The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass

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Member Reviews

I was incredibly excited to be selected to receive an ARC of The Girl of Hawthorne and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole- queer inclusive fantasy with a strong female lead and lots of magic? Yes,. please. Sign me up! And this book certainly did not disappoint when it comes to inclusivity, gayness, strong women, or magic. Those boxes were all checked and wrapped in some of the best prose I have read in quite some time.

While I really enjoyed the book and storytelling as a whole, there were times when I felt like I was missing something and had to back pedal a few pages to make sure I hadn't glazed over an important detail. Sometimes the story was very clear and precise, making sure you picked up what it put down, though usually with minor character details (like hair)... but other times it was just vague enough to be frustrating. I wanted the world to be built out more, particularly The City of Eyes. I wanted to understand better, have a clear picture. I sat on writing this review for nearly a week for that reason- I couldn't decide on a rating. I just wanted more. But my rating ultimately is in place because I enjoyed the book, I enjoyed the characters (I just want to understand the motivation behind everyone except the main). It's not perfect, but it was enjoyable. And it was weird.I like weird.

Eli is a made thing, a witch's daughter, a witch's creation. She was made with a purpose, to serve the Coven without question. She is their assassin, and the Coven expects perfection from their assassin. Creations that don't serve their purpose are unmade, and while Eli may have been created of hawthorn and glass (and a few other things), she is very much alive and would rather keep it that way. I love the thought behind the character creation, not just for Eli, but for all the characters. They're unique and colorful and.... alive.

The witches and their Coven reside in a magic realm that is entered through seams between our human world and theirs. These are the seams Eli uses to travel and carry out the assassinations entrusted to her by the Coven. She kills ghosts. Not the bed sheet kind, not ghosts like we may think of them. Threats. Ghosts that consume life. But when one of her missions is very much not what she expected it to be, Eli finds out that she cannot simply return to the Coven. Failure is not an option.

Enter Cam and Tav, bringing some wonderful diversity and a whole lot of much needed queerness into the world of fantasy reading. I really loved both of these characters but I want to understand more about what drives them. Because they're interesting, they play off each other in a wonderful way, and I want to see where their stories go. Cam is a gay boy with a deep appreciation for quality coffee, a quality that I can really get behind. And Tav is a non-binary person of color with spiked purple hair that rides a motorcycle that gave me some character-crush moments. They interested me. Especially as their story played out.

Eli, Cam, and Tav's become entangled in multiple ways that lead them on an adventure through the magical world that tests hearts, motivations, and the bonds they're forming. The City of Eyes and the realm in which it dwells could not be farther from the pastel and glitter coated fairy realms of popular fantasy. Danger lies everywhere, in every object, in every stone of this living and breathing world and the witches? Well, they're not exactly Glenda the Good.

I am looking forward to seeing where this story goes. I really WANT this book to succeed. The writing is beautifully done and our fantasy worlds need to be filled with more than just white, conventionally attractive, able bodied, straight characters.

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 because of a truly original story and unique characters.

Major thanks to Dundurn, Adan Jerreat-Poole, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. My opinions (as always) are my own.
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This book could have been a really nice read. The synopsis really interested me so I was very happy when I was able to read it.
Unfortunately it was a it of a dissapointment. I didnt really have a feel for the main characters and the world building lacked a lot of debt.
If only we would have gotten more debt and just MORE of everything, this could have been so great.
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Eli is an assassin, designed at the moment of her making to be able to peel back the veil between the human world and that of the witches who created her. Her primary role, as with any assassin, is to murder her mark but this is tricky since her marks are already dead. When Eli fails to kill a ghost in the human world, she is trapped there by her vicious mother until she is able to complete her task, and almost accidentally seeks refuge with a group of renegades. 

The plot is quite broken up, but should be appreciated more as an exploration of self. Eli has spent almost all of her life following orders, almost blind to the reason for her existence otherwise, and shedding her true form to blend in to the human world. I really loved how the author captured what that feels like - hiding behind a body, whereby a body really has no meaning anymore; Eli comes to take control of who she is and wants to be, taking ownership of herself and re-appropriating that meaning to her body, and I thought that was probably the largest success of this book. 

The characters are each quite interesting, with many varying representations throughout; I think the characterisation is really strong overall actually. Diverse representation isn't discussed much, which was great; rather, these preferences just simply "are", without description or explanation. I wish more authors included their diverse characters in this way, without the deliberate intention to be waving a flag to say they've included them; it feels like a box ticking exercise which completely misses the point of seamlessly including diverse representation in the first place. That's not the case here at all, non-binary characters, for example, are not introduced with a label, they just automatically are, "they". This author just gets it. 

I didn't really enjoy the plot that much. I think there's a really good foundation here for an interesting magic-based world, but I couldn't really connect with it. I think the narrative voice is great, and the author has a dry humour throughout which I really liked, but the concept wasn't really developed enough or big enough for me to become invested in it even though I liked all of the characters. 

This did detract from my enjoyment of the book, but I really appreciate some of the things that are within The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass which show so much potential and are things which we don't get to see handled so expertly very often. I will definitely read future work by this author, set in a different world perhaps, to see what they create next!

ARC provided from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Even teenage assassins have dreams.

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass has a nice reading tempo and the writingstyle of the author is pretty good. Because of this, the book is easy to read and little delay during reading. It’s easy to read ten or more chapters in a row. The unknown world that Maria created entails quite a few surprises. And these are spread throughout the story to keep it interesting and exciting. Only the way the story is told, is not so pleasant. 

Eli is an interesting character. She quickly finds out all the things she learned contained not the whole truth. When she unexpectedly starts to work together with humans and renegade witches, she discovers a lot of secrets. To get to know Eli’s background a little better, the author used some short flashbacks from her childhood. Thse are not always obvious to the story and don’t add much tot he character or the story. The other characters have quite a lot of potential, but because of the superficiality of the story, they are not fully manifested. There’s also some kind of LGBTQ in the story, but it felt forced and unnatural. Like it has been added to the story afterward. 

As for the developments of the plot, the story isn’t that peculiar of interesting unfortenately. Eventhough there has been paid quite some attention to the different layers of the witch’s world, it remains to be unclear and sketchy. Some events bring more tension into the story but are not written to be interesting enough. Some happenings are just described in stead of experienced by the characters. This creates a distance between the story and the reader. While it continues and the story works towards a climax, it feels like it going to be a lot more interesting. But when something finally happens, it doens’t quite add up to everything. More at the end of the story, some happenings are not very logical and that’s why the story isn’t really easy to follow. To end the story with some kind of excitement for the second book, there’s an extra short chapter added to it about the renegade witches. This came quite unexpected because their role during the story seemed to dissappear only to come back at the very end of the story for three pages. This ending could be an invitation to read the next book, but it didn’t feel that way for me unfortunately. 

So, generally this story has an interesting structure and quite some potention, but due to the mediocre world-building and happenings, the story doesn’t quite add up.
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Rating: 2/5 witch worlds I still don’t understand

Format: eBook. I’d like to thank NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What it's like: The bizarre storytelling and meandering plot sort of reminded me of Erin Morganstern, but it really lacked cohesion and clarity. The seven blades Eli carries reminded me a bit of Abhorsen’s bells from Garth Nix’s series!

To sum up: This story introduces a unique MC, a girl made by a witch out of organic and inorganic matter (you guessed it, hawthorn and glass among other things). Her name is Eli, and her maker has sent her to the human realm to kill ghosts with her seven blades (each blade has a specific purpose). But when one of her missions leads Eli to kill a human, she stumbles into a world of magic in the human world that will put her on a path to discover secrets about the very nature of magic and her own making. Eli, with the help of a mustachioed gay boy, a nonbinary biker, and a witch heir that is also her ex, will need to lean on each other to save magic and their planet. 

What I loved: I loved the diverse LGBTQ+ rep, a non-binary character playing such a vital role in the story, and the lyrical and unique storytelling elements. Poole has a really interesting voice that I loved for about the first 25% of the book. The elements they use in this story make the reader feel like they are walking through someone else’s LSD trip, some kind of fantastical, violent and strange world that I was super curious to understand until it all started to fall apart.

What was meh: 
So yea, this story falls apart. And for me it fell apart right at the 25-30% mark. I’m not sure why exactly it was this transition, but for some reason after this point, things stopped getting explained in a way that made sense. Up to this point I had an open mind about how the human and witch worlds lie parallel to each other, how Eli travels between them to carry out her missions and was intrigued by her relationship with Kite (a young witch, best friend of Eli). Once Eli and her friends are in the witch world together, I feel like the storytelling shifts. It becomes more about the author explaining all the weird shit that they see, and growing friendships and romance between the characters, rather than grounding us in the world so that we can understand what is actually going on. I felt untethered to the story. That isn’t always bad, but at some point, the author needs to ground the reader again and for me that never happened. I just became more and more confused about how this world worked. The author kept adding new elements (that weren’t fully explained) to their world instead of texturizing and explaining the ones they had already introduced. Around the 70% mark, I hit my limit for new elements and skimmed the rest of the story. I literally couldn’t take in any more bizarre, twists, and believe me, there was a metric ton still left to go. 

Overall, since this is a debut, had a great start (I felt the first 20-30% was four stars!), and had great diversity, I would rate this at least 2 stars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t gain any more stars after that point, because the rest of the story fell apart for me. I really hope the author continues to build on their skills and keeps writing because I think their voice is unique and really compelling. With a bit more editing and pruning of story elements, this author could produce something I would really love.
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I enjoyed this story. It was a very out there concept but painted quite a picture. I like Eli and the changes that took place throughout the story. While I found some parts confusing, overall, it was a good story and I would definitely read a sequel.
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This book had such a promising cover and synopsis but apart from a great LGBTQ+ rep that everyone has already talked about there was absolutely nothing more that kept me going. It was taxing to go on chapter after chapter receiving no actual motive as a reader to move forward. Our main protagonist was nowhere as interesting as she was made out to be. Her growth, her goals, her motivations nothing had me rooting for her. The witch part was again a super cool concept but the execution was just not good. Like I barely understood any of it. The other characters were just as bland and lacked depth and her interactions with them were felt superficial. 

While the premise could been interesting, it just left me more and more confused and by the end of the book I had barely any idea about where and how we were where we were. This was an extremely hard book to get through and it was not for me by any means. There's really nothing more I can say because there's little I actually understood.
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This book has such a good premise the blurb sounded very exciting and the cover was so beautiful. Alas I couldn't like the book no matter how hard I tried.

The MC at the start is shown as this badass unfeeling assassin who is setup by someone in killing the wrong "species" than her usual targets which is ghosts. She is made or stone and glass and trees and all sorts of odds and ends. 
The idea of another world/dimension existing just above ours was fascinating. I really loved the labyrinth and its description.
The character of Kite and her odd weird friendship with Elli also made me wanna read the book further. Tav who identified themselves as non binary initially felt like an enigmatic character, they have something more to them that meets the eye. But later I didn't find myself caring for them or Cam.

About 20% into the book I was enjoying myself and couldn't wait to find out how Elli would deal with the situations and the events unfolding. But the insta-love between Elli and Tav followed up with the quickness at which Elli joins the group to betray her people felt so rushed and I couldn't really understand the motivation there.
By 50% of the book I started having problems with the narration style. It was confusing and I didn't know if it was the present or a past memory or a dream for that matter.
By 70-80% I was throughly lost I didnt know why the events were happening. The story was filled with unnecessary events which could've been shortened or skipped to reach to the end.
I will not talk about the ending here. Because I stopped enjoying the book a long time ago and just was reading it to know about the ending.

I'd say overall a very promising plot and it could do with a lot of fine tuning.

Thank you @netgalley and the Publisher to allow me to read this book for my honest reviews.
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The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass

Summary

Eli is a made thing.  She was made to be a ghost assassin.  She has seven blades to help her accomplish her goal.  Each of those blades are a part of her, like an additional appendage.  Killing ghosts is easy for her.  She gets in, does her job, and gets out.  But what happens when her target isn’t a ghost?  What happens when her target is human?

Eli isn’t really sure who she can trust, but she teams up with two humans, Tav and Cam and sets out on an adventure for answers, and ends up on an adventure to save the world.

Thoughts on Creativity and Writing

The author did a great job creating characters that were likable.  Eli, Tav, and Cam all had character flaws that people can relate to (no one wants to read about perfect characters).  The characters formed a family like bond where they had the same goal in mind while getting into small scuffles with each other.

The author also did a great job with the topic of witchcraft.  The setting that was created to accompany the subject of witchcraft was haunting and beautiful.  The transition from what we think of as the real world and the world of witchcraft was seamless.

Thoughts on the Ending 

I have to admit that I was disappointed in the end.  I looked around my dining room where I have cuddled up to read lately in confusion.  I felt like I had missed something.  It was so abrupt.
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“ Eli wasn’t just a teenage girl with heavy bangs falling over round glasses, fighting with her mother and writing bad poetry in her journal (although she did some of that, too). Eli was an assassin.”

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole caught my eye with that simple yet beautiful cover, and reeled me in with the promise of an intriguing Frankenstein’s monster-esqe teenage assassin main character, and the busting down the Coven’s tyrannical reign over the City of Ghosts and the City of Eyes plot line. I feel like this author has a very lyrical writing style mixed with a young vibe. The City of Eyes gave me a Labyrinth type visual in my kind. That scary beautiful sort of aesthetic. Our lead character Eli is sort of on this journey of self discovery. Finding her strength and the power she has even though she was “created” by the witches to be an assassin, she is more, and she can be more. I liked that base layer of her character, but I did find it a bit hard to connect with her and some of the additional characters, and I blame that on the fact that the transitions were a bit choppy and I did feel like I was playing catch up often in this read.

I even mentioned to a friend that I felt like I was reading an extremely detailed poem. It’s beautiful and entrancing. A poem extensive enough that it’s a story, but since it’s labeled a novel it feels like, for me, that it’s missing something. That being said I enjoyed this read overall. Sort of a coming into oneself type of read. I loved that there is LGBTQ+ representation that feels seamless. That the main character has inner doubts that sort of allude to mental illness in some ways. I liked the imagery of the world that was built. I just wish the transitions had all been smoother and I didn’t feel a step behind the entire story.

I definitely plan to check out what’s to come next from this author.
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RATING - 3/5

THE GIRL OF HAWTHORN AND GLASS follows a ghost-assassin Eli, a flawless killing machine armed with her seven magical blades. She's not human - she is made-thing for the Coven to wield. A fine weapon, incapable of failing. Till she does. Failing means dying, dying for Eli means getting unmade, all her parts used to make other assassins. In her fear, she becomes unwilling allies with a group of humans and witch renegades and is given a task - to capture the Heart of the Coven. This mission is not just a suicide mission, it is also a discovery mission. This is where Eli learns to question her life, her witch-mother, the Coven, and her purpose. With the help of two humans and her closest but untrustworthy witch friend, Eli is out to get answers and with them, her freedom.

There are so many things I love about this book. The world building is so good! It's nowhere near perfect, but for a debut novel, I am willing to give some slack. It's a moving, breathing world Jerreat-Poole has created and I applaud them for it. There were so many questions in my mind: what, how, who, when, where. They were somewhat answered, not my unceremonious info dumps but through actually showing how things work, instead of telling me. A perfect example of 'SHOW, NOT TELL.' 

I really like the characters as well. Eli was someone I could get invested in and yet view objectively - I empathized with her need to find her purpose, her feeling of pain when she realizes everything she was told was a lie. And I could also understand her feeling comfort in killing - something she was made to do. Something she needs to do. Understandable, since like I said, she was literally MADE to kill.

I loved the representation as well. One gay character (poc, if I'm not mistaken), one non-binary character which was refreshing because I can't remember ever reading a nb character. Main queer character. Love, love, love!!

Now to the meh parts.

I really didn't care for Tav or Cam. I tried, but they didn't seem very corporeal to me. They were not necessarily side characters, but they way this book is written makes them out to be characters who are written specifically to help the MC meet her goal. Which brings me to...

The writing! The writing style is amazing and unique. Jerreat-Poole writes about monstrous things and makes them seem beautiful. Things like an assassin who is basically Frankenstein's monster except in a much scarier way. But there is a flow to this book that is not friendly with a fantasy novel. There is no direction to the story. It goes here one time, and there the next. It took me reading a paragraph to figure out if Eli was thinking about what was going on or if she was reliving a memory for the reader's sake. One could say that the story line is in itself Frankenstein's monster. 

TL;DR: Unique writing style, good world building, missed opportunities to make this a much better novel.
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This book was made to sound more interesting in its synopsis. I felt like I was promised a book version of filet mignon only to be served ground turkey. 

I will say that the concept is interesting. If a little more working could be put in to amp up character and story development this could be great. Ath this point though, the best I can say is the author has talent. It easily spotted, but something is holding them back. 

Thank you NetGalley for the review opportunity of this eARC. But I will not reccomend this book at this time.
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I dont know what happened..
Somehow the book ended and I wasnt prepared.
The authors style of writing and describing her world has mesmerized me and let me fly through the pages.
I fell in love with Eli and her wonderment on how she was made and where she came from..I have loved Tav and their tough exterior and open heart. Cam was also an interesting character.

If you love phantastic world building, witches and a bit of queer context. This book is just right for you
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I'm sorry. I wanted to like this book but while this book has a great cover and a lot of LGBTQ+ representation, sadly, it failed to deliver a good fantasy plot (in my opinion). The world-building was lacking if non-existent. The idea of having a world of witches above our own with a vortex to go from one to the other was interesting but it wasn't enough for me. I needed to know more and things happened but it felt weird and not a lot were explained.

About the characters : Eli is a girl being created by witch magic to perform assassinations. When she ends up killing a human instead of what she thought was a ghost, we're left wondering why she would be sent to kill him. Tav is non-binary and I liked them. Cam as well but I didn't care for them enough to enjoy reading this book.

Overall, while I appreciate the efforts put into writing this story, not a lot made sense to me and unfortunately around 30-40% I was ready for it to end. I wanted to like it but it was all over the place.
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Thank you net galley for an arc of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

I wanted to love this I really did. If this was a book I didn't review I would have DNF it. 

The idea was stellar. I read the synopsis and couldn't wait to dive in. I loved the fact that LGBTQ representation was so wonderful as I believe that few books can pull it off like this did. I loved Eli so, so, so much! That is where it all stopped for me. 

The writing was disjointed and I felt like a was reading a ton of information but getting nowhere. O would have loved better and more clear in depth explanations of the magic system and how everything worked on that end. I saw this was a series and I was waiting for this great build up to lead into book 2 and it just never came. I feel like because this was intended as a series book 1 could have really explained so much more about the magic and the coven and the city if eyes. Really got readers connecting to that part as well as the characters and once we were hooked built to a huge cliffhanger only to turn the page and learn  we have to wait until book 2.
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Nope. Sorry. The fantasy book I was hoping to read cannot be found at this moment. Please try again later. Bippp!

I pushed myself too hard to like this book but it was exhausting and tormenting experience. I was so hopeful after seeing the fantastic artsy, beautiful cover and promising plot about teenage assassin chasing the ghosts in the human world. But… yes… I try to be soft grader when it comes to debut novels. I tried to be patient that at some part, the story will turn into something meaningful and riveting journey. But I’m so sorry even though writing style is different and interesting, there is no moving storyline. I couldn’t resonate with any of the characters but the development, their motives and their background stories were missing. You cannot root any of them because you don’t believe in their mission, conflicts or struggles.

Eli is being set up during her mission and now she cannot handle her failure so well and she finds herself aligned with a group, after without questioning further she joins them. I didn’t actually care Eli’s confused mind about real world and the Coven or her reasoning to join renegades and the other characters we’re introduced didn’t get my interest.

And the world building is also weak. So I couldn’t find anything concrete to enjoy. I got lost about the witches’ hierarchy dynamics and political orders. 

So overall: I tried. I really did. I even thought to give 2.5 stars. But instead of cover and original story telling, there is nothing intriguing about this book so unfortunately I stick with 2 solid stars.
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I’m sorry to say that I didn’t enjoy this book. It had a lot of potential in that the author did a lot of work with “world-building” which is always a challenge in fantasy books. The characters had good bones, too. The execution of plot and character was just not there, in my opinion. I didn’t feel connected to the characters and the plot felt very unstructured and confusing. It’s tough with “adventure” books where the characters are on a mission to have it not feel just like a recitation of traveling to different places. That was how this felt, in addition to being jarring because of the magical means of transporting from place to place. 

I received a complimentary ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass felt a lot like dating.

It has its ups and its downs and it morphs over time following stereotypical relationship development.

What am I talking about?

When a couple begins dating, they do everything in their power to be accommodating and impressive. The initial dating phase is like a game.

I’ll say all the right things, I’ll be on my best behavior, I’m going to make them laugh, make them smile, and show them a good time.

Eventually the couples gets closer, becomes tighter. They begin to ostracize their friends as they spend more time together and excitement ramps up all the way to the altar.

But after the honeymoon phase, the rest of your life begins and you realize you can’t be that person you were on dates 24/7.

Soon your partner discovers you aren’t the person you thought they were. Quarrels and arguments happen. Misunderstandings and confusion runs amuck.

Who is this person?

What happens next wildly varies from couple to couple. But nearly every couple experiences the previous steps above in nearly a play-by-play fashion.

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is the couple that comes to a mutual understanding and toughs it out for the investment already made, neither completely resolving their differences, but neither are they at each other’s throats.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass Review

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is about Eli, a girl who was made by a witch for the sole purpose of being a tool for the witchdom.

She’s an assassin, created for nothing more than killing ghosts in the human world.

Ghosts aren’t spirit beings in this world, they’ve inhabited human bodies and they pretend to live as humans.

Eli can sniff them out, find them anywhere, and put an end to the charade. The witches give her a target, a dossier, and send her on her way.

With each kill, she and her witch mother climb higher up the social ladder of witches.

When Eli is given her most difficult task yet, the Coven breaks from protocol and speaks directly to Eli, instead of her mother. Instead of the normal dossier, she’s given only a name.

When the hunt goes wrong and she discovers her target isn’t a ghost, but a human, she has to make a difficult decision.

The First Date

It’s a really awesome concept.

Before I read The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass I looked at the reviews on Goodreads, and wow are they rough. An average of 2.5 stars with 70 reviews. I try not to read them too much to not get spoiled, but I did glance.

15% of the way through the book and I can’t figure out why the reviews are so bad. I’m loving this.

Eli is off on her mission and my adrenaline is starting to flow and I’m looking forward to seeing her assassin skills in action.

I want to see her and her witch mother progress and get more prestige.

Engagement

But oh no, the mission goes awry. No surprises there, it’s written right in the blurb of the book.

And what would a good story be if everything went well? I’m not concerned.

In fact, I’m elated.

I’m excited to see how Eli will confront this challenge, how she’ll overcome it and complete her mission. I’m ready to see her standing in front of the Coven receiving all the praise.

But that’s not at all what happens.

First Year of Marriage

That really cool premise that takes up the first 40% of the Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is nothing but a front.

It’s like the fake, “on my best behavior” personality of a dating couple.

Because as soon as I hit around the 50% mark I’m like “what the heck is going on?”

What is this?

Where’s my witchling assassin? Where’s my strong, cold as death girl?

It’s not the the direction the story takes is a bad one. In fact, it’s quite a logical turn and had the potential to be an interesting one.

The problem is with execution. Instead of driving her own fate, Eli becomes the third wheel in somebody else’s plan.

She has no reason to trust the new companions she has just met, but she lets them dictate her path without any solid or logical evidence. They don’t even tell her what they’re trying to do.

They use her as a pawn, and it destroyed every ounce of respect I had for Eli and obliterated any interest I had in the story.

What takes place between 50%-95% is nothing but aimless wandering and pure confusion.

A Rocky Relationship

This confusion comes from a few different things.

The first is a lack of identifies for who is speaking at least 40% of the time. Dialogue goes back and forth with quick banter, but 6 to 7 lines go by and you have no idea who is saying what.

The second aspect of confusion comes from a half-baked story with murky reasoning and unclear descriptions on what’s happening, how it’s happening, and why it’s happening. All of this leaves the reader unsure what they should be looking for.

And the final bit of confusion comes from what many will consider a highlight. And that’s the non-binary character.

The author herself identifies as non-binary, so it’s natural for the author to write a non-binary character.

The diversity argument aside, the use of non-binary pronouns is very confusing to a story.

If you aren’t aware, non-binary pronouns are “they” and “them” instead of “she” and “her.”

The problem is that “they” is a plural pronoun. Not singular.

So at least 40% of the time the author used the word “they,” I couldn’t tell whether it was in reference to the singular non-binary character or the group of three characters.

This contributed a lot to my confusion with what was going on, who was doing what, and why it was happening.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I simply tolerated the story from 40% onward.

I had the potential to love it so much. I was so very very excited early on.

I really felt like the person in the relationship who was strung along, making me think the story was something that it wasn’t.

I will not likely be picking up the second book which already has a title: The Boi of Feather and Steel.

For fooling me and pulling the rug out from underneath me. For taking my strong heroine and making her a pawn in someone else’s game. And for confusing the living daylights out of me so I had no idea what was happening for more than 50% of the book, I give The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass:

2/5 stars
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I honestly didn’t know I had this book until finding it in my kindle library. It was good though! Witches and assassins are such fun concepts to read about and this book did it really well.
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I don’t really know what I just read. So many aspects didn’t make sense, and the story was just kind of all over the place. From the synopsis I thought this was going to be an incredible story about this assassin who was made by witches to go into the human world and kill ghosts. It wasn’t really that, but I couldn’t tell you what it was either.

I love fantasy books because of the world building and descriptions. This book could have had such a unique plot, but there weren’t any descriptions on how this world worked. To get from the human side, to the witches’ side of the world sounded super cool, but it’s just explained as a vortex?? I need more than that. I wanted to know how this world worked and why it was the way it was.

Another thing that bothered me was how so much was going on, but yet nothing was really going on. The main character is an assassin made by witches and the descriptions of how she was made and with what made no sense. Her dialogue with the other characters was just annoying, weird, and I didn’t care for anyone. Honestly, this book just did not make sense as a whole. Clever and unique plotline, but it did not follow through.
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