A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
Rating: 547890107 (million) Stars
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
In the underground city of Caverna the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare. They create wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned. Only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear — at a price.
Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell’s emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed …
First of all, to give you an idea of how much I love this book, I will tell you that I own two editions of it: The UK published paperback, and the brand new US ARC in the header image. ALSO, I plan on buying at least two more. (Because do you see that cover image I included?? STUNNING.)
In Caverna lies were an art and everybody was an artist, even young children.
This is one of the best books I have ever read. And I’ve read a looott of books in my life. I’m going to try reviewing this book a little differently today, because I need a change, and also I’m really not sure how to discuss such a marvelous book. So I present to you 7 Reasons You Should Read This Book.
1) This book is very strange, but not in a weird or creepy way. It is just very, very unique, and is full of ideas that are ridiculously original and wonderful.
2) This book is the most magical book you will probably ever read. The world Frances Hardinge has created is absolutely lovely, and her writing completely transports you into a vivid, lush, setting full of lies and villains and terrifying things, and it is wonderful.
3) This book is full to the brim with richly developed characters. They are all multidimensional, with their own vivid personalities. There are a lot of villains that are more than just villains. Every character is incredibly, intricately layered, with a detailed background and motives. Even the world itself is like a character; brilliant and vivid and full of life.
‘It draws you in. You twist your mind into new shapes. You start to understand Caverna . . . and you fall in love with her. Imagine the most beautiful woman in the world, but with tunnels as her long, tangled, snake-like hair. Her skin is dappled in trap-lantern gold and velvety black, like a tropical frog. Her eyes are cavern lagoons, bottomless and full of hunger. When she smiles, she has diamonds and sapphires for teeth, thousands of them, needle-thin.’
‘But that sounds like a monster!’
‘She is. Caverna is terrifying. This is love, not liking. You fear her, but she is all you can think about.’
And the main character, Neverfell, is one of the sweetest, most lovable heroines ever.
‘I can’t think straight. But why am I trying to do that anyway? Everybody else thinks straight. That’s why nobody expects me to think zigzag-hop.’
4) The writing is some of the most beautiful writing you will ever read. Take this quote, for example:
‘Nobody’s mind ever remains a blank page, however carefully they are locked away from the world.’
See, it’s not overly purple or verbose. Frances Hardinge’s writing is beautifully descriptive, but it is also metaphorical without being overwhelming.
In an instant he saw the delusion of his five hundred years. He was not looking into a box; he was looking out of one. All these centuries his mind, his body, his world had been a box of horrors. He took one last breath, then pushed open the lid of his prison and escaped.
5) This book is full of more than meets the eye. Sure, this is a really, really good story, but it is also about relationships, family, trust, and love, and a million other things that are handled delicately, subtly, and beautifully.
6) This book is one of the most memorable books you will ever read. I read this book almost a year ago, and I remember it vividly. I remember details about the world and the characters. I even remember the way I felt while reading it.
7) This book has lots of different covers for you to choose from, and they are all absolutely stunningly gorgeous. And if you’ve been paying attention to my blog at all you know this is very important to me xD.
Have I convinced you? Oh, PLEASE say yes!! xD. What is your most recent five-star read? What is one thing that makes you want to read a book?
*There isn’t really any content that could potentially be considered objectionable.
** Thank you to the publisher for the (beautiful) ARC!