The Glass Swallow
Marshall Cavendish (October 2011) (pre-order)
My review: 5/5 stars
I have found another YA fantasy author who has quickly become a favorite of mine–Julia Golding. (You can bet I’m going to run out and find all of her other books now.)
The Glass Swallow is a wonderful read–it has a strong girl character; suspense and danger; romance; and the strong girl pulling together everything to make things work out.
In The Glass Swallow, Rain designs stained glass windows in secret; in her land, it is forbidden for women to do so. But her designs are beautiful, and capture the attention of a neighboring kingdom. She pretends it is her cousin who designs them, and they make a temporary proposal of marriage. Her cousin is asked to design their neighboring kingdom’s summer palace, and Rain goes along. Once she arrives, her entire party is killed, and Rain is left to fend for herself in a strange land that devalues people who work in the trades, especially those with birds and animals. Rain works her way into the hearts of others, finds true love, and once the kingdom collapses, is key in recreating it to become a better, happier land.
This is one of those books that I didn’t want to end. I quickly came to care about Rain immensely, and Peri (the love interest) as well, rooting for them every step of the way. I loved Rain’s inner strength, her fiestiness and courage, and her insight and talent, and Peri’s goodness and courage. It helped that there were loving, full-rounded characters, such as Rain’s dad and the bondsman Rain became friends with, to offset the slimy or ugly characters; the mix worked beautifully. There was only one very small thing that I didn’t believe, and that was Ret’s movement from a spoiled young man to a mature, aware one–but that did not take away from my enjoyment of the story. I was with Rain and Peri every page, believing in their characters, their desires and motivations, their dreams. Julia Golding created a wonderful world that kept me enthralled.
Highly recommended! If you like fantasy, pre-order yourself a copy! Fans of Tamora Pierce will gobble this one up.
source: ARC obtained at ALA in New Orleans