The Bone Witch, The Heart Forger, and now The Shadow Glass have been some of my favorite books of all time. I am in love with Tea, her journey, and the rich world Rin Chupeco has created.
Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart.
Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience…
I am definitely not ready for it to be over. I’ve had the ARC for a few months (by the time you read this it will have been SO many months) and it’s why I put it off so long. I can’t even handle how much this book will wreck me. I am in love with The Bone Witch trilogy from the smallest details, Rin’s dedications, all the way to the larger themes of ambitious girls and unfair worlds.
In The Shadow Glass you can appreciate how all these pieces come together. I am constantly amazed by the mastery and sheer intelligence of writers and this series truly stretches the boundaries. Everything from the bard to tell Tea’s story, the multiple layers of subterfuge, and the plot threads coming together within these three books.
Seeing Rin talk at the Brooklyn Book Festival in 2017, then reading The Heart Forger arc this year, all the way to holding The Shadow Glass in my hands feels surreal. It’s not only about how far I’ve come, this blog, but the series as a whole. Rin is a truly lovely, humorous, passionate, intelligent human. And it only makes me love the series more so.
But The Shadow Glass adds a whole new layer to the awesomeness that is The Bone Witch books. We are introduced to the idea that the stories we have grown up on, the legends, the folklore, the gods themselvevs, could very well not be what we know. That in our world, our history, our foundational texts have the power to be written over, obscured, and altered. But for what purpose? And, is it just me, or does this feel a little too real to anyone else?
But it leads us back to the power of stories that, no matter how old, are still able to unveil the truth.
By showing us Tea’s life, her past, from her own perspective as letters to the bard – pure brilliance. It makes my nerdy little heart sing. All these layers of interpretation, of reading the stories, is just lovely to read. Makes me think of all my classes dissecting narratives, structures, and more.
You actually couldn’t turn me against Tea. I adore how she’s motivated by love, by the secrets of the world, the unfairness of the Asha association, and her inability to say goodbye. Wouldn’t we all tear down mountains to save the ones we love? To move planets, defy armies, and part oceans because of our inability to say goodbye and actualize mortality in our bones, in the tears running down our faces?
I feel like her quest is only strengthened by this book as she uncovers secrets that would change the face of the world. The very stories we grew up on. Even as she becomes a story herself. This book shows us many more sides of Tea, even while she success in hiding other parts of herself. I mean, Tea loves books and libraries, and I love Tea. So enough said, alright?
Kalen and Tea are a ship I’d ride forever to the end of time. And the moments when they appear on page together were instances were my soul was soothed. But let’s not even forget that The Shadow Glass has some of my favorite relationships of all time here. Fox and Inessa and more. I won’t spoil them for you. But The Shadow Glass offers something to everyone: epic stories, necromancy, and romance.
(I want to mention the presence of a trans side character as well. There is on the page discussion of how she wants to be referred to and her relationship to others).
I love how The Shadow Glass looks at lines between evil and good. Between good intentions and destruction. Between minimizing the loss of lives when they have to be paid. I don’t think there’s this clean line between evil and good, between destruction and creation. Tea’s actions, even if they hurt people, are still motivated by a desire to uncover the truth, to change the world for the better. The question is intent, and when it becomes twisted beyond belief.
The Shadow Glass delivers a whole new level of traitors, secrets, and political betrayal. As Tea travels the world in search of a solution, we witness manipulations, maneuvers, and deniability. All while asking, in a variety of ways and characters, are we really willing to let the world burn for your love? Or to sacrifice our love for the world? There are larger forces and ambitions at stake, playing out with countries as playing pieces and sacrifices littering the board. In The Shadow Glass all the pieces are coming together, the threads reknitting and coming together again to explore love in all it’s incarnations, the destruction of cities, and a few dead bodies.