“Could you love me?” he whispered. The question stole my breath and burned my lungs in the silence that followed.
I wanted to answer, to whisper yes into the space between us, but I was afraid.
All Gesela’s life, her home village of Elk has been cursed. And it isn’t a single curse—it is one after another, each to be broken by a villager, each with devastating consequences. When Elk’s well goes dry, it is Gesela’s turn to save her town by killing the toad that lives at the bottom. Except… the toad is not a toad at all. He is an Elven prince under a curse of his own, and upon his death, his brothers come for Gesela, seeking retribution.
As punishment, the princes banish Gesela to live with their seventh brother, the one they call the beast. Gesela expects to be the prisoner of a hideous monster, but the beast turns out to be exquisitely beautiful, and rather than lock her in a cell, he offers Gesela a deal. If she can guess his true name in seven days, she can go free.
Gesela agrees, but there is a hidden catch—she must speak his name with love in order to free him, too.
But can either of them learn to love in time?
The goose hung suspended by its feet from a low limb, bleeding into a bucket. Each wet plop of blood made me flinch, the sound inescapable even as I chopped wood to feed my hearth for the coming storm. The air had grown colder in the few minutes I had been outside, and yet perspiration beaded across my forehead and dampened all the parts of my body.
* Thanks to NetGalley and Bloom Books for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *
meh, nothing special:
I know I read an ARC, but this book feels like a really rough draft of a book proposal that has yet to be fleshed out, edited, and made whole.
You can see the faint outline of so many fairy tales and some wonderful aspects of folklore from around the world, but the focus is forced upon two deeply unlikeable characters instead of digging deep into the rich possibilities that St. Clair sprinkles throughout the background. Too long to be a novella, but too short to feel like anything was given the depth it deserved, Mountains Made of Glass feels unfinished and juvenile.
You really do get the fairy tale vibe from the story. Things happen one after another with little logic, and magic doesn’t have to make sense; it just exists. But what complicates this is the romance. Because the smut isn’t written like a fairy tale, it’s fantasy romance to its core (faes, instalove, and curses abound), and the juxtaposition between the romance and the narrative clash so awkwardly that I felt like I was reading two different books.
This is, sadly, my first St. Clair read. I’ve heard such good things about her writing, but I may have to hold off a bit before trying again. I doubt I’ll continue with this series unless the next book has a much higher page count, hopefully signalling that more depth and complexity are worked into the narrative to develop a richer experience.