Thursday 3 June 2021


Book review: Glass Coffin by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch [blog tour]

Retellings of fairy tales and myths are all the rage these days, and for good reason as they give readers a chance to see a different side to the often one-dimensional characters from the classic tales we grew up with. I've read some stonkin' reimaginings over the years, including Lost Boy by Christina Henry (telling the origin story of Peter Pan's arch rival Hook) and more recently Greek retelling Ariadne by Jennifer Saint, but I'm always keen to discover more of them. And when I heard about Glass Coffin by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch my interest was immediately peaked. 

The magical creatures in the Darkwood and the residents of Nearby Village are preparing for an uprising. They don't want to continue hiding from the Huntsmen until they've all been found and magic has been eradicated. But they know they cannot lead a revolution by themselves, they need help. And so they venture out into the Badlands of Ashtrie, searching for The Glass Witch. With the power of former Queen Ella by their sides, the magical beings, which includes a witch, a ghost, a man with a raven's wing, and even a spider, hope to overrule the Huntsmen and convince the citizens of the Citadel that magic can be good – and everyone should be accepted for who they are. 

Before I dive properly into my review, I have to admit something. I was so taken by this book's title and blurb that I completely glossed over the fact that it's the third in a series. And I haven't read the previous two books. From the storyline I *thought* this was to be read as a standalone, but with a large cast of characters, all with a shared history, it took me a little while to keep everyone apart and fully comprehend the various relations between them. That's totally my bad, but in case you also have not read the other books in the series, just a heads-up that it's highly recommended that you pick those up first. 

Now onto the rest of the review... What I love so much about retellings, reimaginings, or whatever you want to call them, is that you get to discover a different side to famous characters from classic tales. And Glass Coffin is absolutely jam-packed with creatures from the stories we all grew up with, with a slight twist. Little Red Riding Hood is a werewolf, Snow White is a knight, the Pied Piper is a pickler, and even Odette from Swan Lake makes an appearance. I absolutely loved discovering who all the characters were in the stories I have read before, and they worked so well together as a team in this one. 

Another thing I really enjoyed is how modern the stories felt. The author incorporates contemporary topics, particularly in the relationships of the characters, and the language used throughout is so on point. It's witty, with lots of little jokes and generous winks to the audience – and I am all here for it. 

Despite the epic proportions of the plot – an all-out war between magic and those that oppose it – the book was light-hearted and fast-paced. Almost too much so at times. There were no less than three different storylines happening simultaneously and it was a shame that we spent so little time with each before switching between them. I wanted more depth and detail for each one of them before they came together for the concluding chapters.

Any tension in the plot was also resolved fairly quickly and easily because of this. Perhaps it's because I'm so used to the original fairy tales these characters were picked from being incredibly bleak, but I would've liked a bit more darkness throughout. I enjoyed the fun tone of the book with the in-jokes and banter, but I missed more balance so the threat of the 'evil' characters would've felt more ominous. If you love a perfect happily ever after though? Then this is definitely the book for you, trust me on that one.  

While this wasn't quite the good vs evil epic I was expecting, it was a really enjoyable read overall. I ended up falling in love with a lot of the characters (and their adorable relationships, Jack/Hex forever!) and I now want to know how they all met and ended up in Darkwood. So I guess I'll be reading the previous two books after all...

Glass Coffin
by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch is published by Farrage Books today and you can order your copy now from your favourite book shop.

Blog tour stops for Glass Coffin by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch

This review for Glass Coffin is a part of the official blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure you check out the other stops for some wonderful content!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me by the publisher, but this has not impacted this honest review.

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