The Glass Spare

416p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062491282.
Gr 9 Up—As the only daughter of the king and queen of Arrod, Wil spends her days doing her father's bidding and her beloved brother's favors. Locked in a life-threatening confrontation with an angry man, Wil discovers that her touch can turn anything living into precious stone. Both fascinated and repulsed by her powers, Wil encounters family tragedy and is banished from her kingdom. In her search to discover the truth behind her affliction, she meets up with a prince banished from a different kingdom, one that stands at the precipice of war with Arrod. As the two bond and continue their efforts to unlock the mystery of Wil's touch, they eventually sail their way into peril, and Wil's powers may be the only thing that keep them alive. From the initial scenes in Arrod to the stormy seas that lay between kingdoms, the setting of The Glass Spare is richly imagined. Marrying technological savvy with a more traditional high fantasy sensibility lets the narrative details stand out from the pack in the genre. Wil's journey is engrossing, and her relationships with the cursed prince and his wife are well-drawn. While the pacing drags a bit in the middle, readers will be eager to discover the truth about Wil and may be frustrated by the existence of a sequel.
VERDICT A unique, adventurous fantasy perfect for young adult collections.

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