Yay! I’m so excited to be part of the Winter Glass Blog Tour (Thank you for the invitation, Glasstown Entertainment!) because I’ve been waiting for this book since I first read Spindle Fire, part one of this rich duology. In fact, you probably saw Winter Glass listed on Gabrielle’s Top Ten Exciting YA Releases of 2018 post in January.
Published on April 10, 2018
About Winter Glass
A curse comes undone. A kingdom shatters. But some bonds can’t be broken.
Princess Aurora, torn from the dream world, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage war against Malfleur’s army. But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice.
Devoted half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever.
There’s a certain kind of pressure that comes from picking up such a highly anticipated book. Sequel Anxiety, I guess it could be called. I find when I especially loved a first book in a series, I’m super eager to get to the second one, but then when I have the copy in my hands, lots of times I put off reading it, worried it will not live up to my memories of the other story. I did the same thing this time, too.
But as soon as I started reading Winter Glass, I remembered why I loved Spindle Fire so much. The prose strikes with poetry and power. I found myself instantly carted off to Deluce and the plight of two very different, very strong princesses. Hillyer’s writing makes emotions reach out from the page and take you by the throat. It’s intense and delicious at once.
Another of my favorite things about this book (both books really) is the way the author twists fairy tales together to form a new sort of story. Spindle Fire read a bit like a mash-up of Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland. Winter Glass doesn’t have quite the same overt story-for-story feel to it. Instead, familiar fairy tale elements (the glass slipper, the rogue who hunts the king’s deer and gives them to the poor) add flavor and depth to the story, but the tale itself stands on its own as something original.
I loved the themes about storytelling and the truth finding you. I’ve just finished another read-through of The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis with my daughter, and it reminded me of the way Aslan says to Shasta that he only tells a person his own story. So that resonated with me for sure.
One of the things I found interesting about Winter Glass is the lack of older mentors. There are a couple brief moments where Isabella receives some wisdom from a mentor-type character, but all of the older characters are deeply flawed people, often deeply selfish. I missed the appearance of really admirable characters. Obviously every story doesn’t have to have them. I’ve realized for myself lately that it’s hard for me to connect with a story if I don’t find at least one of the characters admirable. (I think this is true for a lot of people.) I did admire both Aurora and Isabelle for their tenacity, self-sacrifice, and commitment to help others.
I totally enjoyed reading Winter Glass and recommend it to fairy tale fans for its unusual spin on familiar stories as well as its strong heroines.
Isabelle is blind and Aurora mute. Aurora also lacks a sense of touch.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Kissing between man and woman. Sensual references to more intimate contact—response to the memories, like blushing or feeling pulse race. Two scenes hint at sex, but very vaguely. One refers to a married couple. The other to two women. This scene shows a kiss and one character beginning to undress the other.
Powerful faeries have the ability to tithe (take) things like sight or compassion. An evil faerie spread a sleeping sickness across the land and has taken other powers for herself. One character says no faerie or god can discern justice for anyone besides himself.
Some descriptions of rotting corpses (victims of a plague). Descriptions of prisoners who’ve been tortured by starvation and solitary confinement. Several scenes describe battles—some in an arena-like atmosphere in which one character must kill an opponent. Other scenes describe warfare. Details are sometimes graphic.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
About Lexa Hillyer
Lexa Hillyer is the author of the young adult novels Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever, as well as the poetry collection, Acquainted with the Cold (Bona Fide Books), the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry, and a recipient of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in Best New Poets 2012, and she has received various other prizes and honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, before founding the production company Glasstown Entertainment along with bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their daughter, and a very skinny orange tree.