218. Heart of Glass by Vivian French

Heart of Glass by Vivian French. Illustrated by Ross Collins (Canada) - (USA)
The Third Tale from the Five Kingdoms

Pages: 244 pages
Ages: 8+
Finished: Oct. 15, 2010
First Published: July 13, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:

"If I were you, kiddo," the bat remarked, "I'd close your mouth."

Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series

This is another series I read simply because it is a whole lot of fun. The Tales of the Five Kingdoms have a fairy tale quality to them and follow the adventures of Gracie Gillypot, living with the Ancient Crones who weave the tapestry of life. Gracie is not always the main character in each book, though. This time around, almost every one of the main characters we have met so far and their families are part of the story as a wedding is under preparation. The bride's sister, Princess Marigold is the jealous sort and lacking attention takes off on an adventure she is ill-suited for, only to end up in need of rescuing. Prince Marcus meets Gracie and asks her to join him on his current adventure to get some more gold crowns from the Dwarves for the up-coming wedding in his family. Gracie leans against a tree and disappears. Prince Marcus, along with the help of a Dwarf and the bat family we've come to love, set off Underground into Troll territory and end up on the trail to rescue both Gracie *and* Princess Marigold.

Another fun addition to the series, though I won't say it was my favourite. What I found both a plus and minus at the same time was the fact that so many old characters return in this story, in addition we are also introduced to a handful of new characters. Of course it was fun to see the return of so many familiar faces, but this does cut into getting to know the new characters well enough. I much preferred the way Bag of Bones was written, focusing almost entirely on the new character, Loobly, with some of the old characters returning to join the story. Funny enough, Loobly was not in Heart of Glass, though her brother was and she was mentioned a couple of times. So other than there being too many characters for slim size of this book, I did enjoy the story.

The trolls were hilarious in a mock-scary way. Gubble was just as lovable as ever. The fairy tale friendship of Gracie and Marcus inched a step closer to romance and when all is said and done this is a heart-warming story for all concerned.


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