her the perfect spy. In a land where magic, potions, and the unthinkable can be thought, Wil realizes she is no ordinary princess. She holds the ability to turn things into gemstones, a curse that gets her exiled from her kingdom. On her path to finding the one man who can potentially cure her, Wil comes across a mysterious boy named Loom who has some secrets of his own. The two together with Loom’s confidant, Zay, set sail on an unforgettable journey.

Wil isn’t your typical princess in that she cares nothing for fancy dresses and learning how to be a lady. She likes the thrill of buying items on the black market for her brother, the exhilarating rush of potentially getting caught. She’s super headstrong and a fierce sister. Coming to terms with her newfound curse not only ruins her homelife but her ability to see herself as something other than a monster. One thing I’m fond of with DeStefano’s stories is all her heroines don’t sit by and let others determine their life for them. They take matters into their own hands to determine their own destiny. They all have their flaws and struggle to come to terms with themselves and their surroundings but at the end of the day, they are inspiring. Wil doesn’t disappoint in that aspect at all. I love her zest and stubbornness and also her soft, insecure side as well.

DeStefano’s writing is poetic and intricate in a way I’d never be able to tell a story. I love the metaphors she creates and the way she uses imagery to describe moods and feelings. It’s not overbearing either, I must clarify. Sometimes I get bogged down when storytellers go on and on with imagery and words but I never once got that feeling with The Glass Spare. Everything is done purposely and in an organic way, if that makes sense. I should have highlighted some of my favorite passages to give examples but alas, I did not. Next time I will!

The plot moves along at a great pace, giving the reader enough time to invest in Wil and Loom’s story but also fast enough that you’re eagerly turning the page to see what kind of shenanigans they’ll get into next. The Glass Spare, while a story about a girl on a quest to rid herself of a curse, is also a story about families and betrayal and how different (but similar) two upbringings can be.

In typical DeStefano fashion, we’re left with a powerful cliffhanger that foreshadows how drastically things are about to change for not only our main characters but for everyone around them. I’m excited to see what happens next in Wil’s journey and what bridges are about to burn in the process. I know I won’t be disappointed!


Another creative story about a headstrong but vulnerable main character from Lauren DeStefano. The plot is fresh, intriguing, and moves at just the right pace.



5 Responses to “Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano”

  1. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    I’m reading this right now! I’m about 70% through it and liking it so far so I’m glad to see you liked it too! I don’t want to read through your whole review (I’m weird and don’t like to read reviews for a book I’m reading until after I write my own review for it) but seeing the 4 stars is a good sign. That’s what I am feeling for where I am currently at. I’m glad to see it is a duology. SOmetimes trilogies can be too much and I don’t get around to finishing them but a duology I can do!

    • Christine

      I’m the exact same way haha. I’ll read reviews if I haven’t read it yet but if I’m currently in the middle of the book, I avoid reviews of it until I’m done. I don’t want my opinion of it to be influenced as I go along or something haha. Glad to hear you’re liking it too! I’ll be looking out your review here soon.

      If there’s a trilogy where all 3 books are currently out in the wild, I’ll read them all. But if it’s like this where we’re reading ARCs of it and the next segments aren’t out for a couple of years, I tend to forget about it and never finish it out. I’m glad this is a duology too because I definitely think I’ll be more motivated to see how it ends!

  2. Greg

    I’ve heard of Lauren DeStefano but haven’t read anything of hers yet. Sounds good! And she seems to hit the right notes between over describing and moving the plot along, which can be a problem sometimes in fantasy, seems like. I love this trend toward duologies too, keeps the story a little tighter and we do’t have to wait a long!

    Nice review! 🙂

  3. L

    I read Wither a really, really long time ago, and I can’t remember exactly how I felt about it, lol. I remember thinking the world was intriguing and slightly terrifying. I haven’t heard of The Glass Spare, but your review makes me want to look into it!

    Do You Dog-ear?

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