I have been honoured to be chosen as one of the influence readers for Ashlee Willis's A Wish Made of Glass novella that is soon to be released. I was quite excited as this is the first yet-to-be-published book that I've ever read. My sister Clare is also doing this, but she was an influence reader for The Word Changers (also by Ashlee Willis) and she was a beta reader for A Wish Made of Glass so she's done it before. I don't know much about how to do this but I'm fairly sure it doesn't matter terribly much so I'll start with the synopsis and the cover and then go on with the review.
Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.
The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.
Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.
(And now, tally ho to the review!)
“This novella is an amazing and beautiful story. The world and setting is real and the descriptions are just wonderful, Ashlee Willis has done a great job. It is definitely not the normal ‘fairy tale’ but it is so much more. It is a unique glimpse into a completely different life; a life of struggles, heartbreak and magical fey folk. The story really pulled me in and I could hardly put the book down. When I finished reading A Wish Made of Glass I felt that I could just sit there and start all over again and find a completely new story as I noticed things I didn’t the first time round. The plot is intricately weaved and I was completely caught up in this wonderful story.
Isidore is certainly a three-dimensional character. Her growth and development is well written and her feelings portrayed in a believable and relatable way. I loved traveling this journey with her as she made mistakes and struggled through hardships. She was very real and I could not help but feel for her and experience all her troubles and triumphs alongside her.
Blessing is an interesting character. As opposed to the usual ‘horrible step-sisters’ she is instead a kind and beautiful young girl, just as scared as Isidore is to find herself with a new sister. She certainly isn’t without her faults but it is always she who comes out and says sorry, she doesn’t wait for Isidore to apologise. She keeps trying to become a true sister to Isidore even after years of Isidore being distant.
The fey folk are mysterious and intriguing. I really enjoyed reading about them, meeting and seeing them through Isidore. The young fey man was probably one of my favourite characters, he was so well written and Ashlee kept dropping tantalising hints about who he was and showing quick glimpses of what he was like inside. I really liked the mysterious air about him and all the other fey.
I loved the ending of the book. The beauty of the very last scene remained with me for the rest of the day, and I continued to think about the book, wondering what happened next and romanticizing about Isidore’s future. It seemed the perfect ending for such a lovely book.”
There. It is done. I can no longer say I haven't read a book before it was published. I'm glad I did it, it was very fun and I enjoyed it heaps. I hope my first long review was good (generally I do little, simple, short reviews not multiple paragraphs).
It only took me half a day to read this and I almost did it in one sitting, I would have but for an interruption in which I had to hang out the washing. But it was no less interesting for its shortness, after all it is a novella (which is, in case you didn't know, a short novel).
To give you some information about Ashlee Willis I will supply you with a picture which I assume describes her to some extent:
If you wish to find out more about her and her writings I suggest you take a look at her blog/website: Finding the True Fairy Tale.
I've read Ashlee's other book, The Word Changers, and it's definitely just as good as A Wish Made of Glass. You should seriously try find it and read it. And you should also read A Wish Made of Glass when it gets published this month.They're both really cool.
I think that's everything I've got to say just now, so thanks for stopping by. You'll see another Dusty Red post come Friday, so see you then! But for now...
Fare Thee Well!