Wow. Not what I expected at all, I’m very unsettled. I knew it would be dark but I thought it was more of a traditional fairy tale retelling. It was darker than I could have possibly imagined- my immediate impression while reading was a mixture of an original Grimms fairy tale, The Village (the setting, the creepiness, the characters), and that Red Riding Hood movie with Amanda Seyfried (which I haven’t actually seen). It’s a fantasy set in an unremarkable village that believes in folklore such as witches, goblins, and fairies. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style; it was tense, immediate, and descriptive. The characters were archetypal but well-imagined; I really liked Rowan and Jude reminded me of Ronan from The Raven Boys. The best part though was that almost every character filled me with suspicion and dread; that’s something you want in a mystery. I was also SHOCKED at how much grisly death permeates the book, and how often deaths occur. It was gruesome and certainly upped the ante.
I was very impressed with The Glass Casket; it was magical, macabre, frightening, bleak, and enthralling. It was a horror story wrapped in a mystery inside a fairy tale coating. There were some subtle Snow White allusions, which I enjoyed. But this isn’t for the faint of heart or for anything looking for a happily ever after kind of retelling, although it’s not *all* doom and gloom. It’s very dark and brutal but has an appealing heroine and an enchanting mythology. It keeps you turning the pages with the kind of slow-burn dread that is unique to murder mysteries. I took off the star because I think it was so far from the impression I had of the book going in but I was impressed and ended up really liking it once I got over my initial shock!
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.