Title: The Shadow Glass
Author: Rin Chupeco
Genre: YA / Fantasy
Series: The Bone Witch Trilogy
Synopsis: In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance.
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… (taken from Goodreads)
(Thank you Myrth from Cliste Bella for hosting The Shadow Glass PH Blog, and a big thank you also to Sourcebooks + Netgalley for the ARC! And of course, a massive shoutout to Rin Chupeco, who so generously provided us free copies of both The Bone Witch and The Heart Forger.)
So the first time I actually read both The Bone Witch or The Heart Forger was after I signed up for this tour which is yeah, I know, weird considering The Shadow Glass is the third and final book in the series. Like who joins a blog tour without having read the previous books first??? Well… me, apparently, but that’s beside the point. This series has been on my TBR since forever and because I really wanted to support Rin, who is a Filipino author, I figured this would be a good opportunity for me to finally tackle the books. And tackle them I did!
Suffice to say, The Shadow Glass did two things: 1) left me with a mess of emotions I still have no idea how to deal with; and 2) officially bumped Rin Chupeco up to my “favorite authors” list.
Everything about The Shadow Glass is commendable. The plot, worldbuilding, character development, pacing, and even the prose were all on point. But let me get into them one at a time.
The characters. Oh man, all the wonderful characters. I’ll have you know it takes a special kind of author to make me fall in love with most of, if not all, the characters present in a book. Rin Chupeco is that and more. The characters she creates are just so freaking real. Even though you may not always agree with their actions, it’s very easy to empathize with them and understand the choices they make.
Our main girl Tea is regarded as an anti-heroine of sorts, but love continuously acted as her driving force, up until the very last page. Whatever she did, good or bad, it was always for the people she cared about. She’s really grown to be one of my favorite YA heroines ever, and just thinking about how far she’s come makes my heart soar. Her character development from the first book to the finale was phenomenal. Seriously, I would die for Tea and have her raise me from the dead so I could die for her a second time. She’s amazing.
I’ve been in love with the sibling relationship between Tea and Fox ever since the first book, which made it hard for me to get through Shadow Glass— but in a good way, of course. As it is with me and my own brother, Fox and Tea didn’t always see eye-to-eye. They’re both so flawed, which makes me love them even more. I think it says a lot about the author’s ability as a writer when she’s able to make you feel so strongly about not only the characters but also the relationships they have with each other. And of course, it wouldn’t be right not to mention Kalen, who is an absolute gem, and has been a stable presence throughout Tea’s journey. His constant support and unwavering loyalty freaking melted my heart.
As much as I want to claim that the characters were the best thing about the series, I can’t. That spot belongs to the worldbuilding. Now, worldbuilding is something I’m personally particular with when it comes to novels; the more fantasy you read, the easier it gets to grow bored of rehashed worlds with new names slapped on and hardly any cultural richness to them. But this world? The world of the asha? It’s lush, engrossing, and so obviously Asian. It’s great! The details are astounding– each of the eight kingdoms was crafted meticulously, their histories so intricately woven that it’s hard to assume their world is anything other than real.
I also really enjoyed the PoV switches between the Tea and the bard. All the build-up during the first two books finally paid off, and it was incredibly satisfying to see everything come together in the end. The pacing in this was similar to The Heart Forger: fast and filled to the brim with twists that will leave you screaming like a banshee at 3 in the morning (yes, I was up that late because putting the book down was nearly impossible, okay, WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE). It was a wild ride, ya’ll.
Honestly, the most difficult part about writing a review for ARCs/blog tours is keeping them spoiler-free because damn, the urge to gush about the story and its characters is overwhelming. So before my emotions start pouring out again, let me end my review with this: The Shadow Glass will break you in both the worst and best ways possible and I could not have asked for a better, more satisfying conclusion to the series.
Do you perhaps have a bookstagram account? Are you currently residing in the Philippines? Yes? Well then, you should definitely check out the bookstagram contest Myrth is hosting! She’s giving away a bunch of bookish swag, so don’t miss out!
Oh, and if you came late to The Bone Witch party like me, fear not! You can purchase the first two books with just a simple click of a button 😉