With this, I give you the last double review week for a while. As it is right now, I am not writing book reviews for the books I have read thus far in November. There will be a Queen of Nothing review next week (probably) and then one after that, but we are going to be at a limited number of reviews until December, were it’ll pick right back up with dragon books. Anyway! Onward!
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer
Synopsis From The Book
Aurora, torn from the dream world and Heath, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage a winning war against Malfleur’s army of Vultures.
But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice. Devoted half sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
I read this after reading Ninth House, or I am going to. I feel like it is the perfect flip from Ninth House in terms of content and feel. And I need that separation. I really do. I’ve been needing the separation. Let us hope that this one was as good as the first, and see what this series gets rated.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
Would someone like to define “bittersweet” because I think I just found that exact definition right here with this book. Holy. Hell. This book was just as good as the first, in many of its own ways. I loved it. It was a wonderful change of pace and now I want to recommend it, because this duology is splendid.
The book picks up where 1 ended. Aurora is back alive and Malfleur is rushing to war. The remnants and survivors from Belcoeur’s dream world, ask Aurora to help them get everyone back safe. Instead of marrying Prince William, Aurora runs off and abdicates the throne.
Isabelle’s Path: Isabelle marries Prince William and becomes queen. From there she and Prince William work to gather forces for their war. Isabelle is gifted a glass shoe and uses it as her rallying point for the people, yet she is still called an imposter. She finds that the shoe in her hands is not glass, or rather a thing called winter glass. It is essentially ice. And when her troops are faced with Malfleur’s deadly fire, she goes to the creator: the twin fae’s father, the King of Ice — King Verglas. He tells Isabelle that the shoe is made of stories, stories locked away to reveal themselves, but they can only reveal themselves when with the person who holds the story. AKA they can not melt until their story is told, but their story can not be told until they melt. He offers Isabelle the chance to give up her memories of Aurora for the tools she needs to save the kingdoms. Isabelle panics, and finds the story of her mother, discovering that her mother was a person called the Hart Slayer.
Aurora’s story; Aurora runs off with Wren to save the dream world people. She discovers that while she liked Heath, she also likes Wren. She and Wren dance a delicate dance and they plan to strike to rescue people from Malfleur. Instead she is captured and given a deal to be trained by Malfleur into a deadly weapon, for peace, Aurora agrees. She is trained, and dark magic seeps through her making her strong and powerful. She loses herself but only by being faced with Wren does she remember herself. She sets Wren free and then is punished by Malfleur. She fights Heath, finding he has become another experiment like she has, but he lost himself. Aurora discovers that Gil is alive, and she helps Gil remember who he is, and they flee.
Wren; After being let go by Aurora, Wren goes to find out how to stop the curse on her. She was cursed to stay by Belcoeur’s side or risk turning to stone, and the fae is dead. She finds that there must be a descendant alive still, the Hart Slayer. Wren believes this to be Aurora’s mother. Violette, the fae who made Aurora’s death curse to a sleeping one, makes it so that only true love can break Wren’s curse. Wren returns to Aurora.
Wren tells Aurora what she learned and Aurora knows the true person to be Isabelle. War breaks out. William almost dies, but Gilbert saves him. Heath dies. Isabelle returns having declined to give up her memories of her sister, and Aurora tells her of the plan. Isabelle panics but decides to live her own story for once, and the sisters confront the fae queen. The ice shoe melts for Malfleur who learns the truth and Isabelle kills her. The magic is broken, and their country is saved.
However it must be rebuilt, and Prince William must fight for his own home land against his brother who feigned his death, but Isabelle will not go with him. It is not her story. She makes one wish to test her fae blood, and leaves it be. Wren’s curse is broken, but she leaves Aurora to find herself. Aurora and Isabelle begin to rebuild. Gil and Isabelle talk, and neither say what love they have for each other. The epilogue states that Gil marries another, and Isabelle has a child with William. The question of what Isabelle’s wish is, remains a mystery, to all but Gil.
What I Liked:
Aurora’s Transformation; Aurora went from being a true damsel to being a hardened warrior. What she goes through is fascinating, especially as she battles the magic, but she never gives up on her family.
Isabelle’s Transformation; Isabelle has changed a lot, but what makes me love this the most is that she learns to walk on her own. Now Isabelle always has, but she was living in other’s stories. This story was about her finding her story, and she found it. And when she did, she sure did.
Wren; I didn’t care for her much in the first book. But I did care for her here, and I did love how she loved Aurora. (Although Aurora was dense at first) I hope she finds happiness, and herself.
Cont of Gil; We didn’t get much of him, but watching him struggle and them come back was nice. As well as his dedication and love for Isabelle. I hope he is happy in his life too, with the life he has chosen.
Cont of William; I love how much he loves Isabelle, and how much he is willing to do to save the world he knows. I hope he got his country back. I hope his life turned out the way he wanted to, and I hope he and Isabelle are happy forever. I will never know, but that’s what wishes are for.
Aurora and Isabelle’s relationships; Their relationship is everything. Their dedication is everything. Their love is true, and it is not something anyone can ever take from them. Luckily.
True Love; I think this is the most interesting point of the story. That none of the romantic relationships turn out perfectly, properly, with a bow and nicely wrapped. They are love, but true, unfiltered, pure love that is in this book is the love between two sisters who risked everything for the other. Do I think that the other loves are true loves, or powerful ones? Yes, perhaps in the future, or even later on, but the true love is not one of passion and romance as everyone thinks. Its of hope and dedication, of Aurora and Isabelle.
Wishing; Wishing solves nothing, is such an important part of this book. Yet wishes solve everything. They are what give hope and what keep hope. But I think what is the most important part is that Isabelle wishes for her sister to find true love, but her sister never had to. She already had Isabelle.
Magic system; I do have to say, I didn’t mention this much earlier, but this magic system has really taken it’s control over me. I love the tithes, the requirements, and how it all spins together.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
I will forever wish for more of a solid ending where everything wraps up in a neat bow, but that’s not this story. That’s not their story, as it isn’t for most people. And that’s okay.
Time Taken To Read
“You feel remorse, which means you are not gone.” – pg 171
“It’s like I said, Isabelle. The mind is a prism. The light refracts through it and turns fractures into rainbows.”
“You never said that… You said the mind is a prison.”
“Ah yes. Well, it is both.” – pg 221
‘Isabelle wished for Aurora to find true love.
And perhaps, after all, she did. ‘ – pg 329