Tuesday, January 6, 2015
The Glass Casket
Disclaimer: This book was published on February 10, 2014, but I got my hands on the advanced readers' copy, so that's what I read. Undoubtedly, there will be some differences between the version I read and the published version.
This was a very Grimm-esque tale. There was definitely a fable element to it, but it was most bizarre and disturbing. It almost came across a bit like Godzilla at different points, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
An amazon summary with all the reviews removed because they take up so much space, "Death hasn't visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders' bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.
Rowan's village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan's door once again. Only this time, its appetite is insatiable." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
In Nag's End, there sits a small village presumably surrounded by woods and at the base of a mountain. Rowan Rose lives there with her scholarly father. She's been raised to understand different languages and to translate different texts. Her mother died in child birth yet Rowan is well loved by her Father.
Misfortune befalls Nag's End as riders from the kingdom come through and charge into the hills. Days go by and the riders' bodies are discovered to be bloodless, peaceful deaths; as if they just calmly lay in the snow to die. Rowan's best friend Tom and his brother Jude are with the search party that search for the missing men. As they start preparing the bodies for transport, Tom notices a strange coin and pockets it.
Mysterious strangers visit their house one evening, but Rowan's father turned them away and warned Rowan to stay away from them. The strangers consist of her cousin, Fiona, and her guardians; a glassblower and housewife.
Tom falls in love with Fiona at first sight. His brother, Jude, tssks at him but is a mysterious sort that usually disappears into the woods to hunt.
Tom and Fiona meet a couple times and Tom gives the strange coin he found to Fiona as a necklace. They're disgustingly in love.
The duke comes to Nag's End to investigate the soldiers' deaths. The town is largely disturbed by the deaths as Nag's End is believed to be protected from the supernatural folks that haunt the woods. The town leader claims the riders died from wolves, and many cling to the lie to try to make sense of the situation.
So, as the story unfolds, everyone goes a bit crazy. Fiona and Tom fall in love with each other, the glassblower attempts to rape Fiona, Fiona runs off into the woods alone (super dangerous) and has her heart torn out. The glassblower in a fit of madness, beats his wife, and creates a glass coffin for Fiona and props her up inside in his lawn for all the town to see.
Per the duke's orders, Fiona is buried in a cemetery the ancients are buried in.
People start mysteriously dying around the town in very strange ways.
Suddenly magic runs rampant. Rowan tries to make sense of it but ails from grief over the murdered townspeople.
This book seems like one haphazard situation to the next as it seems to follow the philosophy of, "The more action present, the less I have to explain anything". Seriously not impressed.
I kept reading the book because it became a nasty car crash that I had to know how it ended. Even then, the ending didn't quite make sense.
But seriously, crazy magic everywhere, some witches happen, more crazy things happen, Fiona rises from the dead, more seriously crazy magic, and I imagine plot kind of snuck it's way in their a couple times but failed to help much.
SUPER SPOILER ALERT BECAUSE I CAN'T HANDLE NOT REVEALING THE CRAZY.
There were a lot of 'conclusions' that were drawn that didn't really make any sense. Like Fiona and Rowan are actually sisters; their mother died while giving birth to Fiona and a witch foretold that great misfortune would fall on the family if the sisters were kept together. ....I'm still not sure how that relates to the 'plot' at all.
It also turns out the Duke is crazy as the little girl he took on as his ward is a bad witch that wanted to control some crazy monster that the dead soliders unleashed.
Remember that charm Tom gave Fiona? Turns out it was the token to control the beast.
Fiona and the beasts energy linked or something, and they both killed a lot of people so they could live. Tom found Fiona and was still madly in love with her so was with her despite her monster self.
Oh, when Fiona was first discovered to be dead, Tom proposed to Rowan, which made Jude upset because he's in love with her? But then Tom ditches Rowan once he discovers that Fiona is 'alive' and Jude starts kind of antagonistically revealing his feelings for Rowan while Rowan is running around like a one person Scooby Doo gang trying to solve the mystery.
....super what? Like what? I feel a little broken for trying to explain that mess.
It really tries to have the feeling of an ancient fairy tale....but it kind of fails at the smallest amount of logic so the whole story was a wash for me.