Tuesday, April 10, 2018

ARC #Review - Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Spindle Fire # 2
Format: E-Galley 352 pages
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Fairy Tales / Fantasy

A dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella set set in a fantasy world 

Fans of Kendare Blake and Marissa Meyer will rejoice as Lexa Hillyer returns to a lush fantasy world in deep peril, concluding the dark and stunning fairy tale reinvention that began with Spindle Fire. Aurora, torn from the dream world and Heath, 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 a winning war against Malfleur’s army of Vultures. 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.

Winter Glass, by author Lexa Hillyer, is the second and final installment in the Spindle Fire duology. The story picks up one week after the ending of Spindle Fire. Princess Aurora has been awakened from her curse. The problem is that she can no longer speak, and no longer feel like she did in Sommeil. Isabelle finds herself in a different situation with Aurora's revival and her desire for vengeance again the last faerie Queen Malfleur. She also faces war between Deluce and Malfleur's army.

Aurora's desire to return to Sommeil and save Heath and Wren grows strong. When the veil between the worlds falls after Malfleuer kills her sister and takes her powers, Heath and others were caught and sent to LeMorte to become one of Malfleur's dark things. Aurora gets a surprise when she realizes that she can talk and feel around Wren, but nobody else. In the dark of the night, Aurora abdicates her role as Queen of Deluce, and disappears seeking revenge on Malfleur. Readers will also see an entirely different side to Aurora. A much more serious side, a much more darker side, and a much more freer side now that she doesn't have to be Queen.

That role now falls on Isabelle's shoulders, as does the marriage to Prince William of Aubin which is supposed to strengthen ties between the countries, and allows for a united front against Malfleur. Now Queen Isabelle gets a surprising gift of a glass slipper which leads her to the Isles of Glace and a riddle of who her mother really was. Curious story behind that part of the story and yet I desire not to spoil it for anyone. Isabelle struggles to be herself while urging people to fight for her cause against Malfleur. People aren't exactly thrilled that their princess Aurora disappeared in the dark of the night. But, let's get this straight. Isabelle isn't a weak character. She does what she needs to do even she feels betrayed by Aurora's departure.

Once again, the author weaves her story through both Isabelle, Aurora, and several other characters as well. Readers who met half-sisters Aurora and Isabelle in the first installment, will be eager to uncover even more secrets that are uncovered, mysteries that are solved, alliances are forged and sundered, and a bloody war is fought with the evil fae queen. Fairy tale retellings are extremely hot in the YA market, and this is the tale of Sleeping Beauty & Cinderella like you’ve never seen it before; with elements of Alice in Wonderland thrown in. The author has taken these familiar stories and twisted them into something completely new and different and unexpected. While there are romances involved with both characters, the pitfall is that one of the characters will suddenly find themselves on another path for the sake of diversity in the story. 

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